SAAC Spotlight: Central Washington's Dylan Dean
Dean is an offensive lineman for the Wildcats.
Dean is an offensive lineman for the Wildcats.
Dean was a GNAC SAAC representative at the 2023 NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dean was a GNAC SAAC representative at the 2023 NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, uses this space to profile conference student-athletes who are members of their respective institutions’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In addition to providing feedback on the student-athlete experience, conference and institutional SAAC members also offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institution campuses.

Name: Dylan Dean
Sport: Football
Institution: Central Washington
Year: Redshirt Freshman
Major/Minor: Business Administration with a Specialization in Leadership and Management/Minor in Marketing
Hometown: Vancouver, Washington

Why did you choose to attend CWU?: I chose to attend Central Washington because of the proximity to family. Family is something that is really important to me so I chose a campus that would allow me to go home frequently and for my parents to be able to make it to my games. I also chose Central Washington because of the culture within the athletic department. During my campus visits, I saw how tight-knit the community was, which was something I was instantly attracted to. Additionally, the football program's winning tradition was something I wanted to be a part of and and contribute to continuing.

What is the favorite class you have taken so far in college and why?: My favorite class so far was my Essential Skills for Business Professionals class where we would work in groups to create pitches and compete against other groups for a good grade. I enjoyed it because it forced me out of my comfort zone in order to collaborate with my classmates in order to put the best pitch together. This class also made me much more competitive when it came to the desire of putting together the best possible pitch in order to help my group to earn an A.
What is your most memorable SAAC activity to date?: Participating in a lip-sync battle between sports teams was a fun experience. I appreciated performing our song in Nicholson Pavilion in front of the entire athletic department only to humiliate ourselves due to our lack of coordination.
What is the most important thing you've learned from balancing the demands of athletics and academics?: The most important thing I have learned in regards to balancing athletics and academics is that structure is crucial when it comes to staying caught up in my academics while preforming at my best. I try to use a planner every day and schedule out my week on Sundays in order to do that.
What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome during your collegiate career?: The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome during my collegiate career has been trying to get my body into the right shape to compete as an offensive lineman. I came to Central Washington undersized, so I have been working since day one to build myself up to the right size to be successful.
What does it mean to you to be a Division II student-athlete?: Being a Division II athlete has been a tremendous honor. Ever since I was little, I have dreamed of playing football at the college level. The opportunity to play here has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I am grateful everyday for the community I am apart of at Central Washington and the opportunity to play the game I love.
Who are your current mentors?: Chris Schlichting, my current position coach, has been an amazing mentor for me both as an offensive lineman at the college level and as a man. My past high school coach, DeWayne Patterson, played a pivotal role in helping me get to where I am today and find my passion for the game. He also taught me the importance of working during the offseason and how to seize the opportunities it presented. My family ultimately serves as the foundation for everything I am today. My aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, sister and cousins have been my guiding North Star throughout my journey and continue to offer me daily support, advice, and compassion.
What are your future goals after you graduate?: I want to relocate closer to my hometown and work at Nike in Beaverton, Oregon in the marketing division.

What is the best advice you would give to an incoming freshman?: My advice to any incoming freshman is to put the time into anything that you're passionate about. One thing I have learned is that if you are pursuing anything of significance in life, it won't always be easy so you must put in the hard work.

What is your favorite thing about being part of the GNAC?: My favorite thing about being part of the GNAC is the people within it. All of the administrators I have worked with have genuine passion for the student-athlete experience.

What is your most memorable sports-related moment so far?: The most memorable experience I have had so far was our home win against the nationally ranked  No. 11 Midwestern State in 2021. This was one of the biggest wins I have ever experienced in my career and the genuine joy that came from that game is indescribable.

Favorite Sports Team: Portland Trail Blazers.

Favorite Athlete: My favorite athlete is Gardner Minshew. His passion for the game is unparalleled and his time at Washington State is forever cemented in my mind.

What is one thing that people don't know about you?: One thing that people don't know about me is that I used to play lacrosse in high school.