Florida Tech Scholar-Athlete Spotlight Recognizes Soccer Player Hugo Catherine

By  //  April 2, 2023

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Catherine is majoring in Sport Management

Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field. In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther men’s soccer player Hugo Catherine, a junior who is majoring in Sport Management. (Florida Tech image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field. In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther men’s soccer player Hugo Catherine, a junior who is majoring in Sport Management.

A native of Caen, France, Hugo transferred to Tech from Arizona Western before the 2022 season and provided an instant impact for the Panthers.

He went on to receive Second Team All-South Region honors from D2CCA while starting all 18 games and helping the Panthers win their first Sunshine State Conference Tournament since 1993.

Hugo was named to the SSC Commissioner’s and Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in February, having done so with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Hugo’s journey has taken him across the Atlantic and the U.S. through some truly unusual circumstances, all the while providing excellence on the pitch and in the classroom.

We sat down to learn about his story and how he’s able to keep everything on track during the chaos of the season.

■ What’s your major at Florida Tech and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?

Well, I’m studying business administration with a minor in sport management and I got interested in the business world a couple of years ago.

It’s not something that I always wanted to do but I would say, three, four years ago, I got really interested in it and specifically into the entrepreneurship side of it, and being able to combine the business and the world of sports is something that interests me a lot and that I want to do in the future.

■ You’ve taken a long and interesting path to Florida Tech, what was it that made you want to be here?

Well, long story short, my freshman year was at Eastern Florida State here in Melbourne and my assistant coach there was Nick Robinson, who is our current assistant coach.

But when COVID hit, they decided to shut down the men’s soccer team, so I had to transfer. I went to Arizona Western, another Junior College, and then I got my associate there.

Nick Robinson reached out and it was really important for me to know someone already on the staff and it was really comfortable for me.
Another reason I started to consider Florida Tech is when I took a look at the academic program and I realized that it was a really prestigious school with a high academic level.

I knew that they were doing business and sport management, so I was really interested about it. And also, of course, the location, I knew about Melbourne already, the beach is really sunny almost all year.

■ How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?

Well, like I mentioned before, I’m really interested about the entrepreneurship side of the business and when I graduate next fall, I’m planning to go back to Europe and use my business knowledge and my degree to create my own business.

■ What are some of the exciting projects that you’ve been able to work on in classes here?

I’m actually doing a lot of things. For example, we are doing a lot of group projects and we are working with real-life businesses. So, it is something really interesting to our students to be able to help businesses and know why some of them are successful and some of them are not.

Also this semester, I’m doing a class that I’m really enjoying a lot which is business plan research. It’s all about creating your own business and making some analysis about the market, the industry.

It’s something that is gonna be very helpful for me later on when I want to create my own business so, I’m really enjoying it.

■ What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that has an interest in Sport Management?

I would say first, as an international, if you’re also an international, just try the experience, it’s amazing. You get to know a lot of people, discover a new culture, so just go for it.

As someone who’s interested by sport management, just try and go for it because our business department is very helpful and very prestigious too. They help us a lot and you’re not going to regret it. You’re gonna learn a lot and it’s gonna be really helpful for your future life.

■ What was your favorite moment of the 2022 season?

We had an amazing season, no one expected us to be that high in the rankings. We had a lot of new guys, but we realized after two weeks we had a special group after doing some team bonding activity and the chemistry was there, it was really special.

In terms of souvenirs, it was crazy. The [SSC] Final of course against Barry was a really good moment but if I have to pick one, I would say the penalty that I scored to beat Lander in the NCAA Tournament.

And yeah, when I scored it was it was a good moment. We have a large crowd that day and on the video, you can see that I wasn’t sure if we had won. So, I went to see the crowd and we celebrated together, it was a really good moment.

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