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A little “one-on-one” with Jane Brewer, Athletic Director of USC Salkehatchie


“Seeing success, both in the sports and in the individual athletes, and thinking, hoping, you had even the tiniest part in helping it happen, is by far the very best part.” – Jane Brewer

“Behind every single athlete at any level is a story of hard work and sacrifice to do something they love. How can you not be fascinated by that?” – Jane Brewer.  Photo by Cindy Crosby

“Behind every single athlete at any level is a story of hard work and sacrifice to do something they love. How can you not be fascinated by that?” – Jane Brewer.
Photo by Cindy Crosby

When Jane Brewer first took on the role of Athletic Director for University of South Carolina Salkehatchie, she was the only woman in a room of over 80 NJCAA Division 1, Region X coaches. Organized, enthusiastic, and caring, Brewer forged a path for other women to follow. But, this isn’t anything new for Brewer who has been doing many great things for Salkehatchie for 35 years now.

What keeps you in our community? I grew up in a small town in North Carolina. I love small towns because it is great to know folks and see them pitch in when someone is in need. I like to go to the grocery store and have a conversation with someone you run into on every aisle. Walterboro is attracting good industry and is poised to really take off, yet, at the same time, you still know your neighbors. It’s a perfect combination.

What are your responsibilities as athletic director for Salk? My responsibilities include the athletic budget, athlete eligibility, transportation coordination for team travel, supervision of not only the coaches but also support team members like the trainer, Dawn Rizer – our athletic web designer/coordinator, and Trent Kinard, our SID. I also organize events like sophomore recognitions for each sport, the annual athletic banquet and athletic reunion which includes our Athletic Hall of Fame inductions each year. I am a resource for athletes and coaches on academic and social issues, as well as NJCAA rules and USC policies.

Associate Dean for Student Services, what does that entail? I oversee all of the student services outside of the classroom. I am the lead person for student retention, coordination of student academic advisement, and supervision of student activities. I oversee our Opportunity Scholars Program, a federal TRIO program, which provides academic support services to our students such as tutoring. I coordinate our high school concurrent program with our local high schools and serve as the liaison between Salk and the privately-owned student housing in Allendale. I also am the director of the Walterboro campus and serve as the public relations person for the campus.

What are your favorite parts of your job as athletic director? The people. We have four really outstanding coaches, not just in their sports, but also in character. Their drive to help athletes be successful in their sport, in the classroom and in life is amazing. And the student athletes, well, really, all the students, are constantly entertaining. They are so full of energy and excitement and just fun to be around.

As a woman athletic director, have you faced any challenges in a still predominately male career? The very first Region X meeting I attended, there were about 80 athletic directors from the entire region in the room and I was the only woman. That was a bit uncomfortable, but the good side of that was everyone there knew who I was and they went out of their way to introduce themselves; meaning I had a good way to meet a lot of people that day.

It didn’t take many conversations to figure out some great mentors to help me find my way. In a way, being a woman is really an advantage as we don’t tend to mind asking questions. There are now about eight women AD’s in Region X.

How do people react when you tell them you are a NJCAA Athletic Director? The first reaction I get when I tell someone, or am introduced as the athletic director, is laughter. I think it’s funny! I don’t look like a stereotypical athletic director and it’s kind of fun to catch people by surprise. I think the most important quality for an AD to have is organizational skills and you don’t have to necessarily have been an athlete to have that quality.

What do you think are some of the best reasons to choose Salkehatchie to begin your athletic career? It’s a great USC education, while continuing to play the sport you love. Athletes, just like other students, benefit from the caring attitude of both faculty and staff, while enjoying small classes with lots of individual attention. If your goal is to continue your athletic career at a four-year school, the coaches at Salk are geared toward developing you as a player to successfully get you to that next level with lots of individual attention and care.

Jane Brewer and Corey Hendren, who is currently the youngest head coach in college hoops. Photo by Cindy Crosby

Jane Brewer and Corey Hendren, who is currently the youngest head coach in college hoops. Photo by Cindy Crosby

Why should people in local communities come see a Salk athletic event? It’s fun! It’s exciting! And, as local folks tell me all the time after their first Salk game, “These guys are good!!!!” I’m not sure a lot of local community people realize the level and intensity of play at the junior college level. So, come give it a try – you will be pleasantly surprised.

Tell us about your love of sports. I grew up in North Carolina and was a UNC Tar Heel fan as long as I can remember. I followed UNC Basketball from the time I was in middle school and went to every game I could while I was a student there. When I first moved to South Carolina, I taught high school English. No one was willing to coach softball that year and the girls begged me to do so in order for them to have a team; so I did. Basically, I supervised practice and rode the bus. But we won the conference championship that year because the players were just that good and I realized what a shame if they had not been able to play. While I was teaching there, I met my husband who was coaching the men’s basketball team. He was passionate about it and I spent a lot of time traveling to the games and hearing about them. But what I like best about sports, has nothing to do with strategy or tactics. It is the human element of individuals working to be the best they can be, at something they love, and then be willing to sacrifice their own egos for the good of the team.

What motivational quote do you “go to” on difficult days? I have two: “It’s 5 percent talent, 15 percent skill and 80 percent hanging in there,” Lucy Lawless. And the other: “Start by starting,” Meryl Streep.

Jane Brewer received her A. B. in English from UNC Chapel Hill and a Master’s in school counseling from NCSU. She is married to Chuck and has a step-daughter Alice, who is married to Bland, they live in Hilton Head, and have three children who are athletes, musicians, and have a multitude of other interests. She has a brother who lives in North Carolina and an extended close family, of over 50 cousins, who she sees at least 3 to 4 times a year. She enjoys traveling, reading, and playing bridge. She has three “bridge sisters” who often travel together, and have played every Wednesday night for over 30 years.

Five reasons to attend Salk, according to Jane Brewer:

You get a USC education – with USC courses and professors.

You get an education in a small college atmosphere with small classes and caring faculty. USC Salk is the best of both worlds – a university education with a small college atmosphere.

It’s affordable with all kinds of scholarships and financial aid to help you. Plus, you can choose to live at home to save money.

People care about you at Salk – you don’t fall through the cracks. Professors know you by name and offer to help. Staff are accessible in financial aid, admissions, advisement, and anything else you need and are all geared toward helping you be successful.

WE will help you succeed. Every year our faculty has students involved in all kinds of research, conferences, math competitions all over the Southeast, internships and all kinds of out-of-classroom experiences to supplement your class experiences. You will leave Salk a well-educated, well-rounded person with a lot to offer an employer, graduate school or whatever other future plans you may have.



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