Patrick Gathof’s playing career may have come to an end, but he’s not quite ready to stop mixing successful athletics and academics.
The former Beloit Memorial High School soccer standout will serve as an assistant soccer coach at Milwaukee School of Engineering next fall while seeking his Master’s degree on a Graduate Tuition Grant.
Not to mention he’ll also continue to serve as an Engineering intern at J.W. Speaker Corporation in Germantown, Wis.
“I’m going to be busy juggling work, grad school and soccer, plus I’ll help plan for MSOE hosting the next (Industrial Engineers North Central) Regional Conference.”
First up for the 2010 BMHS grad will be collecting his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering in May, along with minors in Mathematics and Business Management.
His playing career was capped last fall when he was named to the North/Central Scholar All-Region Second Team. He earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-State First Team honors and earned All-Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference Second-Team honors for the third time in his career.
Gathof, a four-year starter for the Purple Knights, didn’t start his first few games at MSOE as a freshman. He scored a goal against Wisconsin Lutheran in his first start and then started every game since.
“At the end of my sophomore year I talked to the coach about being a team captain,” Gathof said. “I said, ‘Patrick, I only take seniors as captains.’ I told him I was a captain as a sophomore at Beloit Memorial and the following two years so I know what it means to be in a leadership role. He did something he’d never done before. He put it up to a team vote and they voted me to be a captain as a junior. That was exciting for me.”
As a senior, Gathof had his leadership skills tested.
“We had a lot of trouble on defense to start the season,” he said. “I hadn’t played defense since my freshman year in high school, but I switched roles.”
He went from more of an attacking role to a central defensive role. His scoring dropped off (two goals), but he was key on a defense that posted a 1.16 goals against average and shut out five opponents.
“My dad told me that no matter what position I play I should try to make sure I’m the best player I can be at that position,” Gathof said. “That advice kept me motivated.”
The Raiders were 10-6-3 overall and 6-4 in conference play during an injury-plagued season.
“We had two torn ACLs in the preseason and one of our better forwards broke his toe,” Gathof said. “We didn’t have the best of luck when it came to avoiding injuries. Our freshmen class had to step up.”
Gathof is currently an Engineering intern at J.W. Speaker Corporation in Germantown, Wis., and he will continue with the business through his grad school.
“After that they will offer me a position,” Gathof said. “I’ve experienced some terrific management there. I would definitely consider it.”
On March 6, Gathof attended the annual Institute of Industrial Engineers North Central Regional Conference in South Dakota. He took first place in the Undergraduate Student Technical Paper Competition, presenting his capstone project from MSOE which involved designing a demand-driven inventory planning system for Benz Oil, a lubricant manufacturing company in Milwaukee.
“I was extremely confident going into the competition,” he said. “At MSOE they really prepare you well.”
With first in the competition came $500 and the opportunity to compete at the international level at the 2014 International Industrial Engineering Expo in Montreal on May 30.
In September, he’ll start his 15-month Master’s degree program and also serve as assistant soccer coach. The Regional Conference held in South Dakota will be hosted by MSOE in March, 2015, and Gathof has been selected to be the Conference Co-Chair for the Planning Committee.
“That means I will manage 25 different team members on different committees raising money for the conference, creating workshops, acquiring speakers, planning tours, arranging for food and meeting places,” Gathof said.
• NOTES: Gathof graduated from BMHS in 2010. He was captain of the Purple Knights soccer team for three seasons and played four years on the varsity. Also finishing his career with MSOE was fellow BMHS grad Bob Polglaze.