Nov. 18, 2003

by Adam Porcelli

Every successful team needs a leader. It sounds simple, but whether it is in the workplace or on the playing field, without leaders a team can only achieve so much. Leaders bring all the different members of the team together and focused on the group’s ultimate goal. Moreover, a leader can be the catalyst in taking a team to the next level. Senior Gavin Ferlic has proven all of this as a member of the Notre Dame men’s golf team.

A life-long Irish fan as the son of a 1968 graduate (father, Frederick), Ferlic is a committed member of the golf team. Ferlic has been instrumental in third-year head coach John Jasinski’s quest to make Notre Dame’s program one of the best in the nation. This season, Ferlic is giving his greatest contribution to Jasinski and the Irish, serving in the leadership role of team captain.

“I am honored to be this team’s captain,” said Ferlic.

“I am very grateful and blessed with great teammates. They know how hard I have worked over the years and it means a lot to me to be their captain.”

Ferlic has been a leader his entire career by working hard and always putting the team’s goals first. According to assistant coach Chris Whitten, it was his constant dedication to improving himself and his teammates that warranted Ferlic being named captain.

“In picking Gavin to be the captain, Coach Jasinski and I really looked at his maturity, dedication and ability to relate to all the players,” said Whitten.

“Gavin sees the whole picture. He knows the mission is to make this program a top one nationally. He brings the most all-around dedication to practice. Whether he is working with a coach or hitting golf balls alone, he always works hard. Gavin also does a great job interacting with the other guys. When we have a message to be passed on, or if the team has something they want to communicate to us, Gavin works as a great facilitator between the coaches and the team. He is a great representative of the program.”

Whitten, who also played with Ferlic at Notre Dame from 2000-02, points to Ferlic’s attitude as a source of his leadership skills.

“Gavin is a guy who always brings a positive attitude,” said Whitten.

“He leads by example with his attitude. Some of the reason he can relate to the younger guys is his attitude. Gavin is always trying to help people grow for the future. Even when there is a setback, Gavin finds a way to turn it into a learning experience and a positive for the future.”

Ferlic has not just been a leader on the course during his four years at Notre Dame. The pre-professional studies and history major is also in his third year as the team’s representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). The SAAC is comprised of one representative from each of Notre Dame’s varsity sports, as well as a representative from the student manager’s and cheerleading program.

Ferlic has proved his leadership skills to his SAAC peers he was voted the organization’s president for ’03-’04. Ferlic was humbled by the appointment and takes pride in all the work the SAAC does for student-athletes and the community.

“It was a great honor to be chosen as the president,” said the South Bend, Ind., native.

“I am very grateful because there are so many good representatives on the committee. It is such a great organization. I love and am so proud of all the community service the SAAC does around South Bend. At the same time, with awesome support from the athletic department, it works to help the student-athletes get what they need. I am proud of what we have already accomplished as an organization and we as officers just want to expand on that and make this the best year the organization has ever had.”

Ferlic, though now a devoted captain and president, has not changed his approach towards anything. He continues to work hard and operate in the same supportive fashion as always with his teammates and fellow SAAC members. Ferlic believes remaining true to his work ethic has allowed him to be a successful leader.

“Your ideas are important, but I think the most important thing you can do as a leader is to lead by example,” said Ferlic.

“I’ve always just tried to work hard and do my best. As long as you continue doing things the right way, you will be able to lead successfully as well as form other successful leaders.”