"When posed with the question on whether Devon should or should not go pro, my overwhelming answer is “yes.” Devon is a young talented up-and-coming athlete. I have watched him develop and know he is far from done in his development.
"Devon has some good momentum behind him right now and I believe he is in the position to ride a wave of accomplishments into the professional arena. I do not think another year of amateur racing will push Devon to the next level. Racing against other pro triathletes will allow Devon to see first hand what he needs to do in order to excel. It will force him to sink or swim, and I know he is a good swimmer.
"Devon has defined limits that will become evident in his first season. His run is not currently where it needs to be for him to podium as a pro. With that said, I think his swim and bike will allow him to stay in the mix in most races and maybe win some money. As a 23 year old, Devon will be in a position to learn as he grows and as his run legs come around, his mental game will become more solid.
"Devon has a source of financial support/sponsorship available to him in 2010. If he were to remain an amateur, there would be no guarantee that support would be there in 2011. I have seen that support in form of financial sponsorship is few and far between for entry to mid level triathletes. The term Po'ffesional was how DKT once described his career and he wasn't far off the mark. I know many "top level" pros who struggle to find financial sponsorships. For the most part these sponsors are supporting the individual because they believe in him/her as a person, not because of his/her race resume. Bottom line: Take it when you can get it.
"All of this becomes moot when you think that turning pro is what will make Devon happy in 2010. I would rather see him happy and at the bottom of the pro field, than not happy at the top of the amateur field.
"Devon will do well. It will take him a few years to get to where he wants to be, but know that he will get there. He has a solid mental focus and a great disposition. He is very likable and that will help in the long run. His career as a coach will also benefit from his racing as a pro." Kris