Bulldogs – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Thu, 10 Mar 2022 20:03:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.4 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Bulldogs – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 Search underway for new Bulldogs basketball coach; Baucom contract will not be extended https://today.citadel.edu/search-underway-for-new-bulldogs-basketball-coach-baucom-contract-will-not-be-extended/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 20:03:20 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=31131 The Citadel head basketball coach, Duggar Baucomduring the opening round of the SoCon tournament against ETSU on March 4, 2022.The Citadel head basketball coach, Duggar Baucomduring the opening round of the SoCon tournament against ETSU on March 4, 2022.“We thank him for his leadership and the significant impact he made on our basketball program since he began coaching the Bulldogs in 2015."]]> The Citadel head basketball coach, Duggar Baucomduring the opening round of the SoCon tournament against ETSU on March 4, 2022.The Citadel head basketball coach, Duggar Baucomduring the opening round of the SoCon tournament against ETSU on March 4, 2022.

Photo above: The Citadel head basketball coach, Duggar Baucom during the opening round of the Southern Conference tournament against ETSU on March 4, 2022.

The Citadel is exploring potential replacements for Bulldogs’ basketball coach, Duggar Baucom, the head men’s basketball coach since 2015. The 2021-22 basketball season will be his last in that role.

“The Citadel is grateful for Coach Baucom’s professionalism and dedication,” said The Citadel Athletics Director, Mike Capaccio. “We thank him for his leadership and the significant impact he made on our basketball program since he began coaching the Bulldogs in 2015. We wish Duggar the very best in his future endeavors.”

The college granted Baucom a one year extension in 2021 and has decided not to renew the coach’s contract. The Bulldogs finished the current season with 12 losses and six wins in the SoCon regular season.

During his career Baucom has had 15 former players make it to the professional ranks, including Kevin Martin who played 12 seasons in the NBA and Reggie Williams who played seven seasons in the NBA. During the 2020-21 campaign, The Citadel finished with a winning record for the first time since 2008-09, recording a 13-12 mark.

“We are actively looking for a new head coach to lead our basketball team to the next level,” added Capaccio. “We hope to have that person in place and ready to go before training for the next season begins.”

The Citadel has had 112 basketball seasons and 30 head coaches. See the full list of the Bulldogs’ head basketball coaches here.

The Citadel Athletics media contact

Media with questions about this announcement should contact The Citadel Athletics Department’s communications representative, John Brush, at jbrush@citadel.edu or by calling (270) 293-0590. 

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The Citadel to upgrade scoreboard, video at Johnson Hagood Stadium https://today.citadel.edu/the-citadel-to-upgrade-scoreboard-video-at-johnson-hagood-stadium/ Thu, 24 Jun 2021 12:36:08 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24980 A rendering of the new scoreboard at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium. ProvidedA rendering of the new scoreboard at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium. ProvidedThe gift from Bill Varner (Class of 1973) will pay for a new system.]]> A rendering of the new scoreboard at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium. ProvidedA rendering of the new scoreboard at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium. Provided

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jeff Hartsell

Photo above: A rendering of the new scoreboard at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium.

A gift of $1.2 million from a graduate of The Citadel will fund an upgrade of the scoreboard and video board at Johnson Hagood Stadium, the school announced June 23.

The gift from Bill Varner (Class of 1973) will pay for a new system with six LED displays and a new audio system from Daktronics to replace the aging scoreboard at the football stadium.

The donation is part of the Class of 1973′s 50th reunion campaign, and the class also aims to create an endowment of $300,000 to maintain the system. The new board will be known as the “Class of 1973 Scoreboard.”

“The Citadel is looking forward to working with Daktronics on this very exciting project,” said Mike Capaccio, director of athletics for The Citadel. “This is the next step in our stadium enhancement project at Johnson Hagood Stadium and will provide our fans a great experience with the newest technology available for a video board.”

The new board will be in place for the 2021 season, with a center video display measuring 26½ feet high by 51½ feet wide, with four side displays measuring 15½ feet by 13 feet. An auxiliary display measures about 7 feet by 18 feet. The six displays feature 15HD pixel layouts for enhanced clarity and contrast, the school said.

