In her new role as assistant athletic director, Sara Reid is looking to be a figure on campus that girls can come to on the field and off.
It's a sunny September afternoon and varsity soccer practice has just ended for Westover Head Coach and Assistant Athletic Director Sara Reid. She's now shifted to mom mode, and is watching her 2-year-old son Blake try and a kick a soccer ball across the athletic field. He approaches the ball but stumbles a bit and tumbles to the grass. A valiant attempt. A smile forms on Reid's face. Meanwhile, Harper, her 3-1/2-year-old daughter, is running around in the distance with her dad, Bryce. Soon, the four will leave and get ready for dinner in the dining room, and then head up to the dorm. It's mild chaos to the outside viewer, but just a typical day for Reid.
"I find it really empowering," Reid said of her multiple roles. "I love my kids, I love my job, I love coaching soccer, I love Westover, I love being in the dorm. A lot of people are like, 'How do you balance it all?' And to me, it doesn't even feel like a job."
A graduate of Westminster School in Simsbury, where she played ice hockey, soccer, and lacrosse, Reid, 28, came to Westover to serve as a dorm parent and coach.
"It started really well with me just doing the dorm piece because it wasn't overwhelming," Reid explained. "With my kids home, I could balance that life with the dorm stuff; I got to know the students better and the faculty and the area."
"I love my kids, I love my job, I love coaching soccer, I love Westover, I love being in the dorm. A lot of people are like, 'How do you balance it all?' And to me, it doesn't even feel like a job."
But this year when the opportunity for more involvement came open, she seized it. Reid, who graduated from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada, with a degree in recreation management and also played soccer and ice hockey, was hired as the assistant athletic director and varsity soccer coach.
"It's kind of my dream job," Reid said. "I want to be an athletic director as I get older and gain more experience. I love sports, I loved my first year at Westover, the girls are awesome, and I wanted to be more involved with the school than just the dorm piece. I wanted to follow my passion in sports but be a bigger part of the community and be able to be with the girls more than the dorm."
Reid said her vision for her new role as assistant athletic is to be a figure on campus that girls can come to on the field and off. She'd also love to expand the role sports play in the students' lives beyond the walls of Westover.
"I'm hoping to spread my passion for sports in some other lives and I hope more girls will start playing at the college level or will be interested in going beyond Westover and have a love for whatever sport they have for," Reid said.
It's a similar philosophy that Reid carries for the soccer program; she's looking to make it a fun and a life-long experience for the student-athletes as they grow.
"I'm really hoping to encourage the whole group to find the passion and love for the game and even if they aren't the best on the team, they will continue to play through their years at Westover and hopefully get better and be a starting player in a year or two."
While it's a busy schedule, typically starting each day at 6:45 a.m., getting the kids fed and Harper off to school, mixed in with laundry, cooking, and athletic administrative work, she loves the busy lifestyle. Sara explained that when her husband, Bryce, who works as an airline pilot, is off, he's really off, and so he takes a on a major role in helping out with the kids and their schedules.
"I need to be up and moving and changing roles, so I find it fun to be doing administrative work for a few hours, then on the field practicing with the girls, then I'm in the dorm interacting with different girls, sit-down dinners ... you get to know all the faces of Westover. I love it."