Inside Athletics

Gabe Renna - Senior Reflection 2017

Gabe Renna - Senior Reflection 2017

I never thought I would leave the sunny beaches of southern California. I always imagined myself close by at either University of California Los Angeles or University of Southern California, so when I was doing my college recruiting I was surprised when my mom found a university in Pittsburgh that fit all my criteria, while looking at schools for architecture. She had stumbled across a time-lapse video of Carnival and students building themed structures, which I would later come to find out, were called booths. That was my first impression of Carnegie Mellon University. Fast forward through a highlight tape, a visit from Coach Simmons, a visit to Carnegie Mellon, and a long debated decision and there I was in early August of 2013, two suitcases and both parents at my side in front of my new home for four years.

These past four years have been full of ups and downs, new experiences, and new people in my life. I was welcomed into the football family with open arms from the first day of camp and over the years I have been able to learn from those around me, compete against my teammates, and ultimately contribute to record breaking seasons. I have made life-long friends and memorable experiences throughout the years and will miss suiting up with the team every Saturday in Gesling Stadium. I am looking forward to contributing to the team as an alumnus in the coming years, now that I have hung up the jersey, and seeing the continued success of the program.

In speaking to possible incoming student-athletes, there are a few words of advice that I always try to voice. In being a collegiate athlete at Carnegie Mellon you realize there is not an “if you can,” but only a “when will you.” I say this because of my overall experience while here at Carnegie Mellon. Athletes are not limited by their studies or the sports they play. In my four years I have joined and led a fraternity as its President, started two seasons and played in all four seasons for the football team, captained the club lacrosse team, made Dean’s list, switched majors, minors, earned a 4.0, helped found an on-campus club, won King-of-the-Hill for Sweepstakes, and helped the special teams unit leave a lasting mark with two school records and multiple conference honors. Some of these activities were during season and some were while outside of season, but as I said earlier it is not an “if,” it is only a “when.” I am not alone, as many of my teammates have just as impressive accomplishments, if not more impressive.

I look forward to the next season and for the Tartans to always achieve great things on and off the field. I am honored to be included among the impressive student-athletes who have come before me and those that will come after me. Roll Tartans.