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1.Question Podcast

The 1.Question Podcast is designed to highlight executive leaders in college athletics and features interviews with athletic administrators from around the country. 1.Question is hosted by @TaiMBrown, Matt Roberts, and Jacob Gill. Subscribe here: 1quest.co/itun
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The 1.Question Podcast is designed to highlight executive leaders in college athletics and features interviews with athletic administrators from around the country. 1.Question is hosted by @TaiMBrown, Matt Roberts, and Jacob Gill.

Mar 20, 2019

Kristy Bayer, Deputy AD at Emporia State, visits @TaiMBrown as the two discuss Bayer's transition from Head Volleyball Coach at Arkansas Tech to the deputy position for Emporia State athletics. Bayer gives insight on the decision to give up coaching, discussing that decision with her supervisor at the time, and having the final conversation with her team. She also covers her current role as Deputy AD and how her coaching background has proven to be a major asset to the department at Emporia State.

Mar 18, 2019

Dr. Christy Glass, Professor of Sociology at Utah State, visits @TaiMBrown on the topics of the Glass Cliff, inclusion, & leadership. Glass discusses her research on hiring head coaches in NCAA Division I Men's Basketball and CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, which found that women and people of color are  more likely to be appointed to leadership positions when an organization is at risk to fail. The conversation also covers methods leaders can use when trying to diversify their staff and develop a culture.

Mar 15, 2019

Phil Esten, Vice President & Director of Athletics at University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, talks with @TaiMBrown about the questions that should be asked when weighing career decisions. Esten was the Deputy AD at Penn State prior to his appointment to the AD chair at St. Thomas. He emphasizes the necessity of understanding the difference between what is perceived to be important and what is actually important during major transitions in life.

Mar 12, 2019

Henry Abbott, Founder of TrueHoop.com, visits @TaiMBrown to discuss storytelling and how it helped grow the TrueHoop blog to a point where it was acquired by ESPN. Abbott has written for GQ, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN the magazine among others. He talks about the importance of telling stories, in all avenues of sports, that go beyond the focus of the star athlete.

Mar 6, 2019

Jess Duff, Special Assistant to the AD at MIT, sits down with @TaiMBrown to discuss revitalizing Student-Athlete development on campus while working for longtime college athletics leader, Julie Soriero. Duff, a former basketball coach and NCAA staffer, talks about lessons learned working for Soriero. She also dives into one of her main projects since being on campus, a revitalization of the Student-Athlete leadership program.

Mar 5, 2019

Damani Leech, VP for Football Strategy & Business Development for the NFL, visits @TaiMBrown at the 2019 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Leech discusses methods the NFL uses to improve the game of football at the professional level and how the league coordinates with those in NCAA ranks to improve the game for all involved. He explains how the use of data, technology, and input from teams helps to design rules that make the game safer for players and more entertaining for fans.

Mar 1, 2019

Dave Brunk, Commissioner of the Peach Belt Conference, visits @TaiMBrown to discuss a leader's role in creating a culture of innovation. Brunk, a long time NCAA Division II commissioner, talks about keeping the conference new, unique, and relevant in the industry. From conference wide eSports, sleep masks for all Student-Athletes, opportunities for veterans, and much more, the Peach Belt conference prioritizes opportunities to improve.

Feb 26, 2019

Mónica Lebrón, Deputy AD at Tulane, visits with @TaiMBrown to discuss her transition from an extensive career in development to the number two spot with significant sport oversight. Lebrón, whose work in athletics started freshman year in college, talks about building confidence in her leadership and supervisory abilities as her time as Deputy progresses. She also emphasizes her gratitude for Greg McGarity (Georgia) and Carla Wilson (Virginia) for advice and support on making the move to Tulane.

Feb 22, 2019

Gary Pine, Director of Athletics at Azusa Pacific, visits @TaiMBrown on the topic of the dwindling number of NCAA D2 football playing institutions on the west coast of the United States. Pine talks about some of the possible reasons why many schools have made the decision to drop football over the past 20 years. He also discusses the challenges such as travel and potential missed playoff opportunities that are presented with only three football playing D2 schools in the general area of the country.

Feb 18, 2019

Pennie Parker, Director of Athletics at Rollins College, visits @TaiMBrown on the topic of serving on industry committees and boards while executing a full-time job as a leader. Parker serves as the Chair of the NCAA Division II Management Council, the President of the D2 Athletic Director's Association, and a member of the NCAA Legislation Committee. She discusses how she prepares for meetings while simultaneously fulfilling her role as AD and serving the Student-Athletes at Rollins College.

Feb 12, 2019

Tommy Gray, Executive Associate AD for External Relations at Stanford, visits @TaiMBrown to discuss Stanford Athletics' Business Strategy Team and its influence within the organization. Gray explains the benefits of implementing a data analysis mindset throughout an athletics department. He also addresses the potential pitfalls of trying to make everything quantitative as opposed to understanding the value of the human element.

Feb 6, 2019

Kirsten Ford, Associate Commissioner/SWA for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), visits @TaiMBrown at the 2019 NCAA Convention. The RMAC has seen a school come or go in each of the last five years. Ford discusses her role at the RMAC and what she does when a school is preparing to leave, and/or join the conference. She also discusses what happens behind the scenes at the conference office when changes are on the horizon.

