Sun Devil Football wide receiver graduates with top engineering honors


Coben Bourguet in Sun Devils Football uniform

Coben Bourguet has combined life as a Division I athlete with the rigors of a challenging academic engineering program. He has been named an Outstanding Graduate by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Image courtesy of Coben Bourguet

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Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2024 graduates.

Coben Bourguet’s university life has been a balancing act.

As both a Division I athlete, playing as a wide receiver for the Arizona State University Sun Devil Football team, and a student in an academically rigorous program in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU, learning to juggle demanding priorities has been a crucial lesson.

“It’s been a rewarding challenge, reinforcing the importance of time management, discipline and perseverance,” Bourguet says.

Bourguet believes that his experience in college sports played a key role in his academic success, where his team-focused efforts helped foster leadership skills, a strong work ethic and an appreciation for the importance of collaboration.

The hard work paid off, especially with the help of instructors such as Professor of Practice Dan McCarville. Bourguet’s efforts in the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence, part of the Fulton Schools, earned top honors. He made the dean’s list and the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll each semester, received the Moeur Award for outstanding academic performance and was the recipient of a New American University President's Scholarship.

“People don’t realize that athletics at the college level requires extensive training and practice most of the year,” McCarville says. “Coben is at the top of his class in Fulton Schools and held summer engineering jobs — all while being a wide receiver. NCAA athletes are remarkable people.”

Bourguet also successfully completed an engineering capstone project, working with the athletic trainer for the ASU women’s volleyball team to optimize a movement screening process for players. Such screening systems are an important demonstration of how technology can play a critical role in sports. By using computers to analyze an athlete’s movements, trainers and coaches can help improve performance and reduce the possibility for injuries.

For Bourguet, life at ASU was a family affair. A third-generation ASU graduate, he played football alongside his brother, Trenton, a Sun Devil Football quarterback. His family, who ran a holiday toy drive for the Diamond’s Children Medical Center in Tucson in 2022 and 2023, has inspired him to serve as a role model. Bourguet helped the community as volunteer coach for the Lapan Youth Sports Camp and Tucson Turf Elite Football. He also pitched in at St. Mary’s Food Bank, packing holiday boxes for families in need.

Bourguet’s next play is to return to ASU to complete a master’s degree in the highly-ranked industrial engineering program in Fulton Schools. In the future, he sees himself at the nexus of sports and technology, ideally bringing engineering solutions to athletes as the head of his own company. He is also passionate about using engineering as a force for good.

 “I am deeply committed to leveraging my engineering expertise to address pressing societal challenges and drive positive change,” he says.

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