Evangel alumni perspective: Bert Capel
Name: Bert Capel
Graduation Year: 2005
Major: Physical Education
Current Position: Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach
City and State: DeLand, Florida
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
I am currently in my fifth year as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. After assisting with the men’s basketball team at Evangel for a few years following graduation, I took a position as a Graduate Assistant, and eventually the Recruiting Assistant, at Florida State University for the next three years. While at Florida State, I was part of the first ever ACC championship in school history as well as a Sweet 16 run in the 2011 NCAA tournament. After my time at Florida State, I took an assistant job at Jacksonville College in Texas. After one season at Jacksonville, I made the move to Stetson which is where I am today.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
My favorite memory at Evangel has to be winning the 2002 NAIA National Championship. We were ranked #1 the whole season, finishing with a record of 35-1 which included a 27-game winning streak. I still keep in touch with many of the guys that were on that team today.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
When I first arrived at Evangel I decided to major in Computer Science which was a field that had really taken off. I knew I wanted to coach but figured I could do both. After my first year at Evangel, I took a big-time internship job at a business downtown Cincinnati where I made good money and learned how the computer science field worked. During my internship, I realized I didn’t have much time for coaching and didn’t see myself doing that type of work the rest of my life. When I got back to Evangel in the fall, I talked to my advisor about everything and he suggested I look into Physical Education as a possibility since it fit more of what I’m looking to do. I eventually made the switch and have been coaching and teaching ever since I graduated.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
Evangel challenged me academically, spiritually and athletically. The workplace can be tough, especially the farther up the ladder you go. However, the principles you learn at Evangel give you a foundation on which to stand on. Holding on to those principles can help get you through challenging times and, ultimately, allow you to be successful in whatever direction God takes you.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
Have an idea of what your ultimate goal is and begin working towards that goal. Work hard in everything you do. Be willing to take risks. And, most importantly, pray for God’s direction and trust that He will lead you where you need to be.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
The first thing I would look for in hiring a new graduate would be to see how hungry they are. Is it a position they want because it’s a job, or is something they want more than anything as they set out to achieve their ultimate dream? Second, I would want to see if the person is willing to put the work in. Would they go above and beyond what the position requires or do just enough to get by? And last, I would want to see if they are a person of high character. Are they going to cut corners or do things that would embarrass themselves or the company they work for? There are certainly other factors that go into the hiring process as well, but I believe these three areas are extremely important for anybody wanting to be successful in whatever field they choose.