Meet Trey: Physical and health education (B.S.'12)

"WMU wanted to take me to the next step and prepare me for not only an occupation, but I think for life."

  • What is your title and role at the Grand Rapids Gold?

    I'm the Chief Operating Officer of the Grand Rapids Gold, the G-League team for the Denver Nuggets (NBA).

  • Can you tell us about your career journey?

    I graduated Western with the physical education degree and started teaching. Loved it and was then presented with an opportunity to help launch at the time the Grand Rapids Drive. I always knew that I had a passion for teaching and could go back to teaching anytime, but this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity. So I took a chance and started here in community relations. So being able to give back to the community and being involved with the youth felt like a good fit for me.

    Three years later, I was promoted to Vice President of Operations and then two years later to be the Chief Operating Officer of the Gold.

  • Can you tell us about the history of the Grand Rapids Gold?

    So originally the team was the Grand Rapids Drive when we launched in 2014. And we began as the minor league team of the Detroit Pistons. We had a nice relationship with them from 2014 up until 2021, but that's when they wanted to move the team to Detroit. And we felt it was in our best interest to remain in Grand Rapids. So in 2021, we became the minor league team of the Denver Nuggets

  • What is the NBA G-League?

    In the G League, the Gatorade League for the NBA, it's an opportunity for players to get developed for the NBA. We've also had multiple staff members in the past go from the G League to the NBA. So it's a stepping stone for all aspects of the business.

  • What are your interactions with the Denver Nuggets?

    My every day interactions with the Nuggets staff is to ensure they have all the resources they need from the basketball side. So for us here in Grand Rapids, we handle all the business side as far as community relations, ticket sales and sponsorships and the Nuggets provide all the basketball side. So kind of being the liaison between the business side and the basketball side, allowing them to have all the resources and opportunities they need to run a successful basketball team and hopefully win a lot of games.

  • What does a day at work look like for you?

    Essentially I provide the resources to our staff to allow them to complete their jobs and tasks. I wouldn't say every day, but most days I try to ask myself a question of how can I assist our staff and let them have the best day possible.

  • What does a day at work look like during the basketball season?

    In the in the basketball season, for myself, is constantly just assessing the business as a whole and seeing where I'm needed, seeing where I need to put my energy and just seeing how we can improve. I think for us, we're very excited for everything that we've been able to do, but we also understand that there's a lot more potential out there. So we're always trying to grow, always trying to improve. And for me, my job is just to be able to identify those items and keep us moving forward.

  • How do you incorporate your love for teaching in your position?

    I think the way I'm able to continually incorporate teaching and leading the youth in my position is just trying to lead by example. And regardless of what my title and job responsibilities are, I still take time to go to community events, help out with our reading program and run all of our youth basketball camps in the summer.

  • Why did you choose physical education?

    The reason I studied physical education was I had a passion for sports and health, but I also wanted to help provide and lead the future of youth.

  • What was it like being a WMU student?

    I loved everything about it. From classmates, to faculty and to facilities. I think the best thing for me about Western was the resources they provided. They provided a lot of opportunities for success and for me just to be able to take advantage of those resources.


  • What was your favorite thing about Western?

    I think my favorite thing about Western was just the resources and being able to feel like they cared and wanted the best for me. They wanted to take me to the next step and prepare me for not only for an occupation, but I think for life.

    The things I learned at WMU was to be able to take advantage of opportunities and the power of networking.

  • Why would you recommend teaching programs at WMU?

    The reason I would recommend Western and the teaching program to anybody is because they really prepare you for getting the job and everything you know. Managing multiple children is a very tough role but they put you in good scenarios, get you good placement and really prep you well.


  • What was your student teaching internship like?

    My internship was at Washington Street Middle School. It was a great time and I loved it. The staff, the kids, everybody was awesome. At that point I knew I was going to be teaching and going down that path.

  • What does the 40 under 40 award mean to you?

    The 40 under 40 meant a lot. For ten years of being here with the Grand Rapids Drive now Grand Rapids Gold, you can look at the award representing a decade of work.

Physical and health education teacher education at WMU

Our nation and state’s growing focus on the broader notion of wellness has strengthened the preference for careers teaching physical and health education to students. The Michigan State Board of Education has approved new teacher preparation standards for physical and health education. Western Michigan University is the first institution in the state to offer this mandated combined endorsement with dual certification in physical education and health education to teach students in kindergarten through grade 12.

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