This month, we caught up with Ed McLaughlin, husband, father of three, and the man whose job it is to keeps all of Virginia Commonwealth University’s balls in the air.
As VCU’s athletic director for nearly two years, Ed says his greatest accomplishment is the improvements that have already been noted in the “student-athlete’s collective experience.”
“Our student-athlete satisfaction survey numbers have risen exponentially because we have focused on their entire experience, including their academics,” Ed notes. “These young men and women are performing at record numbers academically and graduating at higher rates than ever in our history.”
While overseeing a collegiate athletics program that has resulted in three top-25 national rankings is nothing to sneeze at, Ed touts another feat: “My greatest accomplishment in life is definitely convincing my wife to marry me!”
Ed and Shelley, who is working on a research grant at VCU while finishing her doctorate in education, have been married fifteen years and have three children – all soccer players. When it comes to blending career and parenthood, Ed believes there are two keys. “The patience I have learned as an AD has helped me parent much more effectively. Staying mentally balanced is critical for athletic directors and equally critical for me as a parent, especially with three very active and competitive children.”
Keep reading to learn more about the man behind VCU’s sports programs – husband, father, athletic director, and sports lover Ed McLaughlin.
Mountains or beach? Mountains, unless I can sit by the pool and look at the beach. I don’t like sand because it gets everywhere.
Dogs or cats? Cats. We have two cats that follow me around the house incessantly.
What book is on your nightstand right now? Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christoper McDougall
If you were stranded on a desert island, what food would you want to grow on trees? Fish n’ chips. I can pretend it contains nutritious content, but really it’s nothing but deep-fried goodness.
Same island – what’s the one tech gadget you would want with you? My iPhone. I’m basically a living, walking Apple commercial.
Favorite Richmond restaurant when family comes to town? The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing – best view of the Richmond skyline.
Favorite Richmond restaurant for the whole family? Chuy’s in West Broad Village when we are home and Garnett’s Café in the Fan when we are around VCU. The servers know us well.
What is your favorite vacation spot? Ireland, especially in County Kerry. I love the people, the culture, and the music. I have gone many times and never felt more at home in any other place on earth.
Favorite family time? Family movie night at our house. We spend a lot of time together at VCU games and the kids’ games so we love the chance to be home together.
What is your energy source? My family. Shelley and the kids motivate me to be better at everything – a better husband, father, and athletic director – every day of my life.
Finish this sentence: “My family loves it when I… come home happy after another VCU win.”
Readers will be surprised to know: I love watching cooking and food shows. Call it a guilty pleasure, but I can watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on Food Network for twenty-four hours straight if available.