A Sportsound 2000 audio system will be integrated into the video and scoring system, providing “full-range sound reproduction” and “clear and intelligible speech for an exceptional listening experience for those in the stadium.”https://57160aa0212f8f5acf9f22baf86d1ad9.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The main video display and auxiliary display are capable of “variable content zoning,” allowing each display to show one large image or multiple zoned images including any combination of live video, instant replays, up-to-the-minute statistics, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages.

Daktronics will also be including its “Show Control” solution with the installation. It provides a combination of display control software, video processing, data integration and playback hardware to form a user-friendly production solution.

The Class of 1973 is aiming toward a $7.3 million fundraising goal for its 50th reunion, the highest goal ever for a 50th reunion campaign, according to Jonathan Walker of The Citadel Foundation.

The Citadel’s home opener is set for Sept. 11 against Charleston Southern, and the Bulldogs will have six home games in 2021. 

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Buy or renew your season tickets now for Bulldogs’ fall football https://today.citadel.edu/buy-or-renew-your-season-tickets-now-for-bulldogs-fall-football/ Wed, 26 May 2021 12:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=24486 "We are really excited about getting all of Bulldog Nation back inside Johnson Hagood Stadium in the fall."]]>

New Family Zone seating available this fall

Season ticket packages are on sale for the 2021 Bulldogs’ football games for what is expected to be a return to normal playing conditions at Johnson Hagood Stadium in the fall.

The Citadel’s first home game will be held Sept. 11. The Bulldogs will take on Charleston Southern. There are six home games, including the match against Virginia Military Institute. The full season schedule can be found here.

“We are really excited about getting all of Bulldog Nation back inside Johnson Hagood Stadium in the fall,” said The Citadel’s head coach, Brent Thompson. “Our players feed off the energy from our fans. Let’s sell out all six home games this season and continue to create the best atmosphere in the Southern Conference.”

Package prices vary per seat depending on the location and range from $150 – 200 each, including the new Family Zone seating section. Mini-season packages for three games are also available from $95 – $135.

Current season ticket holders have until June 18 to renew their seats. Seat selection for new season ticket holders will occur from July 7 – 16. In addition, Pearson Club Seats and Executive Suite Access are available. Parking passes will be distributed during August.

For updated season ticket timelines, information about renewing season tickets and answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

All Bulldogs fans can contribute to free passes for first responders and veterans through The Citadel Holy City Heroes program. For every $10 contribution, The Citadel Athletics will invite a local first responder or military personnel to a game to thank them for their service to our community. Contribute to the Holy City Heroes Campaign here.

ORDER OR RENEW SEASON TICKETS HERE.

Please send questions by email to ticketoffice@citadel.edu or calls (843) 953-3647.

The Citadel football team plays Furman University in the 100th meeting between the two teams at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
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From Bulls to Bulldogs — the first game of the year is up in the air https://today.citadel.edu/from-bulls-to-bulldogs-the-first-game-of-the-year-is-up-in-the-air/ Wed, 09 Sep 2020 14:56:47 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18430 Just one month into Capt. Julie Dewey's new job at The Citadel, the Bulldogs will kick off their football season playing her alma mater, the University of South Florida.]]>

Photo: Capt. Julie Dewey, USAF, holding the University of South Florida Bull Horn sign outside McAlister Field House on The Citadel campus

Even in an unusual football season, there’s at least one thing that can always be counted on — football fans pulling for their favorite team. Sometimes that team is their alma mater — sometimes it’s based on where they live or work — and sometimes fans find themselves stuck between the two.

That’s the position Capt. Julie Dewey, USAF, finds herself in this year.

Just one month into her new job at The Citadel, the Bulldogs will kick off their football season playing her alma mater, the University of South Florida, where she graduated in 2014.

Julie Dewey at her 2014 graduation

Learn more about one of the college’s newest professors of Aerospace Studies — as well as who she thinks will win the game — below.

Why did you choose to attend USF?

I honestly don’t even remember — I think by process of elimination. My only major criteria when choosing a college were that it was in Florida and had an AFROTC program. I didn’t really want to go to any of the “bigger” schools in Florida and just sort of landed at USF.

How often did you go to football games while you were a student?

Pretty often. It was free for students to attend the games and, win or lose, it was always a fun time.

What was your favorite part of your time there?

I loved college, so that’s tough! I would say my favorite part was all of the awesome people that I met–including my husband. If I had to pick one specific memory, it would probably be my Air Force commissioning ceremony.

