Spotlight On: Kadero Watson, Wisconsin Football

Kadero Watson
Director of Player Development & Assistant Director of Football Operations
Wisconsin Football
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Education: B.S., Bucknell; M.Ed., Oklahoma
Offical Bio
Twitter: @kdro22

What do the first two hours of your day look like?

Depends on the time of year. During the season, I am in early because we have morning practices. I come in, check a few emails then straight out to practice! I also coordinate official visits and assist in some recruiting duties, so on some days I may stay inside during practice to help our Director of Player Personnel with recruiting. During the off- season. Its definitely a big time to check off the to-do list and future planning.

Name one go-to resource that helps you with your duties. (could be website, app, video, book, organization, etc.)

Teamworks! Teamworks is communications and operations platform that helps me do EVERYTHING. From communicating with our players, coaches, and staff to planning out the calendar to scheduling appointments. It truly helps keep this program on the same page and keep our operations moving forward. Athletic programs are going department wide with this software. It is that good!

If you could go back to your first day on the job and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t be intimidated to ask questions! I don’t have to answers to everything or don’t know how to do it all. Every program and everything university is different. So do be afraid to ask questions on how do this and learn why they do that. It allows you to quickly immerse in the culture of the department/program.

Name one new thing you want to accomplish this year?

One of the areas I am responsible for is player development, and one thing I would like to accomplish is creating more initiatives/programming that will help our student-athlete grow and develop. Rather it be something dealing with everyday life (i.e., renting an apartment, financial literacy) or something that will develop their future (i.e. alumni mentor/mentee program)

As you look at the athletic operations field, what is one area that is growing/changing the most?

It’s growth in numbers! At one-time Football Operations was a huge umbrella that embodied some many different areas (recruiting, player development, logistics). Now, these areas have changed the landscape of college operations. Those areas of football operations have broken off into their own separate entity. We now have entire Recruiting Department and we have people that are handling just the Player Development piece and you still have your Football Operations (logistics). I think it’s a good thing because it creates more opportunities for people while letting folks master their area.

Best career or work advice you ever received?

Can’t say this was career or work advice but advice for life in general that ended up correlated to my career and work. That advice was “Be a Servant unto Others” I have taken this message and really embraced it. Can you be that guy/gal that is there to help others succeed and reach their goals and dreams. Are you willing to sacrifice the pat on the back and get the job done? Are you willing to learn and try everything being that do it all person so that your presence is indispensable? If you can do that I believe the rest fall into place with Persistence and Patience.

First event, person, or job that sparked your interest in this field of work.

I would say the first event would have been the very first DFO Spring Meeting I attended. This meeting brought DFOs from all over the country to exchange ideas, talk legislation, and network! At the time, I was Graduate Assistant at the University of Oklahoma working in football. I had some knowledge of what it meant working in football operations but was just starting out. The clinic only had 20-25 DFOs in attendance but for me it was eye opening to learn what it truly meant to be a Director of Football Operation and all the duties and responsibilities that fell under that umbrella. I met some great people there at only enhanced my interest. People like Mike Sinquefield at TCU, and Sharrod Everett at Florida State, these guys took me under their wings back then and are still mentors of mine today. I think the coolest thing is how I was a part of something fairly new back then. That same DFO Spring Meeting that had 20-25 then now has close to 200 people in attendance now.


photo credit: Courtesy of Laurent Arndt

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