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To my alma mater, with thanks

NCAA After the Game launched an initiative in 2018 to bring together former student-athletes in regions around the country and provide them the opportunity to bond over their shared connection to college sports. Thus far, former student-athlete networking events have been held in Indianapolis, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta and Tampa, Florida, and have attracted more than 700 former college athletes.

The events not only spark conversation and camaraderie but also give participants a chance to reflect on a unique time in their lives. At each event, attendees write notes of thanks to the people and the programs that helped shape their college experience. Whether it’s a heartfelt note to a coach or a spirited letter to their alma mater, many participants choose to express their gratitude through the written word. Below are a sampling of these notes.

Dear Coach Tony,

Thank you so much for all that you’ve done for me over the years! I am now able to have a successful life after college because of your help and belief in me. Again, thank you for all that you have done to lead me to success! Your encouragement and faith in me doesn’t go unnoticed!

Emani Collins, West Georgia track and field

Notre Dame,

Thank you for all of the opportunities that you gave me as a student-athlete. I would not be where I am today without that experience. It truly was the best 4 years of my life. Go Irish!

Kyle Fiala, Notre Dame baseball

Thank you for believing in me. All of the skills I learned here have been beneficial to my career. I often think back to Coach Ayers saying, “Both feet in the boat, and both hands on the oar.” Continue to groom great young men.

Qay Bell, Wofford football

To Clemson,

Thank you for the family, wonderful memories, and lessons that you taught me over my 3 years. Walking on to the rowing team was one of the toughest and best things I’ve ever done. You’ve helped me to become a strong, hardworking and determined person in everything that I do. As always, go Tigers!

Gemma Davis, Clemson women’s rowing

Randolph-Macon Athletics –

Thank you for a wonderful student-athlete experience! Keep building the champions of tomorrow. Go Jackets!!

Audrey Hester, Randolph-Macon women’s lacrosse


View the thank you notes gallery.

Interested in networking with former NCAA student-athletes? Learn more.