Ben Sounders: Men's Golf Head Coach

How long have you been coaching?
I am entering my fifth year of coaching. I spent the last four years assisting the men’s and women’s golf teams, and this will be my first year as a head golf coach.
What is the most important part of your job?
The most important part of my job is the development of players. Sure, I am trying to develop better golfers, but more importantly I want to develop the men on the golf team to be men of God. I want to aid in preparing them for life after college.
Why were you interested in working at Wheaton College?
I was interested in working at Wheaton the day I left campus. I attended Wheaton College as an undergraduate and the moment I left, I knew I wanted to come back and be a part of the community and culture that Wheaton College offers to students and employees.
When did decide to become a coach?
With every year of golf that I played, my passion for the game grew and once I graduated from college, I knew that I still wanted to be involved with Wheaton Golf. That is when the head coaches at the time hired me to assist the men’s and women’s teams so that I could gain the experience.
Who is a different (professional, college, high school or childhood) coach you look(ed) up to?
There are many coaches that I look up to, ranging from Coach John Wooden (Former UCLA Basketball Coach) to Coach Mike Small (Golf Coach at University of Illinois). However, there is one coach that I look up most to and seek advice from and that is my older brother, Ryan. He is the Men’s Soccer Coach at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He has had a lot of success coaching soccer at the college level, but he is my best friend and I look to emulate the life that he lives as a man of God and as a coach.
Why do you thinking coaching is important to the body of Christ?
We all need someone to coach us to grow in faith. All coaches want to be successful when it comes to the win/loss column, but I am not certain that is what is most important. Our salvation in Christ is what is most important, and the body of Christ needs coaches in order to lead us to the cross day in and day out.
Were you an athlete in high school/college?
I was an athlete both in high school and college. I am a local guy. I grew up in Wheaton and attended Wheaton Academy. There I played four years of golf and baseball and two years of basketball. I was recruited to play golf at Wheaton College. There, I lettered four years in golf.
What is one word that you would use to describe yourself?
I would use the word “driven.” Those who know me know that I am driven to succeed and I hate to lose. I try not to be complacent and I strive to get better every day, whether it is in coaching or in my walk with the Lord. I am trying to never stand still. I am always dedicated to moving forward.

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