Pharmacy grad mixes coaching with academic, clinical duties

Lindsey Tjards at the UNMC College of Pharmacy convocation held Friday, May 3 at the Holland Performing Arts Center

Lindsey Tjards, set to be hooded Friday and graduate Saturday with her PharmD degree from the UNMC College of Pharmacy, is in the midst of a busy spring, finishing her academic obligations and preparing for commencement and its assorted celebrations.

But spring is always a busy time for Tjards, who has served as an assistant soccer coach at Elkhorn South, her high school alma mater, throughout her UNMC pharmacy school career.

In the rush of year-end activities, Tjards missed the Storm’s Thursday night district final game at Columbus for her pharmacy banquet.

She hates to miss the big game. But this is a lifetime memory. A recognition of achievement after a long road.

“I’m definitely missing a few (soccer) things this week,” she said. But this week it’s warranted. “This is way more important.”

And she’s used to juggling.

“This whole soccer season, I’ve been on rotation,” said Tjards, who starts a residency at Methodist in July.

That makes it tough to make every practice. But thankfully, “I help coach the varsity, so we play our games later in the night, around 7 o’clock.”

She’s rarely on the team bus, often meeting them at the stadium.

She follows the same rule she and her fellow coaches set for their players – school comes first. So, Coach Tjards occasionally has had to miss out on soccer through the years to fulfill her own academic and clinical duties.

“We actually had a chat with the girls the other day,” she said. “You know, ‘You are students first … athlete comes second.’”

And being an athlete is fleeting. Tjards was a competitive player at Elkhorn South before she underwent seven surgeries, she said. She decided she could no longer play. But she wanted to stay close to the game.

She started helping her former team during her undergrad years. That got harder once she got to UNMC.

“I do remember being pretty overwhelmed,” she said. “I would say P1 year. Just trying to juggle everything. I would say pharmacy school is a little different than undergrad.”

The second season in pharmacy school was difficult, as well. But then it clicked.

“I’m glad I stuck with it,” Tjards said. “Because it’s kind of a nice escape sometimes, as much as it can be overwhelming.

“It’s kind of nice, to say, ‘Yeah, we’ve got a game tonight.’ You know, I can take a break from my textbooks and whatnot.”

She’s not sure if that will still be possible, as a full-time working professional. She hopes to become a hospital pharmacist. This may be her last season in the sun (and cold). At least for a while.

If her team wins, they will continue to run at practice on Saturday morning. But Tjards will walk. She has commencement. School first.

“I’m excited,” she said. “It’s crazy that it’s actually here, you prepare for it for so long.

“It feels like it’s gone so fast. When you’re in it and you’re studying, you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is taking forever.’ Now looking back, it’s like holy cow, that was a fast four years.”


  1. JohnStepehen Hartman says:

    Congrats, Lindsey Tjards!

  2. Staci Hubert says:

    Great job, Lindsey! Juggling and wearing different hats throughout school has prepared you for real life and I have no doubt you will continue to succeed! Congrats on job(s) well done !

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