April 18, 2019

Alyssa Hoying: Big Ten Medal of Honor Finalist


Alyssa Hoying was a four-year letterwinner on the Ohio State synchronized swimming team. The Indianapolis, Ind. native helped the Buckeyes to three national championships during her tenure, including consecutive titles in 2017 and 2018. A four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete, Hoying garnered US All-American laurels every year and was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar twice. Earlier this month, she received the Varsity “O” Scholarship and Fergus Memorial Awards.

Ohio State Buckeyes

What makes you a good candidate for this award? Is there anyone, in particular, you would like to thank for helping you during your time at Ohio State?

I am still in a state of disbelief that I am up for this award, if we are being completely transparent. We have a banner around the pool at McCorkle Pavilion that mentions how many Big Ten Medal of Honor winners have come from the Ohio State synchronized swimming program and I think that is a true testament to the caliber of women that our program equips us to become. I never thought I would be one of them and rarely think of myself as an individual without my team, but I definitely could not have done it without them. My coaches in particular, Holly Vargo-Brown and Suzanna Hyatt, have been my biggest cheerleaders and sources of my leadership and professional growth during my four and a half years at Ohio State. They saw potential in me as a freshman that I never saw in myself and welcomed me into a program expecting me to leave an impact on it. I hope that the impact I was a part of shows the authenticity of our team, love and care we have for each other, our past teammates and future ones. I owe everything to them, honestly.

What was been the most rewarding experience or opportunity during your time as a Buckeye student-athlete?

Academically, graduating with a degree that has given me a direction on where I want to work in my future profession has been extremely rewarding. I have the OSU Event Management and SASSO staff to thank for helping me get to where I am today! Athletically, watching my teammates accomplish their goals in the pool has been the most rewarding for me. We endure the highest of highs and the lowest of lows seeing our teammates endure eight-hour practices and going through life together, but it is so rewarding watching it all pay off. In particular, watching my team win our 31st national championship in 2018 after graduating one of our most athletically gifted senior classes ever, was an unexplainable feeling. It still gives me chills when I think about how we overcame everyone’s doubts and selflessly pursued our goal. Our team saying that year was “For Each Other”, because we truly wanted to win a championship purely for the girls in the pool next to us and the coaches on deck supporting us the whole way.

In your opinion, what does it mean to be a student-athlete, especially at a university like Ohio State?

Being a student-athlete at Ohio State means representing something bigger than yourself. When we put on an Ohio State uniform we aren’t just getting ready to compete, we are showcasing what our university and athletic program stands for. To me, being a Buckeye has been a dream come true for a little girl who always wanted to compete for the Scarlet and Gray. It truly is a blessing to have been able to take my 15 years of swimming and compete at such a high level. Ohio State sets you up to achieve nothing but your highest potential. I will forever be grateful for the countless opportunities and lifelong relationships I have made during my time as a Buckeye and hope to continue to give back to this amazing school in my future!

What are your post-college plans? After graduation, how do you plan to take what you have learned as a student-athlete into the business world/professional athletic endeavors?

I actually graduated from Ohio State this past December and have been working at the Ohio High School Athletic Association with their officiating department. However, I just recently found out that I was offered a nine-month internship position with the College Football Playoff and will be moving down to Texas in late July! I will be the Hospitality and Fan Services intern for the CFP organization along with five other interns from all across the country. I am so excited for this opportunity and have Carey Fagan and Gene Smith to thank for recommending me for the position! After the internship is over in 2020, I plan on returning to Ohio State and getting my master’s degree in sport management thanks to some very generous donors and post-grad scholarships I was blessed to be awarded at this year’s Scholar-Athlete Banquet. I plan to work in the sport and hospitality industry for the rest of my life, creating events for athletes and fans that were as memorable as some of the competitions I have been lucky to compete in as a Buckeye. It is a selfless industry, but it excites me on where my future could be headed!