NAECAD sits down with Adrienne McIntire, the head coach for Stephens College esports team. This is her first year in the role but has other coaching experience with serving as head coach of UMass Legion B in 2019-20. She also spent the 2018-19 campaign as an assistant coach at Kent State Esports.
Adrienne McIntire: I think we are in the best place we’ve ever been. We just finished our first season with NECC, we made the quarterfinals in that. We just introduced our esports management, concentration and business. We also announced our live and learn community with a brand new gaming lounge. A lot of new big things are going on for us.
Adrienne McIntire: The school has been great. They have been really supportive. In every meeting, it’s always, “how is esports doing? What can we do to help?” A lot of the changes have happened because of student feedback.
We created a concentration in our Business Administration degree for esports when we found out one of my players was considering a self-initiated option.
That way it was more structured and put together so it could work out for them. The students wanted more of a community so we introduced the live and learn community. The school has been super supportive of that.
Adrienne McIntire: We make sure we’re present. I know a lot of smaller programs struggle to have campus support. We show up to home games, to school events, We talk about esports in class and meetings so the students and school know that we are here. know that we are a fun welcoming environment. It paid off for us.
We just went to our students’ magazine release and we’re one of the front articles! It’s all about the esports team. That’s a really big deal because this magazine is huge. It goes out to way more than just our students. It was a huge deal for us.
Adrienne McIntire: Being a women’s college, it has been difficult to find teams that have students that we can recruit. Because of the nature of esports, everyone goes by a username. Schools don’t always know who is behind the username. So, when I reach out, sometimes I reach out to schools that have all male rosters.
We have definitely made a lot of great partnerships this past year. We’ve made awareness that there are women’s colleges and women’s teams who need help. We are figuring out who can work with us and where we should be going. It’s definitely still a lot of work.