By Whitney Metz –
Meghan Chaffins, a former student athlete at Holly Grove Christian School, recently graduated from Randolph College after competing in both volleyball and track. Chaffins is now the assistant track and field coach at Regent University and plans to help put the Eastern Shore on the map at the collegiate level.
“Many people I have come in contact with since going to college have no idea where the Eastern Shore is or the talent that competes in the local high schools,” she said.
Chaffins hopes to recruit more athletes from the area, while she builds her career as a track and field coach. She shows a great deal of passion for the sports she has competed in as well as a strong commitment to helping local athletes reach their dreams like she did.
Chaffins is driven by her own experience in sports. In high school, she played volleyball in the fall, cheered in the winter, and ran track in the spring.
“I loved volleyball and cheer because of the overall team aspect, which track didn’t necessarily have,” she said. “I loved that all team members had to physically work together as a unit in order to reach the common goal.”
Track, especially at her school, was more about the individual aspect due to the fact that there was no conference for the sport and therefore the school was unable to compete as a team for a conference championship.
Coming from a small private school located in a small town limited her ability to gain access to recruiting. “I wasn’t outright recruited by any college,” Chaffins said. “But I took time to reach out to college coaches personally through online questionnaires.”
Chaffins first hit was coach Bill Cooper at Randolph College, who told her that he could take her talent to the next level. After a great meeting with Cooper, she decided to attend Randolph College to compete for both track and volleyball.
The connection between her and the coach happened almost immediately, which greatly impacted her decision. It was then she realized track and field could be more of a team sport than what she had seen in high school and was able to build a family within the school between teammates and coaches.
Chaffins said that she had a great experience at Randolph College and there were many impactful people that she met along the way, which guided her to where she is now. She originally planned to major in business and hoped to attend cosmetology school after graduation. In September of her freshman year, her dreams changed after her former high school coach died.
“He was like a second father to me, a true mentor and best friend,” she said. “Dr. Gregory helped me realize my potential in high school. Without him I would never be where I am today.”
Not long after the coach died, Chaffins decided to take a sports and exercise studies class, which made her rethink her entire future. She believed that sports were her calling and that she could continue coach Gregory’s legacy through coaching the sport they loved. Once she learned she could make a career out of the sport she was most passionate about, the rest was history. Chaffins decided she was ready to help young athletes achieve their dreams and make an impact both on and off the field.
In 2022, Chaffins graduated from the Master of Arts program in coaching and sport leadership at Randolph College. After a successful collegiate run, Chaffins now dedicates her time to coaching and hopes to eventually coach at the D1 level.
One of Chaffins’ biggest takeaways from her experience is that it is important for young atheltes to find a place where they feel at home. “When choosing an institution, you should feel that you can be happy there for four years and make an impact that you want while accomplishing all of your athletic and academic goals,” she said.
“Any young athlete that wants to play at the next level should do everything they can to put themselves out there: send emails, send film, make contact. Most importantly keep working hard throughout the entire process and don’t stop once the deposit or commitment is made because at that point it is just the beginning.”
Chaffins is a genuine success story from the Eastern Shore of Virginia and is an example of how you can achieve any dream with hard work, passion, and dedication.