Steve DeRaedt is the head coach of the Judo club team. We got the opportunity to catch up with him and ask him some questions about himself and his role in the Judo club.
What made you want to become the Judo Head Coach?
I have trained in Judo for over 30 years and have had many excellent coaches that prepared me as a teacher and I want to give back to make sure Judo endures as a sport and art.
What is your previous experience with Judo?
I started as a youth at age 11 in Michigan and trained since then at various clubs in Boston, Miami, Cleveland and now back to Michigan. We have had the chance to train with Olympians and World Champions to appreciate both their talents and commitment to advance the sport.
What is your favorite thing about being part of the Judo club team?
Taking a newbie and transitioning them into a competitive Judo player that is also capable of showing others how to train. I hope to see some of our students become black belts some day.
What is your team looking to do this coming semester?
We have four tournaments coming up during the January to April period that will demonstrate how well the team has trained during the fall. We would like to take a handful of individual medals and place in the top three teams.
What are your main goals for the Judo club team?
To increase the size of the OU Judo team, maintain a safe training environment, secure more instructors, and recruit more women athletes.
What has been your favorite part about working with the OU Judo club?
Watching their individual transformation from novice into a competitive player.
Are you involved with anything else on campus?
I decided to go back to school so I just received my bachelor in health science from OU and I’m teaching with OU Cares Program as well.
While I’m the head coach, I was also the club president when I was a student so I hope I can help train our officers on what it takes to be successful as a club and show them what the business world expects of them as leaders.