By  Marissa Hayes (Whetstone Staff Writer)

Steven Groccia

Steve Groccia

Before becoming a professor, new physical education professor Steven Groccia had other dreams that he wanted to pursue.

“At first, I wanted to become a professional athlete,” he said.  “I didn’t care what sport it was, because I played soccer, basketball, and baseball during high school.”

After struggling to receive college recognition, Groccia had a change of heart.

“It was more of a growing up thing,” he said.  “I started to realize in high school that there were no Division 1 schools knocking to give me scholarships.  In doing so, I figured the next best thing to actually playing the sport is teaching it.”

Groccia is a native of Holden, Mass., and attended Springfield College and received his Master’s degree at Salem State College.

“I am defending my Ph.D. on next Friday, and that’s at Springfield College back in Massachusetts,” he said.

Before coming to Wesley and receiving his Ph.D., Groccia taught at a public school for nine years.

“In my early conception, I correlated coaching and physical education,” he said.   “I now know they’re two different entities and physical education is more widely needed in our society.”

Groccia said he had a great interview with Wesley.

“I had a chance to meet the faculty and was able to observe on some of the classes,” he said. “I love the curriculum, and I love my students.”

Students agree that agree that Groccia is adding depth to the Phys. Ed program.

“I think Dr. Groccia is doing a great job so far,” said senior Michael McQuarrie. “It seems that all of the Phys. Ed. majors are excited to have another professor in the department to make the program stronger. I only have one class with him but I’ve learned a lot so far. He definitely brings with him some solid experience for us to learn from.”

Physical Education major Anna Baker agrees.

“Dr. Groccia is a great addition to Wesley,” Baker said.  “His classes are interactive, entertaining, and formative.  I am positive he will bring great ideas to the Physical Education Department.”

Groccia is teaching six classes this semester and is determined to bring more than just sweat and exercise to his students.

“I plan bringing my wealth of knowledge related to teaching and physical education,” he said.  “I think I know how to prepare them for success in their field.”