Hometown: Lumberton, NC
Division I, Taking Chances, the Big Picture
“I thought about going to bigger schools and trying as a walk-on, but I couldn’t see myself not playing baseball. When I came to Davidson to walk around campus, I didn’t see any bad parts. Davidson is just all put together, and really nice people. And Coach Cooke is a left-handed pitcher like me.” Fast ball in the low-to-mid-80s, curve ball, change up? Coach Cooke says: “I don’t care about radar guns, just get batters out.”
The Davidson Trust
“Davidson was my first choice, but my parents cautioned that without scholarship help, they didn’t see how it could happen. But my awards and work-study brought tuition into the range of a public university, so here I am. I love it, and I’m very grateful,” says the son of an elementary school teacher and a small-business CFO.
Academics and Athletics
“Well, it would be a whole lot easier if I didn’t play baseball!” Brief pause, considering that unlikelihood. “Coach Cooke puts academics ahead of baseball. Sometimes he has to schedule games right up to exams, but if it comes to leaving practice early for homework, he has no problem.” Still, Read is committed enough to baseball to have sat out a season for “Tommy John” surgery to replace a ligament in his elbow with a piece of his own hamstring. “Otherwise, I would have to give up baseball. This extends my baseball career.”
Lasers, Luminescence and Semiconductors
Stemming from a pitcher’s fascination with rotational inertia and torque in the classroom of Brown Professor of Physics Wolfgang Christian, Read declared a physics major. He was awarded a research grant to collaborate with Associate Professor Timothy H. Gfroerer in summer 2008, while also working at Cooke’s baseball camps. And he has won a coveted Davidson Research Initiative grant to work with Gfroerer in summer 2009.
The Bottom Line
Read’s thought on his own demanding major speaks more broadly to the Davidson student athlete’s life: “It’s tough, but if you study hard enough, you can figure it out. It’s how the world works.”