When people in Missoula found out that I accepted a position at Coastal Carolina they reacted in a few different ways. Some saw it as a total out of the blue move. Some wanted to know if it had anything to do with the Montana vs. Coastal Carolina football game in December. Some questioned me on whether I could handle a job outside athletics.
Let me briefly answer the first two thoughts. If it seemed like it came out of the blue then that is no coincidence. Why someone would want to let anyone else besides your current employer know about possible job prospects is beyond me. The “making moves” or “big interview tomorrow” statuses on social media disrespect both your current and potential employers and I think it jinxes your aspirations. And no, me taking the position at Coastal Carolina had 0% to do with the football game in December.
Now to the question that I felt carried the most weight: Could I fully embrace a job not directly affiliated with athletics? While I feel like the question was the most legitimate out of the three for others to ask it never really made me think twice. I love sports with all my heart but I wasn’t opposed to a change. After four and a half years of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. days, non-existent weekends, and a laundry list of responsibilities it started to wear on me a bit. Add that to the amazing opportunity presented to me by Coastal Carolina and I knew my next career move was set.
But you see, I have the best of both worlds. While I am no longer toiling working inside an athletic department I still get the opportunity to experience intercollegiate athletics. In my job now I cover all happenings and events on campus so I get to take the time and share the good news of Chanticleer Athletics. Luckily for me this part of the new gig is fun and easy because the CCU athletics department has welcomed me with open arms.
It is kind of interesting because even before I moved to Myrtle Beach I already kind of had my foot in the door with the athletics staff. When I went to the CCU campus in March for my in-person interview Matt Hogue, the Associate Vice President of Marketing/Licensing, was on the hiring committee. About a week after my interview he was named the interim Athletic Director. Also during my in-person interview I had a session where I interviewed with three people who play big roles in the CCU social media landscape around campus. One of those people happened to be Kevin Olivett, the marketing director for Chanticleer Athletics. Even though he was in the middle of running two conference basketball tournaments at the time he still managed to sit in for my interview.
Fast forward to the end of April and Kevin kept in touch with me. He followed my journey across the country and wasted no time reaching out to me and setting up a lunch date. Just my fourth day on the job he took me to downtown Conway where we ate at a place called the Crafty Rooster. Joining us was a play-by-play announcer for the department and a Myrtle Beach sports talk radio host, Aaron Marks. Later that day I sat in a meeting with Kevin, his assistant, and the department’s ticket guy to brainstorm social media ideas. How cool and nice of them to involve me in their social media efforts and value my opinion!
The hospitality didn’t stop there though. I received an all-access pass for the Big South Conference softball tournament. I had a nice time covering and watching the tourney from the brand new softball facility on campus. As the Chants made it to the championship game I got to meet more athletics staff including the videographers and the sponsorship director. All were so gracious and welcoming. It was refreshing to see how another athletic department goes about business and I came out of the weekend just that much more pumped to be a Chanticleer.
So please don’t worry about me if you think I am not getting my athletics fix in. I definitely am! Things are just much more balanced now. I am seeing a much wider perspective of university life while still getting to focus a little bit in the area where I got my start in. Don’t Blink.