After 23 years at the helm of the athletic department of Bryan College, Dr. Sandy Zensen has retired from his position as the Director of Athletics. Dr. Zensen spent the years developing and growing the department; meanwhile, spending as much time investing in as many lives as he possibly could. He now transitions to a half-time teaching position as a Professor in Bryan’s Division of Christian Studies and Philosophy. Bryan baseball coach Taylor Hasty will take over the role as the Athletic Director.
Over the years, Dr. Zensen has developed and mentored numerous student-athletes on the pitch, in their studies, and as young people about to enter the real world. He met with multiple athletes on a weekly basis to teach them how to write papers and create good study habits. Zensen also met with athletes on a weekly basis to mentor them, some to help them develop in their Christian walk and others to just listen and advise on how to become better people. He always stressed to the athletes that he wanted to make them better people so that when they leave Bryan they will be better spouses, better parents, and better employees. He poured his life into the athletic department, its employees, and the student-athletes.
Dr. Zensen stated, “It’s been a great run, to say the least. I’ve had the privilege of doing what I love for nearly 24 years – coaching, teaching, discipling, even the administrative side of things. However, what I appreciated the most were those who I rubbed shoulders with on a daily basis – the students, players, and of course, my staff with whom I shared the ministry and the ups and downs of life. What could be better than that? I will greatly miss them, but I will remain forever grateful to each one and to God for permitting me the privilege of playing a small part in their personal and professional lives. ‘To God be the glory; great things He has done.'”
Bryan College President Dr. Stephen Livesay said, “Dr. Zensen has served well our college and student athletes, coaching our men’s soccer team and developing the soccer program into a perennial conference and NAIA regional powerhouse. In spite of his numerous coaching awards and the dozens of championships in the NAIA and the NCCAA, he would tell you the most important aspect of his coaching has been the spiritual guidance he has given the players on his teams as well as the mentoring of all the coaches in the Athletic Department. Dr. Zensen is known throughout the conference for building men of character on and off the field. The Appalachian Athletic Conference has named its annual award honoring the male soccer Champions of Character winner, the Dr. Sandy Zensen Champions of Character Award in recognition of his leadership of instilling godly character into the lives of his athletes.”
Coach Hasty commented, “It has been an honor and a privilege to coach under Coach Zensen’s leadership the past eight years. He has been a wonderful mentor and friend. I will always be grateful to him for giving me the opportunity to represent Bryan as its baseball coach. His wisdom and insight in the world of athletics and beyond will be missed around the department!”
Coach Hasty has been named the new Director of Athletics. He will continue his role as the head coach of the baseball program, which he has lead since 2009. Hasty has worked at the college since graduating from Bryan in 2006. He earned a Master of Sports Science degree in Sports Management from the United States Sports Academy in 2010. Hasty has shown success in athletics as he has led the team to record seasons and was named the Appalachian Athletic Conference Baseball Coach of the Year after the 2012 season.
Hasty stated, “It is humbling to be chosen to follow in Coach Z’s footsteps as the Director of Athletics. He has done such a wonderful job putting together the staff here at Bryan and I am grateful for the foundation he has laid. He accomplished so many things as an Athletic Director and was instrumental in touching so many lives. I pray that I will honor his legacy in the days, months and years ahead.”
“Taylor is a remarkable, talented, young man with a love for God and people alike,” commented Zensen. “I fully expect him to take the department and move it well beyond what I was able to do in my tenure. He is quality through and through, top to bottom. I saw that when I hired him some 5 or 6 years ago. He is going to do great, simply because God has prepared him for this task and has equipped him to successfully serve the cause of Christ and the mission of Bryan College.”
Dr. Livesay remarked, “We are excited to see Taylor Hasty named as the new Athletic Director at Bryan. Coach Hasty is well-qualified to continue and build upon the twin hallmarks of the Zensen era: developing teams of excellence and building men and women of godly character. Coach Hasty knows Bryan well, as a student-athlete and as head men’s baseball coach. As a former outstanding baseball player, Coach Hasty not only knows well the X’s and O’s of coaching, but he also brings a depth of character and desire to instill godly qualities into the lives of all our student-athletes. Coach Hasty’s vision for Bryan athletics will soon raise the visibility of the college and all its programs. The future of Bryan athletics is very bright in the hands of Coach Hasty.”