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Wood Sees World-Class Student-Athlete Experience from Both Angles

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K-State's Daniel Wood studies a putt during the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate at Colbert Hills Golf Club in Manhattan, Kansas on September 30, 2013. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)

May 6, 2014
By Kelly McHugh

Men's golf senior Daniel Wood is serious about golf, his future, and after an internship last summer with the Ahearn Fund, he's serious about business.

Though he is a senior athletically, academically Wood is finishing up his first year in K-State's Master's of Business Administration program and said both working with the Ahearn Fund and being a student-athlete has opened his eyes to the world of business administration within collegiate athletics. 

"I think (K-State athletic director) John Currie has the coolest job in the world, I really do," Wood said with a smile as he sat in the Colbert Hills clubhouse. "Being in that atmosphere, I was able to learn what a job such as Mr. Currie's entails. This past summer was a really neat opportunity for me in that the Ahearn Fund was preparing to open up the West Stadium Center. Talking to them about all that they were doing with the support of K-Staters everywhere, it was really eye opening." 

The best of both worlds, through his internship experience Wood had the opportunity to see what goes into creating a world-class student-athlete career, while through his time as a student-athlete he has had the opportunity to see how the hard work of K-State athletic administrators is put to use. 

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"What I learned was that as a K-State golfer I receive a scholarship, and the value of that scholarship can't be put into words, or numbers for that matter," he explained. "But that has to come from somewhere, and it's amazing what I learned being able to work the phones and have personal interactions that allowed me to meet people who make my experience possible as a student-athlete.

"I want to be able to better cater to their needs. I think I could do that as an athletic administrator."

A standout student-athlete, Wood is a three-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 recipient and has been the only Big 12 golfer to obtain a perfect 4.0 GPA each of the past two seasons.

With goals set in place for his future, where Wood is serious about school and business off the course, he is equally as serious about golf and competing on the course.

The same seriousness, passion and drive Wood shows as he continues to work towards securing a bright future in business, head coach Tim Norris said those same attitudes shine through his "tremendous work ethic" on the golf course.

After carding a 3-over par 277 for a seventh-place finish at the 2014 Big 12 Championship on April 27 in Trinity, Texas, Wood will cap off his Wildcat career with a trip to the NCAA Columbia (Mo.) Regional, May 15-17, at the Club at Old Hawthorne as on Monday he was selected to compete an individual.

After a senior season where he has played some of his best golf, including three top-10 finishes (fourth at the Cowboy Classic, fifth at the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate and seventh at the Big 12 Championship), Norris said he has confidence in Wood's play going into the regional tournament.

"He's playing awfully well," said Norris. "It's hard to advance as an individual, but it's is the NCAA Championship and the level of golf now has never been higher. The actual championship is at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan., so if he makes it there, he's played there several times. We'll see what happens."

Now going into his final collegiate golfing experience, Wood can't help but look back over what has been a long, exciting career. After a successful freshman and sophomore season, Wood spent two years (2009-11) on a church mission in the Dominican Republic before returning to K-State and rejoining the team for the 2012-13 season.

"When I first came in, I was really excited because as someone getting ready to play Big 12 sports and playing for a school that's a force in that conference, it was a real privilege and something that truly motivated me to go out and work every day," Wood said. "The newness of that has worn off a little, but the excitement and the passion and the motivation are all still there."

Wood is the first Wildcat to obtain a regional bid since Mitchell Gregson and Joe Ida in 2010 and was one of 45 individuals selected for regional play. He joins five other individual competitors - Pep Angels (Centeral Arkansas), Matt Mabrey (Tulsa), Logan McCracken (Tulsa) and Alex Taylor (Fairfield) - at the NCAA Columbia Regional.

"I love competing, I love being out there playing against some of the best golfers in the country and wearing purple, having the K-State name on my chest as I do that," concluded Wood. "Competing at K-State has been such a blessing to me, such a phenomenal opportunity. It's been fun, it's been challenging and it's been rewarding."

 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.