Everyone at Piedmont college knows Jim Peeples for his illustrious 15-year coaching career where he captured 12 USA South Tournament Championships and eight regular season championships with the men’s baseball team. What many people don’t know is what he has done to keep his coaching ways carry on to future coaches since being appointed the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for Piedmont.
“Since I’ve been hired at this position, I try to be involved as much as possible in the hiring of future coaches because I feel it is critical, we bring in someone that shares the same goals we share in the department,” said Peeples.
The goal Peeples wants every coach to have is how to be a better mentor for not only a sport but for life. Peeples expresses that Division III sports isn’t just about games but being a life coach first and a college coach second.
“To be a mentor to these young adults, you have to do something intentional because you got to want to pour into someone to get the best out of them,” Peeples said. “I have to thank Dr. Mellichamp for telling us always to hire someone that is going to change a person’s life and make them a better leader.”
Peeples’ viewpoint on coaches stems from his philosophy on Division III sports —the “game of life” is just as important as the game on the field.
“We’re doing this for the development of the young people to get a chance to be a part of their lives for four years and to play a role in their personal development truly. We get to use sports as a way to teach them the game of life,” said Peeples.
Although not required to, Peeples makes a point to show up to almost every home game for any sport going on around Piedmont. Student-athletes have noticed this dedication.
“He’s been to every lacrosse game for as long as I can remember, and he always shows support and cheers for us both on and off the field,” said men’s lacrosse goalie for Zach Czulada.
“He treats all the student-athletes like his children supporting them and setting a vision to follow to create chances throughout our college careers,” said women’s soccer midfielder Nicki Boyd.
To be more particular, Peeples wants to give rise to all the Piedmont seniors that were taken away their last couple of months of being an athlete for the college due to the COVID-19 virus. Peeples continues to preach about family and staying together through a rough time.
“In sports, we’re all about routine and so trying to find a routine right now where everything has been canceled is pretty crazy,” Peeples said. “It certainly is a challenge for the students and especially for the seniors but worry not because just like a game throws difficult challenges at us, so does life. In all things, try to keep a positive attitude about it because this virus will pass just like those difficult moments in a season or in-game.”