Get to Know Triton Athletes' Council President Victor de Cos
LA JOLLA, Calif. – Less than a month into the 2018-19 academic year, it was already an impressive start for the Triton Athletes’ Council (TAC). TAC raised a record-breaking $735.37 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation through their Chipotle fundraiser, one of multiple fundraising events that they hold to benefit the nonprofit organization throughout the year.
Philanthropy is one of TAC’s main goals for UC San Diego’s student-athlete community, along with others such as offering academic resources, creating an engaging and supportive social scene, and participating in community service. In order to achieve those goals, it takes a dedicated group of student-athletes. At the helm of TAC this year is President Victor de Cos of the men’s rowing team.
De Cos’ road to becoming a Triton student-athlete and TAC president consisted of an unexpected turn in high school. He was being recruited by the Triton tennis program, but a labrum tear forced him to make other plans. The Sacramento native switched to rowing because of a shorter recovery time and developed a passion for the sport, with his newfound talent soon appealing to UC San Diego’s rowing program.
Looking back on the recruiting process, de Cos recalls that he was unknowingly impacted by TAC even before he was a Triton student-athlete.
“My official visit here was amazing,” de Cos recollected. “I found that the athletics community was really supportive because I went to a TAC volleyball event on my official visit, and the guys on the team were so welcoming.”
Although de Cos was unaware at the time, he understood after starting at UC San Diego the role that TAC had played in organizing that event, as well as the broader scope of their work.
“I quickly learned that TAC was the people that work behind the scenes to create this really exciting community within athletics,” de Cos recounted. “From the first few events of the fall quarter during my freshman year, I knew this was something I wanted to get involved with because it looked like a lot of fun and a great way to give back to the athletics community.”
With the encouragement of then-TAC Adviser Ken Grosse, TAC Representative Alec Petty, and Head Coach Zach Johnson, de Cos followed through with his desire to get involved. He has been committed to TAC throughout his time at UC San Diego, serving as the chairman of the publicity committee as a junior before earning the title of president for his senior year.
In addition to working towards the organization’s previously established goals, de Cos is helping the group achieve new aims.
“We really want to get engaged with Triton Tide, the Greek community, Associated Students (AS), and several other community and cultural organizations,” de Cos shared. “We want to get more engagement from diverse groups and teams in everything we do.”
TAC is not alone in pursuing its goals. De Cos attended the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meeting last month, where student-athlete leaders from the conference came together to share their experiences.
“[We] discussed what we’ve been doing in the past years, and we bounced ideas off of each other to learn from each other, so we can all grow,” de Cos said of the meeting. “I think it’s a really cool way to connect and find new ideas… There’s always going to be feedback from these other SAAC presidents and vice presidents about how to do things better, and that’s what it’s all about.”
While de Cos has been working to make TAC the best it can be, he also feels that his time with the Council has impacted him personally.
“My biggest takeaway has been finding my voice as a student-athlete and listening to the concerns of those around me and being able to project that,” de Cos stated. “I think it’s really rewarding… to be a representative for these student-athletes.”
De Cos will spend the year serving as TAC’s president before embarking on a new challenge: pursuing a career in pediatric surgery. The senior is confident that his student-athlete experience will stay with him following graduation, in regard to both his time with the rowing program and his time with TAC.
“The discipline and work ethic that I’ve learned from rowing, I don’t know if there are many other things that could’ve given me that,” de Cos reflected. “With TAC, it’s given me leadership, public speaking, and community engagement skills, and those are irreplaceable.”
About UC San Diego Athletics With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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