May 19, 2024
Dean Tate of the Wittenberg Tigers

Dean Tate is from Indianapolis, Indiana, and he intends to graduate from his Masters in Sports Administration in 2025. He plays football and basketball at Wittenberg.

Bailee Lyons: What inspires you? 

Dean Tate: My inspirations, I always say, is my family, probably number one, just because I always remember the sacrifices they made, like my mom. My mom made setting a good example for my little brother and I a priority. I have an older brother too, so growing up like in the three boy household, we used to play fight all the time with each other and all that; they might be my haters too. So, they push me in that type of way. 

BL: What is your educational and athletic journey that led you to Witt? 

DT: I graduated with a communications degree from Ball State, and I wanted to pursue my master’s because I eventually thought I wanted to be a head college football coach. I changed my mind on that, but as far as from athletic point of view, I mean just honestly just playing all the sports since I was little. Transferring in through my recruiting process it really did not matter to me where I went, I just wanted to play the games that I grew up just playing and falling in love with. 

BL: What is your favorite memory from both sports? 

DT: My favorite basketball memory must be winning state and going undefeated in high school. I think it might still be still be an Indiana record, I am not sure, but we went 32-0 and went to the state championship. As far as football goes, I would say my favorite memory might be scoring my first touchdown ever. I still remember that vividly and the play that I got the ball and scored a touchdown, so I will say that. 

BL: How long have you played football and basketball? 

DT: I’ve been playing basketball since I was four. I have been playing football since I was probably 5 or 6 so yes, all my life. 

BL: What positions do you play in both sports? 

DT: Football… I mean I pretty much played every position, except for except for the line, like I mean I’m not big enough to play line, but I mean just going outside like playing with my friends, like it just taught me how to just be an all around athlete and just play any position the coach would ask me to play, so football, I would say really just being an athlete. Basketball, mainly either point guard or shooting guard. 

BL: What is a moment that impacted you the most throughout your life? 

DT: I will have to say just having talks with my grandma. She’s passed away now, but when she was still alive, we used to have all kinds of sports talks, she was a big sports fan. Stephen Curry was her favorite player. She used to just keep me on my toes a lot, even outside of sports, like with my grades and life lessons in general. So, I would say that was a turning point. 

Tate won the football team MVP: 

I mean that was that was big for me, just coming in being a new guy, I just kind of wanted to just kind of fit in. I did not want to be I guess like overstaying my welcome, or I do not really know how to put it, but I just want to be like the guy that just fit in well with everybody on the team. So, it was kind of a big thing for me just kind of being recognized for like all the hard work that I put in and with the guys, because I mean we had a good season like we went 7-3, and I feel like that was a good season. 

BL: You were also named 2018 Indiana All-Star, so how did that feel especially in Indiana? 

DT: Indiana is big on basketball, and that was crazy. I did not think that that was going to happen because our team was like we had all around like good team and for them to pick me out of everybody like it was an honor and being on that stage being recognized as All Star. Many people do not get that, so it is important, and I will be grateful for that, but I also shout out to my teammates because we went undefeated, and we want to state championships, so it would not have been possible without them. 

BL: You’re a reliable receiver; talk about your college playing career at Ball State. 

DT: It all just started just being a kid in the neighborhood, and I wanted to be in the house all day; just trying to go outside and be active. My neighborhood had a lot of people there, so we would just switch activities just throughout the day whether it was basketball, football, dodgeball, kickball. So just starting there then, honestly, just falling in love with the game just staying with it. My mom makes sacrifices like taking me to practice extra workouts, after she had been to work, so shout out to her for that. Then like just growing up in the all-boy household like we all played every sport; if I played a sport my brothers played the sport. Being around my brothers and them being my biggest haters. Even this past season, if I ran a bad route, missed the block, dropped the ball or something, I know that as soon as I get in that locker room, I am going to have a text from one of my brothers saying something just getting on me. So, yes, shout out to them like being my biggest haters, but I know it is all love. 

BL: In basketball this season, what was your favorite moment? 

DT: I’ll say my favorite moment was probably beating DePauw at home just before the game and seeing the whole football team just walk in, and I didn’t know they were coming. Literally all of them, plus the coaching staff was there to support me and the basketball team, and that was a big moment and we got the win so that was that was good. 

BL: What was your favorite moment of the football season? 

DT: I will have to say I am scoring my first touchdown. It felt pretty good. That was one of my goals coming in like just getting in the end zone so to accomplish that goal was pretty good. I had that weight off my shoulders. 

BL: If you had one word to describe the teams, how would you describe them? 

DT: For the football team one word I would have to say was random, because there are so many personalities within the whole team or within, like, one specific position group. Everybody just keeps you on your toes. You never know what somebody is going to say or what comment or what type of joke is going to come out. I feel like it is a gift and a curse, but I mean I like it just because it keeps me on my toes, and I always have a smile on my face when I am around the football team, and we have a lot of personalities on the basketball team too. The basketball team is just like a smaller select people so I would say it is easier to chill with the guys. They were close throughout the season and even now just outside basketball just hanging around with them, so I mean, we are a tight group. 

One of the other reasons why I came here is just to kind of pursue my career after athletics and just kind of stand around the game. The game gave me so much, I feel like it is just time to pass my knowledge down to other players.  

BL: What do you feel like your role was on those teams? 

DT: I feel like I had a major role on the football team being all conference. I would say as the leading receiver, it was a big weight on my shoulders, but nothing that I could not handle. Coming in, I mean I would not want any other role but to try to be the best player that I could be.  

BL: Any closing thoughts?

DT: I just appreciate everybody who is involved in bringing me here, and anyone who has been here throughout my journey. I am just grateful, I mean to be here now, trying to join the coaching staff to create better players better young men and like perfect my craft and coaching so I am just I am happy to be here, and I am grateful for everybody who is along through the journey. 

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