By Josh Hibbard – Horizon Staff Reporter
Andrew Sharp’s journey with Hesston College athletics started in 1997, when he enrolled as a freshman and moved west, all the way from Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
“The chance to play baseball, study history, and get out on my own appealed to me,” he said.
In 2004, Sharp was given an opportunity to come back to help assist coach the baseball team. He was offered a job in the admissions department and never left.
“After four years of helping with Hesston baseball (2004-07 seasons), I knew higher-ed athletics was what I wanted to do,” Sharp said.
Sharp enrolled and graduated from Wichita’s States University’s Sports Administration master’s degree program. It was perfect timing.
“The Hesston College softball position came available right about the same time I was graduating,” he said.
The fact that Sharp played baseball at Hesston made the switch to coach a lot easier.
“As a lifelong ‘baseball guy,’ I surprisingly found the transition to fastpitch pretty smooth,” Sharp said.
He found that he also adjusted well to the differences from baseball to softball. They are different, Sharp said, “but obviously have a lot of overlap.”
As a recruiter for the softball program, Sharp is able to draw from his experience as an admissions counselor to find students who will excel as players, but also as students.
“Connection to Hesston’s campus and the learning environment we offer here is paramount,” he said. He’s looking for “players who ‘buy-in’ to what Hesston represents.
“I’m a believer in [the mantra], ‘a happy, productive Hesston student makes a happy, productive Hesston College student-athlete.'”