TVCC Hires New Rodeo Coach

(As printed in the Sept. 29, 2016 Argus Observer)

ONTARIO — Just in time for an upcoming rodeo, a new Treasure Valley Community College rodeo coach has been hired and has started his work.

Drew Pearson, the new full-time rodeo coach and livestock manager at the college’s livestock center found out he got the job Sept. 19, a surprise for the man who was one of 17 applicants for the position.

“I was stoked when I found out,” he added. “I knew coming in that I had big shoes to fill.”

Pearson is coming in to replace former rodeo coach Aaron Marts, who had coached the rodeo team for more than five years before stepping down in June 2016.

“Aaron was a good coach and a big loss to the program,” said Jared Higby, TVCC ag department chair in charge of the rodeo program. “He [Pearson], however, will be a good fit from what we’ve seen of him.”

New Rodeo Coach

TVCC sophomore and rodeo student Garrett Springer agreed, saying that he thought Pearson could benefit the team.

“I’ve known him for a while, and he knows his stuff,” Springer said.

Pearson comes to his position with 28 years of rodeo experience and is currently serving as president of the Idaho Cowboys Association, a role he took over from Marts. The two, Pearson said, have fought bulls together.

Monday evening was the first day of practice for Pearson and the team of about 48 to 50 TVCC student-athletes. The experience was a little nerve wracking for the man because he hasn’t run a college rodeo team before.

“We have a good quality team this year,” he said.

Seven athletes were 2015 qualifiers for the College National Finals Rodeo, in Casper, Wyoming.

Because he was hired so close to the season's beginning, Pearson said filling out the necessary paperwork to get his rodeo competitors signed up for upcoming competitions has been a challenge.

Three days of rodeo, Oct. 14-16, are quickly approaching. The first day will be a regional rodeo, followed by a Chukar rodeo on Oct. 15 and Oct. 16, Pearson said.

“We wish we could’ve hired a coach earlier this summer,” Higby said. “But we are confident in his ability and that he won’t need a whole lot of training.”

The staff, Higby said, was excited about Pearson stepping into the position.

The coach has made it his philosophy to make sure kids don’t worry so much about the minute details of a rodeo. Rather, he wants them to “give it your all and let the dice roll when you go out there,” he said.

Practice is a big part of that preparation, he said.

“I want the kids to enjoy practice time because it’ll come through in the arena,” Pearson said.

The new coach seems to understand that his role goes beyond rodeo for the students.

“I’m not just here for rodeo,” he said. “I want to see them get their degree. Everyone realizes that there will be a day when they need to step away. I want them to have something to fall back on.”

TVCC administration also expressed enthusiasm with the hiring of the new coach.

“We are very excited for our current and future rodeo student athletes to have Coach Pearson joining our program,” said TVCC President Dana Young. “Drew brings the experience and a great passion for the sport that will continue to build on the Chukar rodeo program’s success.”