Alumni Feature – Nick Sfakianos ‘01

Alumni Feature – Nick Sfakianos ‘01

Alumni Feature – Nick Sfakianos '01 (center of photo)

Can you describe your current position a little bit?

I sell medical equipment for Depuy/Synthes where I advise hospitals on how to use the product. I also serve as partner for Ouzo Bay, Azumi and Harbor East delicatessen. 

What is your best LC memory of being on the Hornet men's lacrosse team?

It's tough because there are so many. It's strange I can still remember practices and games like they just happened.  I can remember the smells associated with playing; walking across the bridge at W&L; the jogs to practice; the conditioning on the track; game days; bus trips; sitting in the locker room after practices and just ragging on each other.  Our team had something special and it's hard to put a true "word" to it.  

To answer your question about the best experience, I would say it was my senior year beating Roanoke for the first time in school history.  Our class was Coach Koudelka's first recruiting class.  We bought into what Coach wanted to do and saw his vision.  Roanoke has to be one of the biggest rivalries we have and there is no love lost between the two programs.  In 2000 we lost to them in double overtime and after the game their players let us know.  I'll never forget it…at one point it was a sunny day then a down-pour happened, then the sun came back up.  We returned the favor and beat them at home in overtime in 2001.  Josh Paris scored on a fast break goal in overtime and I think this was his seventh goal of the game.  The place went nuts the team charged the field.  I ran to the victory bell to ring it but realized that I couldn't reach the string that was hanging from it (story of my life…too short ha!).  

Another unreal memory was half time of our last home game against Ohio Wesleyan University on Senior Day. Mom and Dad didn't miss one game in my entire career. Being able to give my mother a rose and hug each of them and tell them thank you was amazing.   
 

What did a Lynchburg College education do for your career?

The College itself offers the small school setting which I loved.  This has helped in my career in dealing with people.  With small classes you have to interact with others…you can't get "lost in the crowd".  Lynchburg also offers a great deal of leadership opportunities.  I served as a connection leader and was able to be a resource for incoming freshmen.  We would be there for freshmen orientation and also hold weekly meetings on various subjects like time management, dealing with stress, or just being an ear for people.  I was lucky with the professors I had.  Not one professor had an ego and they were always accessible for me.  They held you accountable to a high level, which at times seemed overwhelming.  At the end of the day you have to produce just like in my career you have to produce.  There are no excuses.   

Who on the LC campus most affected you or was the biggest positive influence?

Coach Koudelka, Coach Johnson, Coach Petrone, and Dr. Gary Ness without a doubt made my experience at Lynchburg a positive one.  All three coaches had their different coaching styles.  They also offered different personalities which allowed me to bond with each one differently.  My parents are truly the most amazing people I've ever met.  Sure I'm biased but they taught me how to be a man through accountability, work ethic, compassion, respectfulness, and love.  Not one day goes by that I don't recognize how blessed I am to call them Mom and Dad.  Having said this, Coach K took the foundation I had and fine-tuned it.  He demanded perfection and holds himself to the same standards.   After you graduate you realize that in the "real world" every day is a challenge and if you want to succeed you have to go full tilt every day and demand perfection out of yourself just like Coach demanded it from you.  Coach K always used to say; when someone asks you how you are doing the answer should be "I'm freaking great!"  

Dr. Gary Ness was a world of information.  He had many experiences in his life that you could learn from and he was by far the most approachable and kind human I've ever come across.  All he wanted to do was share his knowledge with students so you could learn from his mishaps and use his best practices.  He also wasn't afraid of calling on friends and business colleagues to help you out.  He made a call for me to a former associate of his who was VP within the PGA.  Within days I was offered an unbelievable internship with him.       

How much have you been able to follow the team's success in recent seasons?

I've followed the team from the day I graduated.  It's a brotherhood that I'm proud to carry.  It's always nice to see the team succeed and what's equally as important are the guys on the team. Every person that I've had the opportunity to meet, whether a current player or alumni, is a solid guy. This is rare to find in a program.