Andrea Hudy is considered one of the best in her field.
Her field is one of the most male-dominated in the nation: men's college basketball.
Few women are trainers for NCAA Division I men's basketball teams, and fewer are part of teams that compete year in and year out for national titles. Hudy is the assistant athletic director for performance at the University of Kansas.
"You know, I don't think I've ever felt the pressure of the glass ceiling. I think it's other people who tell me, or ask me, 'How have you gotten where you have?' I've never seen it. And maybe that's just me and how I look at things. I like to refer to myself as a chameleon. I can fit in anywhere and do anything that I need to do to get something done. I don't look at myself as a female. I look at myself as a teacher and coach. And I look at the athlete as a student," she explained.
Hudy is responsible for the strength training and conditioning of the men's basketball team.
"We have one goal and that's to win national championships. And if they don't understand that that's what the goal is, then we don't need you here because we've established a reputation that that's what we're about," she said.
Her drive and determination have been with her since she was a little girl. She grew up in Pennsylvania, the youngest of five children. Her entire family was competitive and they all were athletes.
She learned early on the only way to survive was to give it right back and never back down.
"My brother would throw me in a thorn bush. And what hurt worse was trying to get out of the thorn bush than getting thrown in it, so yes, I would say I had to be scrappy," Hudy remembered.
That scrappy child grew into a natural competitor. She had to in a family where the punishment for losing left a literal bad taste in her mouth.
"You had to eat an onion and if we had our cross-country route through the woods and you lost, you had to take off your socks and shoes and run up and down the gravel driveway," said Hudy.
They were tough times for a growing girl, but it bloomed into a competitive spirit that took Hudy through college and into a championship career coaching, training and molding players into winning teams at the University of Connecticut and now at KU for coach Bill Self.
"He's a great guy to work for. He's supportive and he lets me do my job. And there's very few coaches that allow strength and conditioning coaches or performing coaches to do their job and he gives me everything," Hudy said.
Everything includes the new computer system inside the Anderson Family Strength and Conditioning Center on the KU campus. It keeps track of every athlete's program and progress. It's a system so advanced, there are only 10 like it on college campuses worldwide.
It's just one of the tools Hudy uses to get the Jayhawks ready for their long and grueling season each year. They have already made the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA basketball tournament.
"It's hard to believe I am where I am and that I work for who I do and to be in such a position with the University of Kansas basketball, one of the best basketball traditions in history ... is pretty amazing," Hudy said.
Once basketball season is over, Hudy will turn her attention to the Midwest Sports Performance Conference that will be held at KU in May. For more information, click here.
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Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:00:37 GMT
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