Julie Dewey at her commissioning ceremony in 2014

What made you want to work in a college ROTC department?

I have wanted to come back to AFROTC ever since I graduated. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I had amazing instructors when I went through the AFROTC program, some of whom I still talk to today. I also just enjoy training and education and think I might want to be a teacher after my time in the Air Force.

How did you find yourself at The Citadel?

Mostly through luck and coincidence. My husband is also in the Air Force and, because of his job, he can only be stationed at a handful of installations across the country. Joint Base Charleston is one of the bases he can go to, and The Citadel happened to have an open position. I didn’t think the chances that I would be selected for this position were very high, but I applied anyway and here I am!

Did you know about The Citadel before coming to teach here?

I knew of The Citadel insofar as I’d heard of it and knew it was a military college, but that was about it.

How do The Citadel and USF’s ROTC programs differ?

The AFROTC programs are actually very similar. Our cadets are getting the same training as cadets at any other university. What’s very different is the 24/7 military environment that Citadel cadets live in, as part of attending a Senior Military College.

As an alum, are you a big fan of USF football?

I would say so. I watch the games whenever I can. We’re no football powerhouse, but that makes it even more exciting when we do win!

Who do you think is going to win? Who do you want to win?

Unfortunately, I think The Citadel is the underdog this weekend. It’s a tough choice but, because I teach some of the football players, I’ll be pulling for the Bulldogs. Either way, it’s a win-win.

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The Best Player Who Wears No. 16 Is The Citadel’s Brandon Rainey https://today.citadel.edu/the-best-player-who-wears-no-16-is-the-citadels-brandon-rainey/ Mon, 24 Aug 2020 13:46:45 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=18061 Throughout the May-August months, HERO Sports is going to name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-1, based on the 2019 season.]]>

As seen on HERO Sports, by Sam Herder

Welcome to the 2020 FCS Jersey Countdown.

Throughout the May-August months, HERO Sports is going to name the best returning FCS player by jersey number, 99-1. Due to rosters being updated at different times for teams across the country and to keep things consistent, jersey numbers are based on the 2019 season.

The full 99-1 countdown/schedule can be found here.

16: Brandon Rainey, QB (Sr.) — The Citadel

A dual-threat QB, Rainey runs The Citadel’s option offense to perfection.

The 2020 HERO Sports preseason All-American First Team “athlete” is coming off of a season where he rushed for 900 yards and 17 touchdowns off of 240 attempts. He also went 62-for-122 passing for 1,114 yards and 13 touchdowns with four interceptions.

Rainey was named on our 2019 postseason All-American Third Team.

At 6-foot and 205 pounds, Rainey runs like a RB when he’s carrying the ball. In fact, he converted from QB to FB as a redshirt freshman in 2017 due to injuries, rushing for 505 yards and two touchdowns while being named to the All-SoCon Freshman Team.

In 2018, Rainey resumed his backup QB roles. With the Bulldogs sitting with a 2-5 record, Rainey was inserted as the starting QB. The Citadel won three of its final four games as Rainey ran for more than 400 yards combined in his first two starts.

That finish to the 2018 season led to a standout year in 2019.

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Filling the connection gap for athletes during COVID-19 https://today.citadel.edu/filling-the-connection-gap-for-athletes-during-covid-19/ Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:01:46 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=15059 Shot of woman soccer player with intense game faceShot of woman soccer player with intense game faceAthletes who are practicing social distancing now have to turn to social media and technology to stay in touch with their friends and fellow athletes in quarantine.]]> Shot of woman soccer player with intense game faceShot of woman soccer player with intense game face

By Hayden Hollinger, The Citadel

Show us your #gameface!

As COVID-19 continues to restrict the public by forcing more and more people to stay in their homes, like many others, athletes are left with a gap in their lives. To go from practicing four to five times a week — and living on a college campus surrounded by friends — to a sudden lock-down may seem like a welcome break for some, but a couple of days later, the lack of practice, competition, and socialization begins to take its toll.

Athletes of all ages and abilities, from areas across the country and even the world, are taking a hit to their routines. Athletes who are practicing social distancing now have to turn to social media and technology to stay in touch with their friends and fellow athletes in quarantine.

As many will tell you, the best thing about being part of a team is the relationships you form with teammates. Fortunately, many social media trends have helped people come together through their love of sports and exercising while promoting social connections online. Some of these include a “See 10, Do 10” push-up challenge, and a toilet paper ten juggle challenge for soccer players still hoping to stay connected anyway they can.

