Almost every career path includes many unplanned twists and turns. Chris Quetant had numerous opportunities when he graduated from Springfield College in 2011. The fact that he has landed in a full-time position in the Anti-Doping and Sanctions department for USA Track and Field came as a surprise for Quetant, who always saw himself competing in athletics. His work at USATF and as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee has culminated in a very rewarding career, even if it’s not what he originally wanted.
Growing up in Milford, Conn., Quetant always knew he wanted to be a star athlete. Sports took up most of his time as a child, including a great deal of long road trips for soccer tournaments and all-day track events. An impassioned track and field athlete throughout high school, he was determined to continue his success on the rubber at Springfield College.
Quetant’s older brother, Oswald, played a major role in his decision to choose Springfield. Oswald graduated in 2005 with a degree in Business Administration, and raved about the atmosphere and commitment of the faculty and staff. Following several visits, Chris felt the warm reception that his brother had so fondly talked about.
“Obviously there was some bias there with having a relative attend the school, but I really did fall in love with Springfield early on into my college recruitment phase,” Quetant said.
When it came to choosing a major, Sports Management seemed like the obvious choice, as he hoped to work within sports in some capacity after graduation. While he continued to run track, Quetant really threw himself into the major — never letting any internship opportunity slide by, and jumping at any prospect of improving his standing.
Becoming an active member of the professional space is important in any area, but in a major like Sports Management, it is essential. A certain level of conviction in your experience and ability are tools needed to successfully oversee the countless aspects of athletic programs.
“Being able to show initiative and take advantage of various opportunities allowed me to gain little experiences that built my confidence not only in sport but just being in the workforce in general,” Quetant said. “It was a great way to know if I was good at it, and if it was what I really wanted to do.”
Ironically, the actual track experience he had gathered throughout his college career didn’t pay any dividends in getting a foot into the door of the Olympic movement. Instead, Quetant used networking events such as the F.L.A.M.E. program, which was organized by the U.S. Olympic Committee, to get his name out there and create a brand for himself.
“That experience provided me with some of the most beneficial networking experiences, which ultimately assisted in me attaining my first internship in the organization in the summer before my senior year,” Quetant said.
Quetant Impressed many during the internship, and parlayed that into his first job out of college. It was there, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., where he built the stepping stones for future job opportunities.
With an official title of operations coordinator, Quetant’s job was to manage the logistics of teams that resided at the training center. His role allowed him to work with various sports such as bobsled, skeleton, and luge, among many others. It was definitely a new sector of the profession for Quetant, who didn’t have a lot of experience with Winter Olympic sports.
“I really loved working with teams and players in different sports, it allowed me to learn how to deal with separate situations,” Quetant said.
Even while working a full-time job, Quetant still found time to give back to his community, serving on the board of the Shipman Youth Center in Lake Placid. The SYC is a community organization that provides services to the youth of the area.
In 2015, he was also one of few selected to serve as a member of the of the U.S. Olympic Committee delegation at the for the Pan American games in Toronto, another big step in his career.
It was only after a move to Indianapolis that Quetant was able to take advantage of another exciting opportunity, returning to the track, this time to work with Olympic athletes. He started with the sanctions legal department of the USATF. It was purely by circumstance that he ended up in Anti-Doping.
“It was kind of just luck that I fell into the anti-doping space,” he said. “There was an opening to join their team and get a new experience, while also filling a void within the organization.”
Quetant and his team regularly serve as liaisons and resources by informing athletes of anti-doping rules and regulations, as well keeping a clean and level playing field for their athletes.
Although he is not where he expected to end up, the Springfield alum has thrived in his current role, and is enthusiastic about the future.
“I am most excited for what new initiatives we have in the sport of track and field and our organization,” Quetant said.
Photo Courtesy Chris Quetant