[NIU Huskie Athletics]
Abrahamson is happy to be involved during the full season, hitting places such as Palm Springs, California; Las Vegas; Tampa, Florida; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Orlando, Florida; and Phoenix in the spring and plenty of trips to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. She does bat testing, makes recommendations and assessments to teams, bat-makers and more. Typically four times a year, an NCAA-approved bat list comes out, and Abrahamson plays a big role in what bats make the list or fail to. She has done all of this at her own pace, and still plays a hand in the larger process of equipment testing.
It was Groth who gave Abrahamson her job in NIU’s administration in 1994 and enabled Abrahamson the freedom to take on other roles such as the ones with the NCAA. Abrahamson responded by being a crutch Groth could lean on, whether it be professional or personal.
“She was my rock. She’s hard-working, got along with the student athletes, huge heart, great integrity,” Groth said. “If you had to paint a picture of the perfect colleague you wanted on your team, it was Dee.”
Abrahamson approached her role as an administrator in a unique fashion, cultivated from years of organizing get-togethers with members of the Huskies’ coaching community.
“When I moved into administration, I really was kind of focused on this was a chance for me instead of coaching players, I was coaching coaches,” Abrahamson said. “Most of my responsibilities were internal operations. I had a lot of first-year head coaches. I was coaching them through coaching and letting them pass that on.”
An avid teacher, Abrahamson always was keen on instructing and learning. She lobbied Groth to let her to sit in on meetings from other sports, wanting to see early in her administrative career how the men’s coaches handled their business behind closed doors.
“Teaching is teaching, whether it’s your mom teaching you how to do stuff or your dad or a teacher in school or a coach or whatever,” Abrahamson said. “It’s helping people learn some skills and then watching them go from fumbling around at it to being really good at it to being great at it to being able to teach somebody else. It’s a really great progression to see.”