This story was originally published as a City Colleges news blog titled “It’s Always Game Time for Olive-Harvey College Athletic Director Rob Fletcher” on July 19, 2022.
Sports may be in the off season at City Colleges of Chicago right now, but Rob Fletcher, the Director of Intercollegiate and Intramural Athletics at Olive-Harvey College, is busy making plans for the upcoming fall season. We asked Fletcher to share a little about his role and how he helps student-athletes succeed at Olive-Harvey College.
Can you describe your role as the Director of Athletics at Olive-Harvey College?
My job is to oversee Olive-Harvey’s four intercollegiate sports teams, which include women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, and men’s baseball. My responsibilities include team scheduling, serving as a coordinating official, handling gameday operations, overseeing National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) compliance and eligibility, and recruiting. I also oversee intramural athletics, which are sports programs offered to Olive-Harvey students that provide exercise and recreation in a relaxed yet structured environment.
What are the benefits of athletics at the college level?
On an individual level, college athletics have a positive impact on physical and mental wellness. They are good for school spirit and community engagement. Athletics here at Olive-Harvey help sports-minded young people reach their goals by helping them compete at the junior college level before going on to play for a four-year college or university.
Are athletic scholarships available at Olive-Harvey College?
Our scholarship program has recently expanded, and City Colleges provides each college in the district with the full scholarship allotment allowed by NJCAA. This is great news for Olive-Harvey athletics, as it has allowed us to nearly double our scholarship awards in all four of our intercollegiate sports teams! We now offer over a dozen full scholarships for students in each sport.
Can you tell us about the athletic facilities at Olive-Harvey College?
Our athletic facilities include a gymnasium, which is used by the women’s volleyball team, men’s and women’s basketball teams, and intramural sports programs. Olive-Harvey College is also the only City Colleges campus with a baseball field. Additionally, we have a fitness center with free weights and weight machines, treadmills, and other exercise equipment, where students and student-athletes alike can exercise and train.
What does the athletic recruiting process look like at Olive-Harvey College?
The recruiting process is complex, but we have dedicated coaches that work tirelessly to make sure we have full rosters and quality student athletes. Before meeting our team, students don’t always understand the benefits of participating in athletics at the community college level. We challenge the narrative and help prospective student-athletes understand that there are fantastic opportunities for academic and athletic support at City Colleges! We are here to help our students get a great education while making sure they are ready for future academic and athletic challenges at a four-year institution.
Where do student-athletes go after Olive-Harvey College?
Our student athletes often go to four-year colleges across the country, and many of them receive scholarships to play at their respective institutions. This year alone, our-student athletes earned scholarships to play at Dillard University, Bethesda University, and Judson University. We couldn’t be prouder of our athletes and love seeing where City Colleges takes them.
What is the best advice you would give to students hoping to succeed in community college athletics?
Student athletes should absolutely take advantage of the low-cost, high-quality education that community colleges have to offer, while staying committed to their study habits and athletic game. City Colleges of Chicago offers great tutoring programs, quality Wellness Centers, and other beneficial resources to help them become a successful student, athlete, and person.
Rob Fletcher has served as the Director of Athletics at Olive-Harvey College since 2019. Before joining the Olive-Harvey community, Fletcher worked in finance at Chicago Public Schools for 25 years and for the Chicago White Sox baseball team as their college recruiting coordinator and athletic director since 2007. He earned a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Grambling State University and a Master of Arts in educational leadership and administration from Concordia University Chicago. Fletcher is no stranger to college athletics—he earned awards for his athleticism as a third baseman on the Grambling State baseball team while an undergraduate student.