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IUN’s Class of 2024: Leading on the field, in class and life

Soccer captain, business graduate Tyler Davis proves balancing excellence is possible

May 6, 2024

A man stands in front of a sign smiling. Indiana University Northwest business graduate Tyler Davis takes a photo in the Dunes Medical/Professional Building.

Tyler Davis has always had a knack for leading. He credits his parents for putting him on the right path but being a leader is almost instinctual for him.

The Hobart native was the captain of his high school soccer team and received that honor at Indiana University Northwest, too. He’s the kind of person to show up early, always try his best and stay late. When the RedHawks men’s soccer team didn’t have a full-time head coach for some time, his teammates relied on him to create training sessions.

Off the field, the first-generation college student exhibits those same characteristics. He tutored his sister’s friends — who are a year older than him — in math. After graduating atop his high school class, he maintained a near-perfect GPA at IU Northwest while pursuing his accounting degree, playing soccer and working.

And even when it would have been understandable to step down, to take a break even, Davis showed up.

During his sophomore year of college, Davis’ father passed away. He missed one practice but was back the next day, playing an entire game at left back. Playing distracted him for a few hours, but his presence on the field wasn’t a surprise to those who knew him.

“Everyone handles things differently,” Davis said. “It’s hard, but I still did it. I was able to continue the day after and push through even though it was difficult. I was able to get through and still show up to things I needed to be at in support of my team and everything else.”

The same is true in life. Even through difficult times, showing up is key. And Davis isn’t one for excuses. He’ll show up again and again.

But everything Davis has achieved hasn’t been by accident. There’s a recipe for balancing business school, collegiate athletics and work — and excelling at all of them. He’s meticulous about his schedule because he has to be.

“You just have to set up a routine,” Davis said. “I would just say focus on setting up a routine where you do the same things every week, it’s the same schedule for each day.”

And Davis’ planning doesn’t stop at his rigorous schedule. He’s always had a plan.

A man kicks a soccer ball on a field. When looking at colleges, Davis settled on IU Northwest because of the location, being able to play collegiate soccer and getting an IU business degree, which he knew would set him up for future success.

Specifically, Davis credits business professors Charles Hobson, who taught a class about teamwork. He’s met alumni who continue to use tactics taught in the class. He also thanked Helen Harmon, who Davis said does an excellent job of preparing students how to manage life after school.

Even as he nears Commencement, Davis’ next steps are planned. COVID-19 granted all college athletes an additional year of eligibility, so Davis will continue playing the sport he loves while obtaining his Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Accounting (PBCA) at IU Northwest.

Learn more about IUN’s PBCA program

Eventually, he wants to become a CPA and work in Northwest Indiana or Chicago. And while Davis has accomplished a lot already — being named the Male Academic Athlete of the Year, an NAIA Scholar Athlete and receiving the RedHawk Award, among others — his favorite moments aren’t his personal achievements.

Davis said his favorite IU Northwest moment was watching the RedHawks men’s soccer team grow from a small group of mostly freshmen who had to cancel their 2021 season because they didn’t have enough players to a thriving team coming off their best season in program history and only getting better.

“That change has been a very memorable experience because since the team is so new, just watching it evolve eventually to where it’s at now, I’m always going to remember that because I’m a part of it,” Davis said.

Eventually, Davis will look to make an impact on a new team with his accounting degree — and he thanks IU Northwest for giving him the resources to continue to succeed and lead.

Read more about IUN’s Class of 2024

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