John Benedick, Sr. Associate Director of Athletics at MIT, and @TaiMBrown get together to reflect on Benedick's 44 years with the Engineers. With 22 years as the Swimming & Water Polo Coach and the 22 years in administration, Benedick notes that in college athletics, there is a never ending resource of opportunities to influence change. His advice to those listening is that focusing on trying to win will always pay more dividends than focusing on winning.
Zac Selmon, Sr. Associate AD for Administration & Development at Oklahoma, talks with @TaiMBrown about working for industry elephants Joe Castiglione and Bubba Cunningham. Selmon, 10 years into his athletics administration career, also discusses some of the key aspects of his role leading the fundraising efforts for the Sooner.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.