Note: The following appears in the Texas A&M gameday football program.
A simple conversation with Tanner Dieterich portrays the poise and measured intensity that has become synonymous with his play on the soccer field. The precision in word choice and cadence of delivery leaves everyone understanding how he has risen to great heights of success at Clemson. The Nashville, Tenn. native is in his final season as a Tiger men’s soccer player with a desire to cement a legacy.
Dieterich’s desire to be great is not solely confined to the soccer field, as his drive for success in the professional world is evident. When he returned to Clemson the summer before his junior year, he approached the staff at the university’s student-athlete development department and asked how he could contribute in the community. This question resulted in an internship with Clemson’s communications department, serving the university’s president, Jim Clements.
After a successful completion of the internship, Dieterich, much like in his playing career, was not satisfied and desired more. He made his way back to the student-athlete staff and was encouraged to pursue greater heights, as he applied for an internship with Nike. After a successful application submission and an endless cycle of interviews, Dieterich was selected by the global operations team to become an intern under its supervision.
“Anything that fell under the chief operating officer’s reports is what we handled,” recalled Dieterich. “We executed events for leaders, handled all employee communications and helped with any building openings. The range, breadth and scope of what we did was amazing.”
Now, as Dieterich is back at Clemson, he wants to emphasize a message to his team that nothing has changed despite the senior being absent from Clemson during the team’s preseason preparations.
“First, I want to say ‘thank you’ to my teammates for letting me pursue this opportunity and to represent Clemson, but the message to them is that nothing has changed.”
Despite not being physically present, he knew where the team would be guided by its support staff during summer training.
Dieterich is calling upon the lessons instilled in him by his father and a particular U.S. National Team coach. His father, a 40-year coach and former soccer player at Stetson, has lived as a role model for Dieterich.
“When you talk him, you understand why and how his former players and current students will do anything for him,” explained #6.
A former coach, Richie Williams of the U-17 U.S. National Team, is someone who Dieterich traces an immediate line to when reflecting on his growth as a person.
“Through that experience, he taught me how to communicate, not only on the field, but with the team when we were at dinner or in the locker room.”
But just like most people, Dieterich enjoys the familiar comforts of home when the spotlight and pressure are not beaming down on him.
“When I am in the sport, I am giving 120 percent at all times, so for me to take a moment away is really important.”
When not at the training grounds or in the classroom, one can find Dieterich lounging on his porch and appreciating the sounds of good music and the surrounding nature.
Regardless of what lies ahead, as a phenomenal four-year chapter comes to a close, Dieterich will be a leader who the Clemson Family looks fondly upon as he positively impacts his family, workplace and community.