Elliott Daniels, Associate AD for Student-Athlete Engagement at Michigan State, talks with @TaiMBrown about the Student-Athlete Development operation within the Spartan athletics program. Daniels explains how identifying the difference between inviting students to participate in programming versus engaging the students and bringing programming to them helped take the department to new height.
Eric Hyman, former Athletics Director at a number of institutions, helps @TaiMBrown define a number of key leadership terms such as purpose, core values, and culture. Hyman and Brown dive into a discussion on how terms such as these relate to leadership in college athletics industry. Hyman brings 47 years of experience to the conversation; serving as AD at VMI, Miami (OH), TCU, South Carolina, and Texas A&M.
Ariel Pesante, Associate AD for Governance and Compliance at University of Massachusetts, joins @TaiMBrown as the two discuss Pesante's balance of compliance and sport oversight. Pesante oversees Football, Men's Basketball, and Baseball while serving as the primary compliance officer for the department. He talks about his top priority of protecting the integrity of the institution while addressing his learning curve in sport supervision.
Kathryne Buckley, Assistant VP of Partner & Event Services for the Frisco RoughRiders, visits @TaiMBrown as the two discuss activating sponsorships and developing young professionals. Buckley give insight on making each sponsorship partner's experience unique when engaging with the RoughRiders. She talks about the activation evaluation process, as well as, how ideas are generated. The conversations wraps with Buckley's insight on interns and career development.
Tom Michael, Director of Athletics at Eastern Illinois, visits @TaiMBrown to discuss the type of environment that can lead to positive inflection points when hiring for an organization. Michael describes the small pieces that need to be in place for a new coaching hire to have a positive impact within athletics and in the campus community as a whole. He also discusses the tremendous influence his recent football hire, Adam Cushing, has had on other coaches on staff and the entirety of the department.
Coach Danielle O'Banion, Assistant Women's Basketball Coach at Minnesota, visits @TaiMBrown as the two discuss the leadership lessons O'Banion learned during her four year stint as the head WBB coach at Kent State. O'Banion also discusses the lessons learned through her battle with cancer and how she applies those lessons in her current role.
Shawn Heilbron, Director of Athletics at Stony Brook University, visits @TaiMBrown on the topic of communicating with the university President. Heilbron, five years into his tenure as AD at Stony Brook, talks about the importance of immediately understanding the communication style of your immediate supervisor upon assuming a leadership role. Specific to athletics, he mentions that Presidents should be in the loop on everything that could positively or negatively come across their desk.
Mike Lombardi, former NFL Executive and Author of Gridiron Genius, visits @TaiMBrown to discuss the four components of leadership. Lombardi worked with legendary professional football leaders, Bill Walsh, Al Davis, and Bill Belichick. In his recent book, he outlines command of attention, command of message, command of self, and command of trust as the components necessary to be an effective leader. Lombardi points out that almost all successful leader possess three of the four components.
Jim Johnson, Director of Athletics at Pitt State, visits @TaiMBrown as the two discuss how Johnson's wide ranging experience enhances his current role leading the Gorillas. With previous positions at the NCAA office, as a Conference Commissioner, and other influential roles, Johnson believes that the servant leadership aspect of higher education is of the utmost importance.
Doug McNamee, President at Magnolia, visits @TaiMBrown as the two discuss McNamee's transition from Sr. Associate Athletics Director at Baylor to his current position leading one of the fastest growing brands in the country. As he approaches a year in the President's chair, McNamee identifies skills used in athletics administration that are directly transferable to the corporate world. He also gives insight into the culture and leadership provided by Joanna & Chip Gaines.
Greg Myford, Director of Athletics at University of Alaska-Anchorage, visits @TaiMBrown with a unique program for engaging Student-Athletes while in the AD chair. Myford has been in the chair for less than a year but has established his Direct Connect program which allows he and his executive staff the opportunity to have multiple roundtable discussions with Student-Athletes from every sport over the academic year. Myford also discusses the department's three fundamentals and 50 organizational priorities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.