Jan 31, 2019

Doug Gillin, AD at Appalachian State, visits @TaiMBrown as the two discuss how Gillin's time working in marketing and working for legendary Missouri AD Mike Alden helped to mold his decision making process now that he is in the chair. Gillin emphasizes how important it is for leaders to understand the sense of urgency when gathering information to make big decisions. He also gives insight on how the habits he developed throughout his career helped him prepare for his recent football coaching search.

Jan 28, 2019

Nan Carney-DeBord, Associate VP & Director of Athletics at Denison College, visits @TaiMBrown to discuss Denison's Development Through Sport initiative. Carney-DeBord defines the program as culture developed through leadership, mentorship, and character education. The initiative emphasizes intentionality with a four pronged focus: 1. Athletic Team Culture 2. Student-Athlete Development 3. Coaching Development 4. Professional Development.

Jan 24, 2019

Irma Garcia, Director of Athletics at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, visits @TaiMBrown on the topic of principled leadership. Garcia, a long term fixture at Saint Francis, discusses how she has kept a purpose and guiding principles at the forefront of her leadership. She and her staff select a theme for each year and implement programs which emphasize that theme throughout the department.

Jan 17, 2019

Willie Simmons, Head Football Coach at Florida A&M, visits @TaiMBrown as two discuss Simmons' use of an anonymous staff self evaluation process called forced ranking. A tool used in the corporate world, forced ranking allows a staff to evaluate itself and anonymously rank each member on a set of evaluation points. Simmons discusses how he uses this process within his coaching staff and, of course, this anonymous evaluation also includes him as the head coach.

Jan 14, 2019

Dr. Brian Wickstrom, Director of Athletics at UIW, joins @TaiMBrown to discuss the promise to grow an athletics department using only self-generated revenue. With commitments from the university to keep institutional funding constant and to allow athletics to keep all its self-generated revenue, Wickstrom's programs have been able to flourish without requesting any additional operating funds. This setup has helped Wickstrom increase his operating budgets at each of his stops as an AD.

Jan 7, 2019

Joe Karlgaard, Director of Athletics at Rice, visits @TaiMBrown on the topic of engaging influential stakeholders. Karlgaard emphasizes the importance of including influential individuals in the process of making major decisions as a leader. He mentions the president as "the" stakeholder based on the inherent nature of influence the position has on a campus. Karlgaard also acknowledges that making decisions in a vacuum may not be the best idea when seeking longevity in leadership.

Dec 31, 2018

Lauren Adee, Sr. Associate AD for Executive Affairs at SMU, visits @TaiMBrown on the topic of leaving a development position to work in strategic planning. Adee spent most of her career fundraising but recently joined the SMU staff in a new role involving strategic planning, internal controls, and more. She discusses the quantitative evaluation approach she was accustomed to while working in development and gives insight on how she will be evaluated now in a position which is more project oriented.

Dec 28, 2018

Craig Fink, Sr. Associate AD for Advancement & Chief Revenue Officer at UNC Greensboro joins @TaiMBrown to discuss some of the creative ways the UNCG Spartans go about fundraising. Fink talks about one of the more creative programs in which current Student-Athletes donate to the Spartan Club. Boasting 100% participation over the last five years, the True Spartan Challenge has created a culture of philanthropy among the current Student-Athletes.

Dec 19, 2018

Matt Donovan, Sr. Associate AD for Development at University of Indianapolis, visits with @TaiMBrown to discuss creating a successful culture for development in an athletics department. Donovan, 24 years into his tenure with UIndy, gives insight on what it takes to be successful when working in fundraising. He emphasizes that potential donors should know why they are important to the process. Donovan also speaks to the importance of the entire department asking themselves, "Are we doing the best we can do?"

Dec 17, 2018

Marie Tuite, Athletics Director at San Jose State, joins @TaiMBrown to discuss making collaborative decisions. Tuite talks about her process for receiving input from her staff when weighing important options. She emphasizes the importance and benefit of a strong senior team when in the AD chair as there is always an abundance of information to synthesize. The conversation rounds out on the topic of making decisions that may be in contrast to the recommendations of the staff.

Dec 14, 2018

Brian Sisson, Athletics Director at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, visits @TaiMBrown on the topic of getting to know conference colleagues. Sisson details his road trip to visit fellow ADs within the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He also discusses his vision for fundraising at Saint Mary's as he closes out his first four months in the AD chair.

Dec 13, 2018

John Cheney, Executive Associate AD at NIU, visits @TaiMBrown as the two discuss Cheney's stint as the interim Associate VP for Facilities and how that experience ties to his current role in athletics. Cheney also covers creating and implementing NIU Athletics' Facilities Master Plan, specifically as the state of Illinois entered a two year budgetary fiasco.

Dec 10, 2018

Wendy Wilson, Associate AD for Compliance & Student-Athlete Welfare at University of Wisconsin-Parkside, visits @TaiMBrown to discuss educating new coaches, students, and staff about compliance. Working through a 75% turnover within the athletics staff, Wilson details her process of continual education which helps onboard those new to the department. A self-proclaimed compliance nerd, she also talks about her love for learning which helps to keep her in tune with what is going on in the athletics industry.

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