Being a coach and alumnus at Pacific University has multiple meanings.

It first signifies a place I can truly call my second home. Coming from Hawai’i, I never would of thought that Pacific and Oregon in general, would become a place I would want to stay and start my life after college.

I believe the people and community at Pacific created an atmosphere that made me feel comfortable and grow as a person. It allowed me to build so many relationships, which will stay with me for life.

The atmosphere and those relationships made Pacific a place I wanted to be even after graduation.

For me, the biggest feeling of pride is through football. A big part of why I initially came to Pacific was to be a part of building the football program. It created a sense of belonging to something greater than myself. After four years of playing, the opportunity arose to coach and I wanted to stay and help the current players.

I wanted to not only continue to work toward winning championships on the football field, but also help the players balance football and school. As players and coaches are continually working toward that, it is awesome to see the betterment of Pacific over the past six years. From the new buildings, advancements in academics and successes in athletics, Pacific has become an even better university.

The experience of being a student athlete and now coach has been extremely rewarding. Students are continuing to excel in the classroom and on field and hopefully, I am making a difference in their lives.

P.J. Minaya is the wide receiver’s coach and video coordinator.

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