Osterman delivers welcome speech at Men's and Women's Academic Awards presentation
April 21, 2009
A three-time National Player of the Year for head coach Connie Clark's softball team, Cat Osterman was not just an athlete during her four years on the Forty Acres. Osterman left Texas as one of the Longhorns' most decorated student-athletes in history, but she left her mark in the classroom as well. The 6-2 southpaw was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and was honored as an Academic All-American during her sophomore season. Since graduating in the spring of 2007, Osterman went on to play in her second Olympic Games in 2008 and is now the pitching coach at DePaul University.
During her trip to Austin, TexasSports.com had the chance to sit down with the Texas Softball legend and learn about the value that she placed on education.
After experiencing life after graduation, how important is education, especially an education from The University of Texas? People need to realize the opportunity we have here at Texas. No matter where you go, The University of Texas is known. To be allowed the opportunity to earn that diploma with the seal of Texas on it and gain a quality education is something that should not be taken for granted. It shouldn't be looked at as, simply, "having to go to school." The academic part of being here is huge because it helps you further your education and eventually get a great quality job.
How is having a degree from Texas helped you so far in your time since graduating? Well obviously, I got a job, but I think more importantly, there have just been so many more connections out there for me. There are Texas alumni, whether they are athletes or not, in every city and you can network and use your ties to Texas to help get you into other places. For me personally, there's a lot of charity work I've done and a lot of business things in the works that have happened or are beginning to happen simply because I went to Texas. I'm not saying that other schools don't have that kind of networking ability, but I'm just saying that it is bigger here because we are Texas. We're a huge school and we are known.
How does graduating from Texas rank with the other great things you have accomplished in your life? I had a great athletic career, but by far, the second greatest experience I've ever had was walking across the stage and knowing that I completed something this grand. I don't want to say I did it on my own because we have the staff at the academic services offices that have certainly helped us along. However, academics are not a team sport. It's not like I had a coach who was teaching me how to pitch. So to a large extent it was an accomplishment I was proud to complete on my own. Your athletic career can be pushed back or forgotten over time, but no one forgets that you graduated from UT.
What was it like to come back and be able to salute the other student athletes who have been successful in the classroom? It's an honor to be asked to come back and speak. I was a little nervous, but it was fun. I think that anytime you can come back and show that you still support the people that follow you is a great opportunity. Plus, I love The University of Texas, and I always will. Coming back and having the opportunity to impart some wisdom to its students, to give a couple words of encouragement and tell of things that got you through school is a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.
How important and effective are the resources here at The University of Texas? It was hugely important for me. I took a year off between my sophomore and junior year for the Olympics, and when I came back I struggled to get back into the swing of things, but I was able to utilize Dr. Randa Ryan and the entire academic staff which not only helped me, but gave me a push in the right direction. I think I was the only junior and senior who was still in study hall with some of the freshmen and sophomores, but for me it was what I needed to get focused and on track. Anything you need is here at The University of Texas. Being able to utilize it all is an individual opportunity. There is no reason not to succeed.
For any student, what would your parting words be for them while they're here at UT? Push yourself to the max in everything you do. Not necessarily taking as many hours as possible, but challenging yourself in the classroom as much as you do on the field. I think many of us just try and get by and really that doesn't help in the long run. You get into the real world, outside of college, and you start to feel like you should have paid attention. Push yourself to be all you can be in both areas because it is absolutely worth it.