ELKINS - When Hank Steinbrecher was a student at Davis & Elkins College, he never dreamed that he would have a successful career on the international level. However, from the once muddy soccer field on Harpertown Road to the arenas of World Cup finals, and places in between, he learned several life lessons.
A member of D&E’s 1970 NAIA national championship soccer team and a 1971 D&E graduate, Steinbrecher went on to earn a master’s degree in education from West Virginia University. He coached soccer at three top colleges, directed sports marketing for Gatorade and as secretary general of U.S. Soccer from 1990-2000, was instrumental in bringing soccer to prominence in the United States and oversaw the staging of two of the most successful Men’s and Women’s World Cups in the United States. His path to each of these junctures began at D&E, and he attributes his success to his English professor, the late Lois Latham, and his soccer coach and mentor, Greg Myers.
In a presentation before a nearly packed house of D&E student-athletes, faculty, staff, administrators and members of the local community, Steinbrecher shared “Lessons Learned from My Journey.” His talk was one of several events celebrating Davis & Elkins College this week leading up to the inauguration of the College’s 15th president Chris A. Wood on Thursday, March 30.
Underscored in each of Steinbrecher’s seven points was teamwork. The two most important lessons, he said, are knowing the difference between heaven and hell, and “getting the kid right so the world will be right.” He illustrated both in story form with the message of helping each other.
Tying together the other five messages, Steinbrecher said all must be employed in unison to achieve success. Advising that “smart is just a start” and “hard work pays off, but it isn’t the ticket to success,” he encouraged the group to discover their passion.
“Passion is essential in everything you do,” he said.
Extending a lesson he learned from his father, Steinbrecher said it’s important to distinguish between the words “with” and “for.” As an example, he cautioned the group against thinking they work “for” someone as that could lead to ill feelings toward leaders; the leaders should not think someone works “for” them because that brings about arrogance. Instead, he suggested, working “with” others as a team.
“Teammates are more important than you can possibly imagine,” Steinbrecher said.
He also emphasized the importance of integrity, saying it is a key to success.
Steinbrecher also congratulated Wood on his presidential appointment, saying the community he is inheriting extends beyond the campus and is one that will provide much support.
To view Steinbrecher’s speech, visit https://youtu.be/zRg3UZgKCEs.
Additional activities at Davis & Elkins College during inauguration week include: Celebrate D&E’s Academics on Wednesday, March 29. Various events fill Inauguration Day, Thursday, March 30, beginning with a lecture by alumnus and Trustee David Morrison, ’79, at 11 a.m. in Robbins Memorial Chapel, the dedication of the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy at noon, and the inauguration ceremony at 4:30 p.m. in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium.
The inauguration can be viewed live and will be archived for later viewing at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/dandeadmin.
A native of Huntington, W.Va., Wood was named to D&E’s presidency in June and assumed the duties on August 1. Wood, his wife, Lisa, and their two daughters, Lacey and Lexi, along with their miniature schnauzer puppies reside at Hearthstone.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.