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Student spotlight: Austin Slye

by Public Relations | March 26, 2024

LATROBE, PA — On his first day at Saint Vincent College, Austin Slye, C 24, was a bit anxious because he did not see any familiar faces. “Growing up, I was very shy, very introverted,” Slye said. “I was stepping out of my comfort zone a little bit by coming to Saint Vincent, but you have to spread your wings to grow as a person.”

Slye grew up in Odenton, MD, a bedroom community wedged halfway between Baltimore and Washington, DC. A standout quarterback at Arundel High School, Slye had never heard of Saint Vincent until was recruited to play football here by former offensive coordinator Phil Hamilton.Slye1.jpg

Four years later, what began as strange, new place now feels much different. “It’s very homey here,” Slye said. “Very friendly people. It’s a nice place to be from.”

A business economics major, Slye tutors other students in the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government. He has made the dean’s list four times and is a member of the Omicron Delta Epsilon national economics honor society. In the spring of 2023, he took part in a McKenna School-sponsored trip to Germany.

“At first, I was like, ‘Aw, man, economics is tough,’ because it’s a lot of math, graphs and stuff,” Slye said. “But I was able to learn and adapt, and now I love economics.”

After the 2023 football season, Slye was named to the College Sports Communicators academic all-district team. The award honors student-athletes who display athletic excellence while maintaining at least a 3.50 grade-point average.

Starting out on the junior varsity team, Slye did not get much playing time over his first three years at Saint Vincent. “A lot of the JV games were canceled because we didn’t have enough bodies due to injuries, so I didn’t get a lot of reps,” he explained. As the backup quarterback during his sophomore and junior seasons, he appeared in a total of seven games and attempted only 33 passes.

“I never thought about [quitting],” Slye said. “The way I was raised, when you start something, you finish it. I would have been doing a disservice to my teammates if I had left the team.”

This past season, Slye finally earned the starting quarterback job. He had a 56 percent completion rate and threw for 1,933 yards and five touchdowns.

Slye aims to get a post-graduate degree and has been accepted into the public policy management program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. With his graduation still a couple of months away, Slye smiled wistfully as he reflected on his time at Saint Vincent.

“It feels weird,” Slye said. “It’s like the end of an era—a really good era. I wish I could have those years back, just to live with all my friends again. But, at the same time, it’s a new opportunity to grow and I’m excited for that.”



PHOTO: Austin Slye