Spotlight On: Kelsey Lewis, Buena Vista University Football

Kelsey Lewis
Football Operations Coordinator
Buena Vista Football
Hometown: Johnson City, New York
Education: Alfred State College
Official bio
Twitter: @kelsey_lewis

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

For me it depends on the time of the year, but for the most part it is consistent. Every morning when I get into work I try to check my emails first thing. I want to make sure I am all caught up from the previous night before I start with my daily tasks. I like to check in with our head coach and other staff members to see if there is anything new happening that day or if they need anything different from me. I consistently check my calendar in the morning to make sure I have everything planned out for the day that needs to be done or months in advance.

Name one go-to resource (or two or three) that helps you with your duties.

A large part of my job is consistently being organized. An easy way for me to stay organized is using excel and word. I like to keep track of everything that we do during the on and off season, so it is easily accessible. Another thing that I couldn’t do my job without is my Outlook Calendar. I use this to keep my time scheduled throughout the week and upcoming months. FrontRush and Hudl are two apps that our staff uses on a consistent basis to keep our recruits in an organized location. We can upload recruiting information when we get it and access it at any time. We use it to send out emails, texts, and getting in contact with high school coaches from one central location.

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

The best advice I would tell myself is “stay calm.” Situations and plans aren’t always going to go the way that you hope. You can double and triple check reservations, meals, buses, etc., but it doesn’t always run smoothly. You need to be able to stay calm to adjust to the situation in a timely manner while keeping a high level of productivity. Getting frustrated isn’t going to fix the situation. I must play the next snap and keep a level head for my head coach, staff and and the program. The days and nights become very long at times and you start to feel like you’re running out of gas, so you must remember your “WHY“, but you also want to have a healthy work/life balance. Staying composed is a must in this profession. You will be considered a life saver during tough situations because your program needs that stability to keep everything running smoothly. Ultimately it allows your coaching staff and especially your head coach to focus on the team to make good decisions for the program.

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

Recruiting has changed dramatically in the last few years alone. Facilities are getting bigger and more expensive by the year. Each program is consistently trying to compete with their competition to have the best facilities in the country. There is everything from barbershops, movie theaters, stainless steel lockers, and TVs in each player’s locker. Social media is playing a huge role in recruiting more now than it ever has. It is making it easier to get in contact with the recruit and to show off your program. You can post videos, graphics, and pictures that could reach thousands of people in just minutes.

Best career or work advice you ever received?

A great coach once told me, ”You need to be okay with being uncomfortable.” In this profession you’re going to move around a lot and live in places you’ve never been too. It is exciting, but also very scary and not always the most comfortable situation to be in. There’s going to be days where you might not know how to do something or in a situation that’s difficult for you. You need to embrace that feeling and run with it. Something I have learned is all you have to do is show up. The battle is half won if you just show up. Remind yourself that you made a decision. You are already committed and there is no going back.

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

My grandfather is my biggest role model and exposed me to football at a very young age. My family ran a Pee Wee Football Program for kids who were 6-12 years old. We had players from all different sorts of living arrangements and family life. I had a special place in my heart for players who needed a little extra love or for the ones who came to play with their family that they didn’t have at home. My grandfather oversaw the league all up until he passed away when I was 11 years old. He taught me that no child should be deprived of playing a sport that love just because they couldn’t afford it or didn’t have the family support. Even at a young age I knew I wanted to help child and young men through the game of football. As I got older I fell more and more in love with the game and knew I wanted to be involved in some way. I knew I had the heart for this game and for the players, so I ended up getting involved in Operations.

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