Alumni Profile Paul Sheehy ’85
Paul Sheehy ’85 supports student-athletes because he feels he is helping family.
Paul Sheehy has represented hundreds of NFL players, and well more than 50 coaches from the college and NFL ranks in the years since his graduation, and says that the quality of support and coaching at Springfield College is among the finest in the nation.
Why do you give to Springfield College athletics?
I give because being a former Springfield College student-athlete wasn’t just something I did, it’s still a big part of who I am. To me, I am a part of the SC football family, along with guys who played before, with, and after me. It’s that simple. I look at it as just helping out family.
What impact do you think your gifts have on student-athletes?
I would hope that it would help to enrich their experiences as student-athletes but, more importantly, as Springfield College student-athletes, and that it would create a sense of obligation in them to do the same after they graduate and embark on their careers. In that way, I hope it would be a “pay it forward” type of endeavor for everyone who has benefitted from the gifts of alumni donors. I know that when I was a student-athlete at Springfield College, I always felt our athletics programs were on the cutting edge in terms of innovation, resources, and advancements in every way, from the weight room to the training room to the field and more, and I
hope our kids always see it that way. I know the far-reaching impact that alumni gifts have on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. I’m proud to help fill that bucket.
How can coaches use philanthropic support to advance the student-athlete experience?
Coaches can show the student-athlete that the concept of “team” casts a much wider net than just those players in uniform. The Springfield College team really is an extended family and network of thousands of players who came before them, who are also there to support them in many ways during and after their playing days. That Springfield College diploma creates a very unique bond that, in my experience, is simply unmatched by any other school. That philanthropic support from alumni creates valuable relationships between past and present student-athletes. I’m not sure many athletes realize that until well after their playing days are over.
What teams do you support and why?
I root for all SC sports, but I dripped a lot of sweat and blood on the Benedum Field (today’s Stagg Field) turf playing football there, so my heart is always with the football program. I’ve found the bond among football teammates is unlike any other, and I’m very proud to be a Springfield College football alumnus.
In what ways did support from alumni, families, and friends impact your experiences as a Springfield College student-athlete?
The impact was huge. It let us know really how big and impactful SC football was, and it definitely fostered an even greater sense of pride in putting on that uniform. The alums we had coming to talk to us in the locker room before games, at practices, at various functions were from every walk of life, and very successful. They ranged from Olympians to prominent coaches, and from professional team trainers, to doctors and businessmen. That stayed with me: How great it was that these people who do amazing things would still came back to encourage and support us. I think the quality and influence of our alumni--in so many different areas--rival those of any college in the nation, which is remarkable considering we are a small, private college.
What was your most memorable experience as a student-athlete or supporter of athletics at Springfield College?
There are a number of really great and memorable moments from the football field that I carry with me to this day, things such as beating Southern Connecticut 19-17 in 1984 on a last second FG. (Southern Connecticut was coached by Kevin Gilbride, who later became a client of mine while he was offensive coordinator for the New York Giants, winning two Super Bowls in the process.) Other moments include Friday night goal line scrimmages during spring ball and the Burning of the Old Shoe ceremony, but really what I really remember – and miss – the most is the amazing camaraderie in the locker room with my teammates, many of whom I am still in touch with regularly to this day. I truly feel blessed to have been a part of the rich football tradition at Springfield College.
What would you like other Friends of Springfield College Athletics to know?
I’ve represented hundreds of NFL players, and well more than 50 coaches from the college and NFL ranks over the years, so I see and hear of many different programs> It makes me proud to know that the quality of support and coaching our kids get in the football program--from Mike DeLong, Jack Holik, Mike Cerasulo, and everyone on staff--rivals that of any program at any level in the nation. Equally important, I know first-hand how important it is for them – and every other head coach on campus - to develop the student-athlete as a total person in line with the Spirit-Mind-Body philosophy.