Previously the director of athletics at Coastal Bend College, Paul Cantrell has taken the mantle of executive director of the Coastal Bend College Foundation.

Originally born in Ohio, Cantrell has been at Coastal Bend College since 2017 as the athletic director and head volleyball coach, However he was only recently promoted to the position of executive director of the Coastal Bend College Foundation on June 1. Prior to coming to Beeville, Cantrell was the director of athletic fundraising at Salisbury University in Maryland. This gave Cantrell experience in fundraising. During this time, he worked on capital campaigns, annual giving and other fundraising elements.

Before this, Cantrell started his career as a college coach at Valdosta State University in Georgia. He achieved his master’s degree while he worked at the university.

Cantrell felt called to the position after noting the positive direction that Coastal Bend College is going in.

“I felt that this is an element of our college that can do better and I believed that I’m the guy who could help it do better,” said Cantrell. The Coastal Bend College Foundation is the main fundraising branch of the college. The goal of the foundation is to assist students through scholarships, assist faculty in different projects and to hopefully grow the college to the point of capital campaigns and new building construction.

According to Cantrell, fundraising is the process of making a friend.

“You have to develop relationships with people so they trust not only you but the program that you’re asking them to support,” said Cantrell. “It’s a process. It is not something that happens overnight.”

It is about connecting their love and passion with something that the fundraiser is doing.

Cantrell considers fundraising a passion. It is something that comes easy to some people. Cantrell feels blessed to have such a skill in fundraising.

Cantrell already has initiatives that the foundation will soon be launching. These initiatives include the revitalization of an alumni network.

“There is a large number of people in South Texas who have attended Coastal Bend College or its previous name, Bee County College,” said Cantrell. “We know those people have a great deal of pride in their college and we just want to try to connect with them.”

In addition, Cantrell wishes to continue playing a role in the art scene in the region. This includes staying loyal to local ballet programs in the area.

“We are looking to grow our athletic fundraising as a part of what is called the Cougar Athletic Trust,” said Cantrell. “... We are going to try to do as many different things that we can find.”

In the brief moments of respite between work, Cantrell enjoys playing golf. However, he has not had the chance to play recently, something he wishes to remedy in the near future. Cantrell first played golf in high school, noting that golf has been a part of his life for a long time. In addition to enjoying gold, Cantrell is a fan of Ohio State Buckeyes Football.

Cantrell sees this position as a full commitment to the Coastal Bend College and the community as a whole.

“I’m going to be here for a while,” said Cantrell. “This is my home now and for the long term future.”

•mtamez@mysoutex.com•

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