Eric Pittel played soccer for Belmont from 2003-2007. In his four seasons as a midfielder, he played in 65 matches and helped his team earn three Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament berths. The Brentwood, Tennessee native was also four-time A-Sun Academic All-Conference performer. Eric recently spoke with Belmont Athletics about his college experience and his present here in Nashville.
Why did you choose Belmont?
I chose Belmont for many reasons. First, I had heard great things about the Massey Business School and knew that I wanted to focus on a Business degree. Secondly, I really wanted to go to a school that combined great academic performance with strong athletic performance and achievement. Out of all the schools that I visited, Belmont offered the best balance between academics and athletics. I ideally wanted to attend a soccer program where I was confident I could positively impact for several years. Lastly, the people made the difference. After two visits, I had a great feeling that these were the people I wanted to grow with.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
My fondest athletic memory, beyond the sweat, blood and tears that created lifelong relationships and bonds, would be my freshman year when our Men’s Soccer Team went down to UCF (previously part of A-Sun) and beat their top-25 ranked team on their home field. The atmosphere, weather, game… everything was perfect. We gave everything we had that game and it really was a blast to beat them in front of their own crowd. I firmly remember the late Eric Susewind, my former teammate/roommate and fellow freshman midfielder, and I loving every minute of starting and playing in that game.
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont and how?
Wow, this is tough. So many people impacted my life during my time at Belmont. As far as individuals that really set the example for me and just helped me become a man, I would say Ben Fisher and Colette Keyser had a huge impact. Coach Ben was a no excuses guy. He was known for giving everything he had. I wanted to emulate that during my playing career. Colette is just as good of a person that exists in this world. Colette would do anything for you, and I will always be grateful for her.
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
The most valuable lesson that I learned from my time at Belmont is how to properly respect and treat people. I may be hard on my friends and family, but most individuals know that I would do anything for them. Belmont helped me understand that this country is made up of people with so many different stories and backgrounds, but all matter.
What advice would you give to current members of the soccer team?
Simple. Give it everything you have and don’t have any what ifs when it is all over. It goes by fast and you will never forget that you did all you could to make the game and your teammates better.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Dr. Jeff Cornwall. Truly cares about his students. And, he is not afraid to do thing a little different than the others.
Where do you live now?
Fortunately, I am still in Nashville. Currently live in West Nashville. Trying to stay away from the East side, for now.
What is your occupation presently?
I am the Clinic Manager for the pediatric diabetes clinic at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
My position entails having the honor to lead our team in striving every day to provide the best possible care to our 2800 pediatric patients currently living with diabetes. We are a team made up of nurses, dietitians, social work, child life specialist, and office staff. We do our best to support our Doctors in providing world class care to our kids.
Tell us about your family.
My immediate family is still small. I live with my wife, Rachel, and our dog, Griffin. He is still a puppy, so we stay busy!