Avila University associate head wrestling coach Zachary Revier has no trouble seeing the correlation between leading athletes and running a company.
“In the college coaching landscape, a good coach is more of a CEO,” he said. “It parallels pretty well with college coaching. We are fundraising, recruiting and marketing.”
Revier is on track to graduate from the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance program in December 2022.
“Since I started the program, Avila offered an undergraduate and graduate business tutor position to me,” he said. “Right away, the MBA is paying dividends.”
Revier started as a graduate assistant in the inaugural season of Avila men’s and women’s wrestling programs in 2021-22. After that, he landed a full-time coaching position for the current school year.
“I was pretty busy with wrestling,” he said. “With the online classes, it was pretty flexible. It made it accessible for me to make the practices and meets and get my classes done at night when everything else was finished. It worked out pretty well.”
Choosing which degree to pursue wasn’t difficult for Revier, who wrestled at Williams Baptist University before moving into coaching.
“I had a little business experience, but I have always been a numbers guy,” he said. “Numbers come pretty easily to me. It’s right or wrong with numbers — there’s no emotion tied to them.”
Revier is from Minnesota, about 100 miles from the Twin Cities. He and his twin brother, Jacob, both wrestled in high school, but Revier wasn’t set on a career trajectory in undergrad.
“Like most college students, I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” he said. “I started at Ridgewater College in Minnesota before going to Arkansas to finish my degree. I had to pick what I wanted to do.
“Prior to that, I had started a house-washing and window-washing service in Minnesota that I did in the summers. Then, I got the opportunity to come down to Kansas City to help out the wrestling team at Avila through a graduate assistant position. It was a good fit.”
Revier graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2018. Since enrolling at Avila University last fall, he has bulked up his business acumen.
“Since my concentration is in finance, I am interested in all of those classes,” he said. “Aside from that, I liked Digital Marketing. It was an elective that I did to help me more with the recruiting part of wrestling for camps. It had real-world application.”
Revier will have a master’s degree shortly after he begins his first season as a full-time college wrestling coach, giving him plenty of versatility and marketability.
“Coaching is my passion, but I want to do whatever I can at a school to bridge the gap between athletics and academics,” he said. “I want to continue to coach and get a Series 6 and Series 7, so I can sell securities. I am also studying to teach a couple of courses this fall.”
Revier’s twin brother is earning two master’s degrees while teaching and coaching wrestling in North Dakota.
“He’s doing his degrees online, too. Our family is excited for us,” Revier said. “We don’t have too many older athletes in the wrestling program, but we will have a couple graduating this year, so I will be at commencement anyway. I’ll probably end up walking.”
In his sparse free time, Revier enjoys playing frisbee golf and fishing — especially ice fishing in the winter since he’s from the land of 10,000 lakes. He looks forward to having an MBA on his resume as he starts his coaching career.
“I have gotten good value out of the online MBA in Finance program,” he said. “It’s been a great experience.”
Revier believes that earning an online master’s degree at Avila University is a solid option at any stage of a career.
“I would say to go for it,” he said. “Most people are kind of hesitant — especially with finance. Not a lot of people like or understand the finance part … It’s not as daunting as you might think. It’s also beneficial, whether you use it for a career afterward or for the knowledge you can take.
“Business is business … Even as an employee, you have to learn how to manage and work with people and how businesses and the economy work.”
Learn more about Avila University’s online MBA in Finance program.