Student Athlete Profile: Dylan Mueth '14, MAED '16
by Stephanie (Coartney) Dulaney ’10
“You often hear a coach say, ‘Play like it’s the last shift you’ll ever play.’ I already thought my last shift had come,” said Dylan Mueth ’14, MAED ’16.
A graduate student and forward on the Bearcats ice hockey team, Dylan first took an interest in the sport as a child in his hometown of New Baden, Ill. His parents faced a hard decision in allowing him to play, however, because he was born with a heart defect that left his main arteries transposed. After undergoing open heart surgery as a newborn, it was advised that Dylan avoid all contact sports later in life.
“My parents saw how much I loved sports, especially hockey, so they did everything they could to ensure I was able to play safely, he said.”
Dylan joined the Bearcat hockey team as a freshman in 2011, but in 2013, doctors informed him that he would have to give up the sport due to his heart. “It was a really tough time. Hockey always meant a lot to me, so I felt like something was missing.”
Only one month after returning from a semester studying abroad at the University of Leeds in England, he learned that he would need open heart surgery again. If he chose to do it soon, his cardiologist believed he could return to the game he loved.
“With the support of my friends and family, I had a successful surgery and six month recovery. It certainly made me a stronger person and more understanding of the bigger issues in life, he said.”
Dylan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 2014 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in higher education administrative services. He had just begun graduate courses when he was told he could play hockey again.
“It was like I won the lottery! I had to work very hard to get back where I was physically before the surgery, but I was more motivated to play than ever.”
Dylan’s leadership, as captain of the team, earned the Bearcats a spot at the ACHA Division III National Tournament for the second time in program history in 2016.
Dylan says his experience as a McKendree student and member of the Bearcat hockey team has shaped his career goals.
“My ultimate goal is to become an athletic director at a university. Working with student athletes to help them become the best person they can be on and off the field is something I know I will enjoy doing.”