40 under 40 - Justin D. Zook '08
How has having a Springfield College degree impacted you professionally?
My degree in sports management has allowed me to have a better understanding of how to fully perform my duties within a collegiate athletic department.
Who influenced you when you were a student at Springfield College and explain the role they played in your life?
Head Men’s Swim Coach John Taffe made me realize his profession was something that interested me and he fostered my growth as both a person and a swimmer.
Professor Accorsi was involved in disabled sports organizations and events, so when I took his class he really made me feel as though my interest and participation in Paralympics was meaningful.
Professor McAllister was one teacher who I always knew had unbelievably high standards for all of his students. His high standards made me push myself and commit to the material in a different way
If you could share one piece of advice with today's current Springfield College student, what would it be?
Make the most out of the relationships with your professors and fellow students. I have not done a great job keeping in touch over the years, but each time I reconnect with someone it appears as though no time has gone by!
Who do you want to thank personally for the role they have played in your success?
Both my parents for making sure I had every opportunity to succeed in life. I never thought anyone could have done all the things you did for me, I am forever indebted to them for what they provided me. My long time swim coach Tom Franke for being involved in my life for the past 24 years, not many coaches would have ever been involved and cared as much as you did. Last, but most certainly not least both my wife Andrea Zook and daughter Molly. I was going through most of my career in the sport of swimming and coaching assuming this was going to be my life. I was lucky enough to find a partner in life who wanted to be my better half. I'm fortunate enough to have a wife who supports me in every avenue of my life. From the moment we got married, I knew I was a better person because she was standing next to me. I never truly believed I could love two people as much as I love Andrea and Molly. They have given my career and life a purpose much beyond what I had envisioned for myself.