Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations & Creative Media
Hometown: Girard, Kansas
Education: Pittsburg State, Texas State
What do the first two hours of your day look like?
During the season, I usually start with a run to get the day started. I don’t drink caffeine, so it’s a good way to wake up. I usually get to the office around 5:30. We typically meet the first hour of the day, and then I try to answer any emails or phone calls that I missed from the day before. It’s important to me to clear out my inbox at the end of each day, otherwise before you know it you’re spending four hours replying to emails.
Name one go-to resource (or two or three) that helps you with your duties.
I’m a huge advocate for technology, specifically applications and software to help improve efficiency within the program. We rely solely on TeamWorks for communication, travel, yearly calendars, academics, and alumni management. Teamworks saves me multiple hours per day.
I also use Slack and Trello heavily. Slack is great for communicating ideas and proofs within multiple departments, video/recruiting/marketing. It has eliminated a lot of unnecessary emails and naturally makes you respond faster. Trello is integrated through Slack, and is basically a To Do list for our operations/recruiting department. It lets you create tasks or ideas, assign them to a specific person or group, set deadlines, and goes everywhere with you, whether that’s on your laptop or phone. We use it heavily for media content such as graphic distribution and storyboards.
The last app that has been probably the most beneficial for our program is JustPlay. It’s a digital playbook app that is focused on teaching the way players learn. It’s streamlined our playbooks and scout cards, eliminated paper waste, and most importantly allowed our players to learn visually and at their pace.
If you could go back to your first day on the job and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Enjoy the moments, even if it’s for five minutes. I think so often in college football, you miss things. Just the natural pace that everything moves, you look up and the season is over, or a year has gone by and some amazing things have occurred, but we’re often caught up in the big picture or onto the next task. You take things for granted, but like everyone, at some point, I won’t get to do this job anymore.
Name one new thing you want to accomplish within the next year?
I would like to have our facility completely renovated. When we took over the design process had started, but nothing had been completed. Since January, we have renovated our team room, position rooms, coaches offices, players lounge, and staff and player locker rooms. 49 Degrees came in and did an unbelievable job with the whole project. By this point next year, my goal is to have the remaining pieces finished which include our weight room, training room, meal room, and corridors along the locker room.
As you look at the athletic operations field, what is one area that is growing/changing the most?
I think graphic design and creative media is at an all time high right now. It has skyrocketed in the last 5 years. Full departments are being created now with in house designers and video crews just for football. We just finished staffing ours about two months ago. As a graphic designer, it’s exciting to see. I think the best part is programs are getting brilliant creative pieces and designers are being rewarded for their work.
Best career or work advice you ever received.
Above all else, it’s about the people you work with that matter at the end of the day. Not the money, the logo, the conference, but the people you’re going to spend 18 hours a day with.
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. Or perhaps this is another way of looking at it: What is the most creative or innovative thing you’ve had to do to address a specific incident or situation?
My dad was a hall of fame high school football coach, as was his dad. So I had always grew up around football. There are several coaches in my family, all at different levels. I’ve always had this passion to work in sports. While in college at Pittsburg State University, I worked in operations for the football program and then after graduating I decided to move to Texas to try and get my foot in the door. It was 2012, I had been interning at Texas State for seven months, and a graduate assistant and I drove from Texas to Nashville to the convention. He had worked at a hotel prior to coaching so we got a room for free. We just needed to put a hold for incidentals on our room and neither of us could even temporarily afford it. We ended up calling a friend who took care of the charge for us. We joked about it, said one day we’ll look back when we’re fifty and laugh about the night we couldn’t afford to check into a free hotel room. I received a call that night asking if I could interview for a job later that evening. I did the interview, went to sleep, and at 5:30am the next morning, the phone rang and I got the job. Fast forward 6 years. It’s crazy how quickly things change.