Jim Sarow Named March's Phoenix Fund Member of the Month
Each month during the 2015-16 season, we will be featuring a “Phoenix Fund Member of the Month” to better connect our fans with these important supporters of our programs. This month we caught up with former men’s cross country runner Jim Sarow.
Name: Jim Sarow ‘99
Phoenix Fund Member since: 2014
Areas of Involvement: Jim has been an active alumni with support of the cross country’s annual Phoenix 5K fundraiser (in fact, he was the founding member of that event) as well as an avid men’s basketball fan. Jim is currently a season ticket holder for Men’s Basketball and travels to the games from Milwaukee.
Background: Jim grew up in West Allis, WI and ran cross country under head coach Mike Kline here at UW-Green Bay. He majored in economics and has served as a financial advisor/officer for BMO Harris Financial Advisors in Milwaukee since 2001. Jim and his wife Jamelee recently welcomed a new member to the Phoenix family, their 10-month old daughter Presley.
· What was it like to be a D1 athlete at Green Bay?
Running cross country was something that I wasn't planning to do, the opportunity was unexpected. I didn't know at the time that many of my friends, memories and life lessons would come from D1 athletics. At the time I was just focused on working hard and making the most of the opportunity.
· What is your favorite Phoenix memory?
From a running perspective, the first time we ran in a meet at the University of Notre Dame was something I will never forget. The history of their campus and the race atmosphere was combined with perfect running weather. As a Phoenix Fan, December 9th 2009 and defeating the Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball team at the Resch Center was amazing. A lot of friends were calling and texting me that night.
· What is one piece of advice that you would give our athletes present and future?
Competing for Green Bay will be a special experience in your life, work hard, cherish it and win. However, it is important to remember that athletics is one of many reasons you are at Green Bay. There is an entire life to be lived after athletics and you have to be educated and prepared for it.
· What drives you to give to the Phoenix Fund?
There are two primary reasons: First competing in Division 1 athletics was an amazing experience, it helped to shape who I am today. I want to make sure current and future athletes can compete in athletics and grow from their experience like I was able to. Second, athletics is an entryway for the alumni and the community to support and grow the university. It takes a lot of resources to compete and win. As athletics has more success, the alumni and community will more likely engage UW-Green Bay to help grow to its full potential.
· You are a loyal men’s basketball fan, not only as a season ticket holder who travels from Milwaukee but also for the amount of away games you get to. Where does your passion come from for that program and what do you most enjoy about it?
When watching our men's team you realize that they compete at a really high level, and it is something to be proud of yet so much has to go right for programs at this level to receive the attention they are due. Going to road games allows us to combine our desire to travel with my desire to express my pride in the program. Jamelee and I have been anywhere from Alaska to Florida. One special memory was proposing to her in Lake Tahoe while we were watching a tournament in Nevada.
· Many former athletes talk about their appreciation for Coach Mike Kline and you have also expressed those sentiments. What are the lessons you learned from having him as your coach?
At the time I thought Coach Kline was there to make us better cross country runners. In looking back on it over the years that was only one part of his responsibility. The lessons learned in hard work, discipline, focus and being positive are so much more important to what I do on a daily basis. Coach Kline really helps prepare you for life after college and athletics.
· There is a new organization forming called Varsity GB which will serve as the former-athlete organization of UW-Green Bay. What are your hopes for this group?
I believe that if I don't hold my education and experience at UW Green Bay in high regard nobody else will. By connecting with other former athletes we can collectively hold a high regard for UW Green Bay while advancing the athletic department and the university. The university is young yet Green Bay students and alumni are doing big things. Together as a group we can be leaders striving to push the university to a higher place.
To learn more about the Phoenix Fund and how you can get involved, visit: http://www.greenbayphoenix.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=209247808&DB_OEM_ID=22500&DB_OEM_ID=22500