Meet a Loper Graduate: UNK degree gives Shaun Ross an opportunity to ‘shape the future’

Shaun Ross has some advice for fellow Lopers.

“If you have an opportunity and you can find a way to make it work, absolutely take it.”

That’s what he did.

Originally from Raytown, Missouri, Ross started his college career at Fort Hays State University before transferring to UNK in 2020. He played quarterback and wide receiver for the Loper football team, competed on the track team and participated in intramural sports. Ross was also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, serving on the board, and Upsilon Eta Upsilon Honor Society for Black Excellence.

That involvement allowed him to meet a variety of people and make lifelong connections.

“I also learned a plethora of skills that made me a better person and better student, such as time management, how to continue to perform when I’m exhausted, how to communicate, and how to work well with others,” he said.

Those attributes will be important as Ross prepares to graduate Friday with honorable mention distinction. He’ll receive a bachelor’s degree in sports management with a coaching minor.

What does this moment mean to you?
This moment literally means everything. I get to give this moment to my family. I owe my mom and grandma big time. So it means the world to me to have my family who are these special people who have picked me up and had my back through this journey proud of me and it paves the way to motivate my brothers to graduate now. I just picked up where my sister left off because she graduated, so it’s like a passing-of-the-torch moment.

What are your plans after graduation?
If no pro leagues give me any calls or interest then I will pursue my coaching career. My career goal is to be a college or professional coach for either basketball, football or track. I don’t mind starting off at the high school level, but I would absolutely love to continue to move up and work with a variety of athletes.

Why did you choose this career path?
It’s a chance to shape the future, and I feel like I have a knowledge of the game and I want to give back. My dad, uncle and grandpa being my coaches growing up put that passion in my heart at a very young age.

What’s your favorite thing about UNK?
Meeting people from different walks of life and upbringings, then becoming friends with them and learning things from them.

Who was the most influential person during your undergraduate career?
Rachael Page, easy. She always motivated me, pointed me in the right direction, and took good care of me. She was like my mother away from home. I would sit and talk with her, she would get on me if I was slacking, and she would give me credit and praise when I excelled at things. She was the main motivation behind my decision to run for a position on the SAAC board. She gave me a lot of opportunities and connected me with many people. Also, she helped push me through some very tough times in my college career.

What’s your favorite place on campus?
The cafe, because that’s where the best conversation between me and my bros would take place. Some very interesting conversations were had in there!

And your favorite class?
Sports Law with Dr. Nita Unruh. The class was fun, she’s a great teacher, and the discussions and topics covered in the class taught me a lot and made me want to show up for class every day.

If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would it be?
Maybe sleep more. Honestly, I had too many late-night homework sessions where I was trying to cram something in before midnight. So I’d stop putting off assignments, as well.