The Hope Athletics Orange and Blue Podcast is returning this summer for a third season with a special series of interviews with Hope College student-athletes, administration and staff.
For this summer’s first episode, sports information director Alan Babbitt sits down with recent graduate Dan Romano ‘23, this year’s male recipient of the Hope Athletics Be Strong. Be True. Athlete of the Year award, and Flying Dutchmen head football coach Peter Stuursma.
The Be Strong. Be True. Athlete of the Year award is presented to a male and female junior or senior who demonstrates the true essence of being a student-athlete and embodies the Division III motto of Discover, Develop, Dedicate. This student-athlete is in high academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.5), plays a significant role on the team, and is involved in the Hope and Holland community.
Later this summer, we will chat with the 2023 female recipient, senior swimmer Delaney Wesolek, and head swimming and diving coach Jake Taber. Both Wesolek and Romano received their awards during the HOPEYs ceremony in April.
“Taking advantage of every opportunity”
Romano packed in a lot of activity as a student-athlete at Hope:
- Majored in biomedical and mechanical engineering, minored in mathematics;
- Two-year starter on the football team while earning All-MIAA Second Team honors as a junior and recording a pair of 200-yard rushing games;
- Semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s Campbell Trophy that recognizes a college football student-athlete for his academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership;
- Served on Hope’s and MIAA’s ACT-SAAC (Athletes Coming Together-Student Athlete Advisory Council);
- Participated in a SEED (Sport Evangelism to Equip Disciples) trip in 202’
- Co-lead Bible study for the football team.
After graduating last month, Romano married Hannah Cross ‘23 and began working at Gentex Corporation as a product design engineer.
On the Hope Athletics Orange and Blue Podcast, Romano said he used his time as a student-athlete at Hope as an opportunity to grow, to meet people, to become just to become the better version of himself.
“I did find myself saying yes a lot and taking advantage of every opportunity that I could,” Romano said. “That just led me down a road to one being busy, but also just really growing in every aspect of my life. Whether it was football, academics my faith with the Bible study being a leader on ACT-SAAC, or repping the MIAA, they were all just like really cool opportunities I didn’t want to pass up on.
“I saw it more as like I want to excel in it and be the best that I can be in it.”