With both challenges, the idea is to complete the task and then nominate ten people of your choosing to attempt the challenge, who then continue it by sharing with their friends on Twitter or Instagram profiles. While a simple concept, these challenges are encouraging one another to stay active and continue to interact with friends in different ways than they may have before.

The Citadel football team participates in an annual spring game, featuring XFL rules and player-coaches, on Summerall Field at The Citadel on Saturday, March 7, 2020

Another active challenge athletes of many ages are enjoying is the #GameFaceChallenge. This one consists of nominated people posting a photo of themselves playing their sport, with an emphasis on the pictures not being as flattering as one has come to expect for Instagram or other photo sharing platforms. (Think “guitar-face” but for sports).

Again, all of these challenges offer lighthearted ways to connect with teammates and other athletes during this the difficult times that we are facing. Ranging from professional athletes, to aspiring-athlete children, the challenges have been attempted by people of all abilities, showcasing the togetherness that has continued to unite people together through social media.

As a coach and lifelong athlete, I believe it is very important to stay physically active at all times, but especially during times of great anxiety and stress. Equally, checking in on our athlete-friends and knowing they’re okay too will lead to better health at a time when creativity scores big.

Hayden Hollinger is a graduate assistant coach for The Citadel’s women soccer team. Hollinger also works as a graduate assistant in The Citadel’s Office of Communications and Marketing. He is originally from Inverness, Scotland.

The Citadel 2018-19, football, East Tennessee State University, Gen. Walters
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Citadel Notes: Turf going in at football stadium, coach’s contract update, good grades https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-notes-turf-going-in-at-football-stadium-coachs-contract-update-good-grades/ Wed, 15 Jan 2020 19:24:14 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=13213 The Citadel is ready to install artificial turf at Johnson Hagood Stadium, with the new surface slated to be finished by the end of April.]]>

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jeff Hartsell

The Citadel is ready to install artificial turf at Johnson Hagood Stadium, with the new surface slated to be finished by the end of April.

The synthetic surface, made by Sporturf, will cost $1.5 million and is being paid for by a donor, athletic director Mike Capaccio told a committee of the military school’s Board of Visitors on Tuesday. Installation will begin by the end of January.

Replacing the natural grass at Johnson Hagood will allow the school to more readily host events other than the five or six home football games the Bulldogs usually play per season, Capaccio said.

“It allows us to do other things,” he told the board. “We’ve heard from rugby, lacrosse, soccer groups that want to come to Charleston. We need to use (the stadium) more than five times a year, and we’re going to have some opportunities because of the facility and the location.”

Concerts and high school football games are other events that the 11,500-seat stadium can more readily host due to the turf, he said.

The Citadel received approval from the state for the new turf in December after a “long, hard-fought battle,” said Jeff Lamberson, vice president of facilities and engineering.

Capaccio described the new surface as “state of the art” and “cutting edge.”

“It will be very low maintenance and should have a longevity of nine to 12 years,” he said. “There’s a padding underneath, but only the carpet on top will have to be replaced when it’s time.”

Citadel officials say they are still raising money for the planned renovation of the east side of Johnson Hagood Stadium, which currently has temporary stands. 

Baucom’s contract

Citadel basketball coach Duggar Baucom signed a five-year contract when he was hired in 2015, a deal set to expire on April 30, 2020.

Not reported at the time: The contract also included an automatic one-year extension that kicked in after Baucom’s first season, extending the deal to April 30, 2021, and making it in effect a six-year contract.

″… Should coach remain employed by Institution as head coach of varsity basketball on April 30, 2016, the term of his contract shall automatically extend until April 30, 2021,” reads the contract, signed by former athletic director Jim Senter.

Baucom has a record of 51-91 in his fifth season, including a 16-60 mark in Southern Conference play. He’s the first Citadel coach with double-digit wins in his first four seasons since Pat Dennis started his tenure with six seasons of double-digit wins in 1992-98.

Good grades

Citadel athletic teams posted a combined grade-point average of 3.142 for the fall 2019 semester, with 11 of the 13 programs at 3.0 or higher. 

The Citadel’s cadet student-athletes recorded a combined department grade-point average (GPA) of 3.142 for the Fall 2019 semester as 11 of The Citadel’s 13 athletics programs recorded a team GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Women’s golf led the way at 3.651, with basketball at 3.345, baseball at 3.2264 and football at 2.965.

