Nov. 4, 2009
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." These words spoken by Henry David Thoreau sometimes feel easier said than done. Becky Megesi, however, chose a path for herself that led her straight to her "dream job". When asked what her personal career goals are, she responds, "I'm coaching at my alma mater...I'm extremely satisfied with the work that I do and the student-athletes that I work with. What more could I ask for?" How many 30-year-olds can honestly say that?
Becky Megesi was one of the top cross-country/track recruits coming out of high school. While many high school seniors are itching to pick a college that's far away from home, Megesi saw something in what Georgia Tech had to offer that convinced her to stay close to her Jonesboro, Ga. home, and compete in the ACC. Her decision proved to lay the foundation to a path that would go much further than just her 4-year commitment to Georgia Tech.
Megesi walked away from her college experience with a bachelor's of science in management from a university that is consistently ranked among the Top 10 public universities in the country. She also left having earned All-America status twice (1500m & DMR), ACC champion title twice (1500m), two school records (800m & 1500m), and an Olympic Trials qualifying mark in the 800 meters. Clearly, Becky's work ethic and talent on the track, and in the classroom, made her the exact type of student-athlete that Georgia Tech likes to showcase. She was the natural selection to fill the women's cross-country position on the student-athlete advisory board (SAAB) after predecessor Beth Mallory graduated. Megesi ended up filling this position for three and a half years.
Coach Alan Drosky was the head cross-country coach during Becky's tenure as a Georgia Tech student-athlete, and still remains in that position today. He has had the privilege to watch Becky develop, first as a high school athlete while he recruited her, then as a Georgia Tech student-athlete, and now as his assistant cross-country coach.
"Becky was exactly the type of person we wanted to serve as our student-athlete advisory board representative," Drosky said. "To have one of your most talented and hard-working student-athletes also be viewed as the team leader off the track is a dream come true for a coach. She was well-respected in her sport, but also well respected by the way she conducted herself when it came to SAAB initiatives, community service, and overall representation within the athletic department."
And who better to continue to have an influence on the current Georgia Tech cross-country and track teams today, only in a slightly different capacity.
Upon graduation, Becky continued to show interest in being involved with the program by coming to practices, visiting with the coaches and student-athletes, and even traveling on her own to races, including ACC & NCAA Championships. At the time, Coach Drosky had been working with the Athletics Director to fully staff the program to 6 full-time coaches (from the 5 that were already employed). With the positive impact that Becky was having on the team members and the energy and enthusiasm that she brought to the program, when the 6th position was added to the program, Coach Drosky immediately thought of Becky. He approached her about it to see if it was something she was interested in, and she eagerly accepted the offer. After all, to go back and coach at your alma mater is indeed the ultimate dream of many NCAA student-athletes. Eight years later, Becky continues to help mold incoming freshman into ACC caliber students and athletes that are more confident and prepared when they leave Georgia Tech than when they began there.
"Just like my involvement with SAAB taught me how to work with different styles of people, different personalities, different interests, I hope to teach today's Georgia Tech student-athletes the same. Many voices are greater than a single voice, and learning how to work together for the greater good of the team or department is a life lesson that I hope to pass on. I like to encourage our student-athletes to NOT merely exist while they are here, but rather take advantage of the tremendous opportunity they have, to be involved, and make a difference," Megesi said.
And who better to learn this from than someone who sat (or ran) in their shoes not too long ago. The energy and passion that Becky brings to the program is a huge asset to both the coaches and the current members of the team. Her passion for Georgia Tech is evident when speaking about her experiences there, and her love for the Ramblin' Wreck is contagious. She is the type of assistant coach that any head coach would love to have.
"Becky understands. She gets it. She knows what it takes to be successful at a not-always-easy institute like Georgia Tech. Our student-athletes know they can talk to her about anything and everything, and she will do anything in her power to help," explains Coach Drosky. "We all have our ups and downs as student-athletes, and Becky was no exception, but she learned how to overcome obstacles and distractions, and focus on the task at hand. She was a great example to her teammates then, and I am pleased that she continues to serve as an example to my runners now. They have a tremendous amount of respect for her and the things she accomplished as an athlete here."
"I look at it as an honor to work at a place that shaped me into the person I am today. My involvement with SAAB allowed me to not only develop as an athlete, but also as a leader and I am grateful to have had that opportunity," Megesi said.