Alumni Issue 2020: Edinboro has always been the answer for Victor Hudson

Sunday, November 15th, 2020 at 11:06 AM

Bash, the puppy, is the first image to pop up on our Zoom call. He’s curious about the call and happy to stare into the camera back at me. He finally grabs a tennis ball and retreats to the background, but never leaves the picture.  

“Sorry,” Victor Hudson says with a laugh. “He loves to be the center of attention.” 

They say that dogs take on the personality of their owners. Hudson doesn’t need to be the center of attention, but he does have a commanding presence. It’s easy to see where Bash gets it from.  

Hudson is energetic and effervescent from the moment we begin talkingand it’s easy to figure out how he finds himself in his new role at Edinboro University. In September, he was named the Manager of Annual Giving; this followed work as an admissions recruiter. 

“Advancement came to me about this position opening up, and I went through the process and it all worked out,” he said. “It was a great opportunity for me,” ... Hudson paused ... “and I got to stay at Edinboro.” 

The former Fighting Scot played outside linebacker for his first three seasons as part of Edinboro football. “I was pretty decent my first three years,” Hudson said with a humble smile. “A good role player.” 

Those first three seasons Hudson spent with the Scots, the team underperformed. From 2013-15, Edinboro had a combined record of 7-26. After the 2015 season, the Scots made a change and brought in a new coaching staff.  

Head coach Justin Lustig brought new life and new energy to the depleted squad.  

“It wasn’t new players, or a new scheme,” Hudson said. “For the most part, our roster was the same and the scheme didn’t change much. What changed was the coaching staff and most importantly the culture. The culture Coach Lustig implemented changed our whole team.” 

That new culture would have a positive effect right away, as the Scots finished the season at 9-2.  

The coaching staff did make one notable roster change, however. They moved Hudson from outside linebacker to defensive end, and he would reward them with a career year. Hudson finished the 2016 campaign with 67 tackles, 11.5 sacks and one interception. The monster season was good enough to have him named to the Little All-American team.  

Hudson let out a hearty laugh when the Little All-American team came up. The team recognized the country’s best players from non-division one schools.  

“I was an All-American,” he said, laughing. “But just a little one. You know they changed the name the year after I was on the team. Everyone else gets to just be an All-American, but I’ll always be a Little All-American.” 

The culture change in the football team is something that sticks with Hudson. And after graduating from Edinboro, he stayed on campus to get his master’s degree in educational leadership. While taking those classes, Hudson learned about leadership theories. He’s been applying those theories to his everyday life ever since.  

Hudson’s goal in life is to become an athletic director. He explained that skills he learned in his leadership program will pave the way to reaching his ultimate goal.  

“If you are an athletic director, you’re leading a bunch of different people. You’re leading coaches, you’re communicating with provosts and presidents. You need to have leadership qualities, and I think those can be learned, but I also think that a lot of leadership is innate. I think I have that,” he said. 

The culture that Hudson learned playing football for the Fighting Scots is one he also finds helpful in his new role in the advancement office.  

“From my first day in this new role, everyone has been so supportive and everyone wants me to succeed,” he said. “Jess Gray is my supervisor and she brings a level of energy that you have to match every day. I absolutely love it. She and I feed off each other’s energy. It’s a great partnership.” 

It is a new role for Hudson, but one that he’s well suited for. Between his work ethic and his personality, don’t be shocked if the annual giving numbers go up. Whether it’s catching up with former athletes, or working to raise money for the student hardship fund, which recently has been focused on virtual learning, Hudson is driven to do his best every single day.  

Becoming an athletic director may be Hudson’s long-term goal. But long-term goals do not affect his immediate goals for the moment he finds himself in. In his senior season for the Fighting Scots, Hudson’s goal was never to become an All-American. Instead, his goal was making the right read on each play.  

“For me, I’m going to focus on being the best Manager of Annual Giving I can be. Maybe I can throw in some athletics while I’m at it. Maybe I’ll go get my MBA or my doctorate. I truly believe if you work to become the best person you can be each day, the results will follow.” 

Hudson also believes that he is in the right place at the right time. 

The ongoing pandemic initially forced him to consider a life outside of Edinboro University (for the first time since he stepped foot on campus in 2013). “Edinboro means so much to me,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay here. I wanted to be a part of Edinboro.” 

Because of COVID-19 and changes to the university, Hudson was actually preparing to be furloughed. He was ready to accept a position away from campus, but had to talk himself into the move. And just in the nick of time, neither side seemed ready to let go of each other.  

“When I got the opportunity to work in advancement, my fiancé said she could see in my eyes that I didn’t want to leave.” 

Hudson’s fiancé, Peyton, is part of why the university means so much to him.  

“I met my fiancé here my freshmen year. I played all four years here. I got all my degrees here. My brother just graduated from Edinboro last December,” Hudson said. “He was my first recruit.” 

When he wanted to play collegiate football after leaving Northfield, Ohio, Edinboro was the answer. When he wanted to learn more leadership skills after he graduated, Edinboro was the answer. Even when it seemed certain he would need to accept a new job, Edinboro was the answer. 

For Victor Hudson, Edinboro University has always been the answer.  

“It has become my home.”

Sam Bohen is a staff writer for The Spectator. He can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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