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Operation: Remembering General https://today.citadel.edu/operation-remembering-general/ Fri, 11 Oct 2019 18:04:18 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=11062 The South Carolina Corps of Cadets will pay tribute to General Robert P. Carson, also called General or G2, at the Homecoming game against Mercer.]]>

The Citadel will send off one of its beloved mascots during Homecoming 2019

The South Carolina Corps of Cadets will pay tribute to General Robert P. Carson, also called General or G2, at the Homecoming game against Mercer.

Before the game, cadet mascot handlers will be with Boo, General co-mascot, at The Citadel Bulldog Mascot Memorial, on the northern side of Johnson Hagood Stadium. Boo will be there to interact with fans.

The Citadel Mascot Memorial, attached to Johnson Hagood Stadium (Courtesy: Lowcountry Monuments)

In honor of General, the Corps will execute “eyes left” as each company passes the mascot monument. The “eyes left” or “eyes right” command is ordered by each company commander to show respect.

Additionally, there will be various other tributes to General during the game.

The Bulldogs will play Mercer on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. in Johnson Hagood Stadium. For a more detailed Homecoming schedule, click here.

General was 8 years old when he passed away quietly in September. He loved going to football games, and was known to stand facing the corner of his back yard fence, pointing his nose to the direction of the stadium, early on Bulldogs’ home football game days.

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My ring story: where leadership and athletics meet https://today.citadel.edu/my-ring-story-where-leadership-and-athletics-meet/ Thu, 03 Oct 2019 19:34:16 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=11332 I could have gone to different colleges and universities for football. But I chose The Citadel because I did not want to go to a normal college.]]>

Photo, left to right: Blayne Hayes, Mark Weakland, Bailey Richardson, Adam Baker and Sam Dalenburg celebrating together after a Bulldogs football game

By Cadet Mark Matthew Weakland

The amount of obstacles you have to deal with at The Citadel will make you into someone of extraordinary character, abilities and strength.

Mark Weakland,left, and Sam Santiago
Mark Weakland, left, and Sam Santiago

My biggest challenge at The Citadel has been balancing academics, football, track, involvement with five clubs, and responsibilities within the Corps. It has been exceptionally difficult splitting my time between the Corps and sports. I try not to let it bother me, however, I get a lot of flack in the barracks for being an athlete and I get a lot of flack in the locker room for being very involved in the Corps.

One of my goals during my cadet career has been to unify the Corps and athletes, or “Corps Squad.” I believe the relationship between the two groups has gotten a lot better since my knob year. I think it comes from athletes caring more about being part of the Corps, and the Corps learning how hard it is to be a cadet athlete at our school.

My TAC Officer, Captain Wouter Sijtsma, Royal Netherlands Air Force, has been the most instrumental in my success here at The Citadel. He told me that I absolutely could be a company commander and that I should go for it. I did not think it was possible for a cadet-athlete, but Captain Sijtsma gave me the confidence to achieve the leadership position. He has been a mentor to me my whole time here and has believed in me even when I did not believe in myself. He opened my eyes to the possibilities and guided me on the way.

(Left to right) Mark Weakland, Samantha Weakland (Mother), Chris Weakland (Father), Emma Weakland (Sister), Josh Weakland (Brother), John Weakland (Brother)
(left to right) Mark Weakland, Samantha Weakland (Mother), Chris Weakland (Father), Emma Weakland (Sister), Josh Weakland (Brother), John Weakland (Brother)

There is no place that compares to what The Citadel can offer you. It gives you the chance to become the best person you can possibly be. I changed a lot as a person here at school. When I was in high school I was not organized at all. I was a mess. The Citadel taught me how to be organized and efficient with my space. It taught me discipline in every sense of the word.

(left to right) Mary-Ann Weakland (grandmother), Ron Weakland (grandfather), Mark Weakland, Joe Johns (grandfather), Pamela Johns (grandmother)
(left to right) Mary-Ann Weakland (grandmother), Ron Weakland (grandfather), Mark Weakland, Joe Johns (grandfather), Pamela Johns (grandmother)

The ring means everything to me. It’s a symbol of struggle and strife — it is a badge of honor. The ring is far more valuable than the gold it is made out of. The Citadel Ring is infused with the Corps’s values of honor, duty, and respect, as well as our honor code: “A cadet does not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.” That is something I take very seriously. The ring shows that you have passed the test.  It means you went through the four hard years of blood, sweat and tears. It means you have conquered the mountain named The Citadel.

