On Thursday afternoon, Purdue University Northwest (PNW) welcomed a new member to their team: Boomer Roberts, head coach of the PNW Men’s Basketball Team. With a life mission based on family values and living a meaningful life, Roberts is a promising leader who hopes to have an incredible impact at the university.
The afternoon included words from Rick Costello, Director of Athletics at Purdue Northwest; PNW Chancellor Thomas L. Keon; and Roberts himself. After a Q&A session with the audience, attendees had the opportunity to meet Roberts, take pictures with the PNW mascot, and enjoy refreshments. The assembly celebrated the arrival of a new university leader, and the continued success of the university as a whole.
“In a broad sense, athletics gives us a sense of community and a sense of belonging to the university,” Keon said. “But little did we know that moving from NAIA to Division II NCAA was going to give us tremendous impact on the academic side of our university.”
He said that the new standards require athletes to be even more mindful of their academic success. In searching for a new coach, the university found Roberts offered the best of both worlds.
“We frequently hear people talk about life-work balance, but Division II spends a lot of time on student-athlete balance with an emphasis on the student and student success,” Keon said. “Because we moved to Division II and because we’re developing as a university, we were very fortunate [to find] Boomer Roberts.”
Originally from Arizona, Roberts is most well-known for his success at Trinity International University in Illinois. There, Roberts took a team who had won only five games in a season, to one that championed 51 victories over the course of three years. Despite this success, Roberts’s focus lies primarily in the ways he can have a positive impact on the lives of young men.
“Truthfully, I believe I am on this earth to build faithful husbands and loving fathers,” Roberts said. “I think the stage of college basketball and coaching college basketball allows for a lot of influence. …f I’m just teaching the game, I’m missing the point because the ball stops bouncing. In 10, 20, 30 years, nobody is going to care how good a player you were or even how many championships you won.”
Roberts’s teams have seen incredible success on the court, and he doesn’t plan on stopping that any time soon.
“Now, we’re very competitive. We want to hang banners and win championships,” he said. “But what lasts is who you are as a man. Are you a faithful husband? Are you a loving father? Are you a man of society who is making an impact?”
To help young men grow, Roberts said that he hopes to serve as a role model who actively engages with his team. He wants to get to know them on a personal level, and he wants each player to be looking out for one another. This means asking about their academic life, their relationships, their background, all with the intention of developing lasting relationships that extend beyond the college years.
“The better decisions you make, the better quality of life you have,” he said. “So, for me, if I can model my marriage with my wife and the way I raise my kids to them, and they go, ‘Man, I want to be like that, ’that’s what’s important.”
Roberts’ wife and two sons also were present, showing that supporting the team is indeed a family affair. His oldest son, Griffin, loves basketball and concluded the meeting with one last cheer:
“Go Purdue Northwest!”
To learn more about the PNW Men’s Basketball Team, please visit their website.