What do the first two hours of your day look like?
I typically arrive at the office around 6:15-6:30 a.m. and workout for about 30 minutes to get the day started. After that, I typically go over emails that I haven’t responded to and try to map out what lies ahead for that day. Following that, I typically check classes for our guys that have early morning classes.
Name one go-to resource (or two or three) that helps you with your duties.
I would recommend using Apple products, if possible. Between the Mac, iPhone and Apple Watch, I feel as though I’m always connected to what’s going on. At times, it becomes a little overwhelming, but I believe it helps be much more efficient at my job.
If you could go back to your first day on the job and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
The one thing I would tell myself is to always expect the unexpected. What makes some days so much longer are the random, surprise problems that come up that requires undivided attention. Through experience, I’ve somewhat learned how to anticipate some of those issues, and have found ways to prevent them or lessen their severity by trying to project possible worst-case scenarios.
Name one thing you want to accomplish within the next year.
My biggest goal is to become a Division I assistant before next season starts.
As you look at the athletic operations field, what is the one area that is growing/changing the most?
I believe that the area for social media opportunities is growing at a significant rate within the athletic operations field, particularly in college athletics. Anyone associated with college athletics knows that recruiting is the lifeblood of any program, and social media is creating a new area in which coaches and programs can engage with prospective student-athletes. Those who are looking to work in college athletics and possess certain social media and technological skills are extremely attractive candidates to programs on all levels. Schools are constantly looking for an edge when it comes to recruiting, and they will utilize all reasonable resources to ensure they are finding the best fit for individual teams, and entire athletic departments.
Best career or work advice you’ve ever received.
The way you do your current job is the best interview or resume you can ever give.
First event, person or job that sparked your interest in this field of work.
My dad was a longtime high school and AAU coach, so I knew coaching was always in my blood. In terms of the college level, I was first inspired by my coach at the University of Alabama, Anthony Grant. Watching the way he ran our program, the way his family was involved and the way he handled himself really gave me the hope and dreams to one day put myself in a similar situation. Philip Pearson, who recruited my brother and me to Alabama, has also been extremely helpful. I’ve known him since I was in the 6th grade, and we’ve had a great relationship ever since. Every move I’ve ever made, he’s been a sounding board and very supportive while allowing me to make my own decisions, and I doubt I’d be in this business without his guidance along the way.
Tell us a story of the most unusual, craziest, or unexpected thing that has happened during your tenure in operations and how you handled it.
Last season at South Alabama, it was our last regular season conference road trip, and we’d taken a charter flight to play Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina. After the App State game, our flight was delayed by about three hours due to technical issues with other planes that the company was using, so instead of getting to Myrtle Beach at about 11 p.m., we made it in around 2 a.m. the next morning. The issue was that we were scheduled to practice at 9 a.m., but the bus driver was over her time limit for working consecutive hours and we couldn’t reschedule our practice time. I was able to convince her to take us to practice, but we had to give her the rest of the day, which threw off our plans for the rest of the day. Instead of taking a bus to lunch, we walked to a restaurant across the street from our hotel. Luckily, our baseball team was playing in the same city and the park wasn’t far from our hotel, so I had arranged for their bus to take us to dinner. However, the baseball took longer than expected, so that was no longer an option. I then had to call several Ubers to get us to dinner, but our original bus driver was able to pick us up from dinner. Thankfully, I had other working with me to make sure things went smoothly so it was a team effort, but it was a HUGE relief when that day was finally over.
photo courtesy Troy University Athletics