I could have gone to different colleges and universities for football. But I chose The Citadel because I did not want to go to a normal college. I didn’t just want to play football; I did not want a normal college experience. I wanted to be challenged at the highest level. I chose The Citadel because I wanted to be a part of something special, something more, something challenging and difficult, something that would mold me to become the best man I can be. And that is exactly what I have gotten at Our Mighty Citadel.

Cadet Mark Matthew Weakland is from State College, Pennsylvania and is majoring in Education Social Studies. He is serving as the company commander of Romeo Company and plays as an offensive lineman for the Bulldogs football team.

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Citadel nursing program takes aim at looming shortage https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-nursing-program-applications/ Fri, 30 Nov 2018 20:56:01 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=5053 Citadel football player and nursing student Blake Oliveira (left) works with Dr. James Pelletier in the nursing labCitadel football player and nursing student Blake Oliveira (left) works with Dr. James Pelletier in the nursing labThe Citadel offers the only evening program for nursing in the area, and it offers every nursing course every semester.]]> Citadel football player and nursing student Blake Oliveira (left) works with Dr. James Pelletier in the nursing labCitadel football player and nursing student Blake Oliveira (left) works with Dr. James Pelletier in the nursing lab

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jeff Hartsell

Blake Oliveira came to The Citadel for two main reasons — to play football and to study sports management.

Then, the honors student from Maryville, Tenn., decided he wanted to study intelligence gathering and work for the FBI.

During a visit home during a break, a friend and football player at another school talked to Oliveira about nursing.

Fortunately for Oliveira, The Citadel’s Swain Department of Nursing had launched in the fall of 2017, enabling Oliveira and fellow cadets to study nursing at the military school.

The Citadel’s first nursing class graduates in May, with 20 evening undergraduates. There are currently 34 undergrad nursing students in The Citadel’s evening program, and another 13 members of the Corps of Cadets have declared nursing as their major.

From this year’s crop of freshman cadets, 24 are attempting admission to the program, which will be determined by their academic performance this year. The nursing program is in the process of being accredited, and final approval is expected in May.

The numbers so far are modest but could grow quickly as The Citadel takes aim at a looming nursing shortage. A recent report predicted that South Carolina could have the fourth-worst nursing shortage in the country by 2030.

The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis estimates South Carolina will need about 10,000 additional nurses over the next 12 years. And it predicts the state will have 6,400 too few registered nurses by 2028.

“The program gives more opportunities for cadets aside from what have been the traditional Citadel career paths,” said Citadel nursing professor James Pelletier, Ph.d. “A guy like Blake is an excellent example — an honors student and football player who had options to go different places.”

“We have 24 freshmen this year who are interested in nursing, and this is just our third go-around with the cadets. That’s pretty impressive and will only improve over time. We’re fairly limited during day classes with the number of seats, but at night there is room for growth and that will take off.”

The Citadel offers the only evening program for nursing in the area, and it offers every nursing course every semester. Students in the evening program do not have to be members of the Corps of Cadets. Other Charleston area schools also offer a variety of nursing degrees, including the Medical University of South Carolina and Trident Technical College.

“If you interview our night students, at least half say they’ve wanted to be nurses for 10 years,” Pelletier said. “But they couldn’t do it. They have jobs, families and it’s not a profession you can get into part time. This really fills a niche that was not available in the community.”

For Oliveira, one of the attractions of nursing is the promise of quickly finding a job after graduation, plus the chance to specialize as his career progresses.

“We talk about that in class all the time,” he said. “If you are a business major, you may or may not have the connections to find work right away. You might have to work odd jobs to get into it. But in nursing, there are not many hospitals that will turn away a brand new RN from college — especially as a guy, I think.”

Oliveira’s ultimate goal is to become a nurse anesthetist.

“The fact that you can specialize makes it exciting for future options,” he said. “I know I can go in as an RN, get my experience and move up to the next tier, and it’s mapped out. I know what I have to do to get there, and that’s exciting.”

The next deadline for admission into the evening undergraduate studies program is March 1. Applications are being accepted now. That group begins class in mid-May.

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