Thanks to a teammate’s practical joke, Creg Jantz was called Simon Jantz throughout most of his college years. But as his mom would often say, “If that’s the worst thing that happens to you in your life, consider yourself lucky.” Learn more about Jantz, including why the press box during an athletic competition is one of his favorite places in Oberlin, in this installment of Who Am I?
Full Name: Creg Jantz
Job title: Senior Associate Director of Athletics
What does your job entail? I’m involved in the department’s day-to-day operations while also serving as a sport supervisor for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and baseball. I also oversee the strength and conditioning program and the athletics department’s communications office. I’m also charged with cultivating relationships with Oberlin’s alumni base and overseeing the John W. Heisman Club (the athletics department’s main fundraising arm). In 2014, I began overseeing the department’s athletic and recreation facilities, facility staffing and maintenance. I also manage most capital and facility improvement projects.
Which professional athlete do you admire the most and why? I admire any athlete at any level that works hard both on and off the playing field—an all-around good person that is a great role model.
What sport do you play (or have played)? I played basketball and baseball at Midview High School. I played baseball in college at NCAA Division II Ashland University. Once I become an empty-nester next year, I’ll be spending more time on the golf course.
How many years have you worked at Oberlin? It will be nine—adventurous and always fun—years this April.
Best advice someone ever gave you? “Just show up and work hard. Nothing comes for free, you have to earn it. Hard work does pay off—even if you have to be patient in the process.” This is what my parents instilled in me and my siblings at a young age.
Favorite sports team? All things Cleveland and any Oberlin team that beats that team in Gambier! :)
Favorite place in Oberlin? In the stands or the press box for an athletics contest. It’s the best part of the job. All the craziness you deal with day-to-day goes away and you are finally able to enjoy seeing all the hard work pay off as our scholar-athletes perform. We have had some great teams during my time here. It’s a very rewarding experience to watch their success and know you had a little something to do with it.
Favorite childhood memory? One of my favorites was the year I got my first bicycle for Christmas. We finished opening the gifts under the tree and my dad said, “I think I saw one more for your sister and you out in the mudroom.”
Best vacation ever? Mumbai, India. I have been there twice and it’s always half vacation and half visiting family. My wife’s parents moved to the states from India in 1964. However, most of her immediate family members still live there, a large number of them in Mumbai. India’s a beautiful place. It’s very peaceful. The food is amazing and the sights and different cultures are incredible. My favorite journey in India to date was the one from Delhi to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.
Any achievements you would like to tell us about? I have been fortunate to be inducted into my high school’s hall of fame, celebrating my playing days and its hall of honor for my time there as the athletics director. Those were two pretty cool moments of reflection.
Hobbies? Anything outdoors and working with my hands. I love camping, sitting by a fire and fishing when I can find time. I enjoy repairing and building stuff. I’m the son of a carpenter, so I love being in a house or woodshop fixing or creating something new or upgrading an old item. I also enjoy working in the yard.
Nickname(s)? During a game at Southern Indiana, when I was an underclassman at Ashland, a sports information assistant came down from the press box to get first names for our starters. An upperclassman on the team thought it would be funny to give him different names for the young guys, including the coaches. So when I went up to bat for the first time, the public address announcer said, “now up to bat, the catcher Simon Jantz. My nickname the rest of the way through college was Simon and to this day when I see my former teammates.
Favorite food? An all-beef hot dog and a beer at any sporting event always hits the spot!
Favorite quote or personal philosophy? “If that’s the worst thing that happens to you in your life, consider yourself lucky.” It’s something my mom would always tell us growing up. It has helped get me through some real tragedies in life. Just puts things in perspective.
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