GREENSBORO, N.C. — You often hear the phrase student athlete, with the emphasis being on “student.” The UNC-Greensboro soccer coach says that term is defined by people like Rachel Rouse.
“Rachel, as a student-athlete, is an A-plus, plus,” Coach Michael Coll said.
It’s not that Rachel doesn’t love the athlete part of that phrase, at least when it comes to soccer.
“I loved it since I started playing when I was about 3 years old,” Rachel said. “I love the creativity of the game. There are no two games that are alike…I love it.”
But playing beyond college is a challenge for any athlete, women in particular.
“In the NWSL (National Women’s Pro Soccer League) there are, what? Nine teams?” Coll said. “They might each take about four new players each year. That’s 36 players out of thousands. The odds are long.”
So Rachel has been preparing for what else she might do after college and, through a friend of her mother, she learned the FBI has an internship program. Rachel applied and spent the summer of 2020 at the FBI office in Richmond, Virginia.
“I was a little surprised because I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and no kid I’ve ever been around has had an opportunity with the FBI,” Coll said.
Rachel says it made her not just a better soccer player but a better person. But that comes, she says, with greater responsibility.
“I’ve been really blessed with the opportunities I’ve had: at UNCG, with the internship, through soccer. The most important thing is passing it on to the next generation,” Rachel said.
See how she believes her time at the FBI made her a better player in this edition of the Buckley Report.