The Spartan Podcast

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On this edition of MSU Today, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis talk with Suzy Merchant, Walt Drenth, Leah O’Connor and Bob Groves.

Merchant is the head coach of Spartans women’s basketball; Drenth coaches men’s and women’s track and cross country at MSU and O’Connor is arguably the most accomplished female athlete in Spartan sports history. Bob Groves leads MSU University Advancement.

Merchant says social media “is the biggest thing we deal with now” and talks about student-athletes “learning to stumble” and how they “want some space.” She comments on rule changes coming to women’s college basketball next season and says she likes the nucleus of her team and is looking forward to the coming season.

Drenth and O’Connor were key participants in MSU’s national championship in cross country last fall. O’Connor is a multiple Big Ten champion as well. “It was pretty magical last fall,” says Drenth.

“We just had to be really gutsy and run for each other. When we crossed the finish line, we knew something special had happened,” adds O’Connor.”

Groves and his team are leading the university’s Empower Extraordinary fundraising campaign.

“It’s really hard to be excellent unless you have the fuel for the rocket,” says Groves. “The support of our alumni and friends is really what allows us to do our very best work.”

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