Rowan College at Burlington County Lady Baron Susan Glade earned the Woman of the Year award from the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD).
The association presents the title to one outstanding athlete from each college and university in the state. This award is based upon athletic excellence, community service and academic success.
Glade, an RCBC Lady Baron softball player, grew up in North Pole, Alaska, where she could always be found playing catch with her dad or competing on a travel team.
“I was active from the time I could walk. I tried every sport I had access to, from cross-country skiing to basketball, and I found my passions to be in softball,” Glade said. “My parents supported me traveling to compete and were there with me every step of the way. My dad, in particular, taught me to love the game. From the moment I had the feel of the grass under my cleats and a glove fitted to my hand, we knew the field was where I belonged.”
Glade worked her way to a starting position her freshman year, earning the first base position early in the spring season. She brings a high softball IQ, a strong work ethic and her passion for the game to the field every single day.
“My favorite softball memory was during my senior year of high school. My little sister, Sierra, hit her first home run at an away game in Delta. My dad was one of our assistant coaches that year, and the look on his face was priceless when his youngest daughter came rounding third; he was beaming with pride. I was waiting at the plate with our team just cheering my head off; we were so excited we almost knocked her over when she finally reached us,” Glade recalled. “I have a picture at home that my mom took of that moment. I don’t remember if we won or lost that game, but it’s those little moments that you remember when it’s all said and done. That pride you feel for the girls who become your family and your hometown, it sticks with you long after you’ve left the team.”
Glade is currently a biology student at RCBC. After graduation, she plans to return home to continue her education in Natural Resources at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She said she will miss the sport, but is excited to finish her schooling and begin her career in the state she loves.
“Susan is a rare breed of softball player. She’s willing to go above and beyond to put the success of the team first,” Head Softball Coach John Costa said. “She came to the team as an outfielder, but when we lost our first and third basemen, she was the first to step up to fill in the holes. She’s a leader both on the field and off. When someone wants extra reps, there’s Susan. When someone wants to go to the cages for more swings, Susan is right there with them. When someone is struggling with a class, Susan is there to help tutor. She came 4,000 miles to play for a team in a city she had never heard of before because she truly believed she could make our team better. Not only has she made the team better, but she’s also made me a better coach, and I can’t imagine this team without her.”
The anniversary of NGWSD was officially recognized on Feb. 5. NGWSD celebrates the athletic achievements of women and the positive well-being associated with sports participation while also recognizing the continuing struggle for equality for women in sports.