|Q: When were
you hired at Wesleyan, and what was your job title then?
A: I started as the first, and
fortunately to date, only full-time sports information director at Wesleyan
in July, 1982. I had been an intern in that position for the 1979-80 year. I
also served as intramural sports director from 1982-2002 but turned that
title over to Mark Woodworth in 2002-03.
Q: When did you graduate from Wesleyan, and what was your major? Do
you have degrees from anywhere else?
A: I received my B.A. in economics from Wes in 1979 -- and itís
amazing how many of my former professors are still around -- and went on to
get an M.S. in sport management from UMass in Amherst in 1982.
Q: Did you play sports here at Wes?
A: I was the only member of the frosh soccer team in 1975 to sit the
bench the entire year. I still went out for the varsity as a soph, but Terry
Jackson knew better than to keep me on the squad. I ran the lines for soccer
games instead. I also cheated and played one JV tennis match for Wes during
my intern year because they needed a player. And I played one match in New
Haven for the faculty squash team. I lost both the tennis and squash match,
by the way.
Q: What led you into working in sports information?
A: Working in sports info was my first job right out of college. I
thought I was going to be a sales rep for Proctor & Gamble but that fell
through. Then I ran into the person working as Wesleyanís sports information
director intern (John Herzfeld í78) and he told me about the position. He
knew I was into sports and suggested I apply for the internship. Jack
McCain, then assistant director of public information, hired me. I truly
didnít think I wanted to do sports info for a living and thatís why I went
off to grad school the next year, but a year working at Yale in athletic
administration in 1981-82 made me look back to Wesleyan for permanent
Q: How has Athletics changed over the years?
A: Athletics at Wesleyan has taken off since 1990 when the Freeman
Athletic Center was built. Now with the latest addition, we are first-rate
in every way. Basically it just makes playing sports at Wesleyan more
worthwhile and less of a hardship. In terms of disseminating sports
information, when I started we were using typewriters, mimeographs and
stencils, and our copiers made about 10 a minute. Then we got a Xerox 860
word processor, then our first Mac Classics and fax machines. Now we have
the Web. Whatís next? Who knows? But sports info has grown in leaps and
bounds with technology.
Q: What are your thoughts on the student athletes?
A: The student-athletes here are amazing. I marvel at what it takes
for them to be a talented athlete and still maintain their studies. I think
varsity athletes should receive university credit for being on a team.
Q: What are some of your job duties as sports information director?
A: I am responsible for maintaining the athletic Web site; taking
action and still photos and coordinating other photo needs; preparing game
programs, recruiting guides and alumni newsletters; getting results to the
media; sending out releases to papers throughout the country to promote our
athletes; reporting to the NESCAC and NCAA offices; nominating players for
regional and national honors; maintaining statistics at various events and
coordinating stats when I canít be at an event; and occasionally singing the
National Anthem. Iím sure there are a few things Iíve forgotten but you did
Q: How often are you interacting with the coaches and teams?
A: All the time. It used to be more difficult the first eight years
when I was physically located in South College. But I moved into Freeman
when it was built and I much prefer being in with the coaches and athletes.
It makes the job substantially easier.
Q: What is your work schedule like?
A: No sports information director works a nine-to-five. The schedule
varies from day-to-day depending upon the athletic schedule. Saturday is
usually a 12-16 hour day and then another three to six hours on Sunday
depending on the schedule. Itís not unusual to go several months -- like
from Labor Day to Thanksgiving -- without a complete day off. I do have some
flexibility midweek and can get out in the middle of the day to help my
kids, run an errand or officiate a soccer or basketball game at a nearby
private school. And the summer is very calm.
Q: What are some of the biggest stories youíve had to manage?
A: The most attention Wesleyan gets from an athletic standpoint seems
to come from the NFL, mostly Bill Belichick í75, head coach of the New
England Patriots. Hunting down info about his playing experience, photos and
such has been something everyone from the New York Times, to Sports
Illustrated, to ESPN has asked me to do for years. But as long as we have
Dick Miller in the economics department, who was Billís faculty advisor,
weíre covered. Eric Mangini í94, who is the defensive coordinator for the
Patriots, has been getting more press lately, too. When Jeff Wilner í94 made
the Green Bay Packers as a tight end, it was huge. And we have other
illustrious alums like marathoner Bill Rodgers í71 who got us a lot of
national attention, but I didnít start writing about him until 1979. For the
most part, our stories are small market.
Q: How challenging is your position?
A: Extremely. It can be very pressure-packed, especially when 12
teams are in action on a single day. And success, while infinitely
preferable to failure, can be very taxing. The better we do, the more people
I need to tell. I think I have pretty good people
skills and a decent instinct for the job, so that helps keep things under
Q: Are there any former students, now alums, who played on the teams in
the past who youíve kept track of over the years? What are they doing now?
A: I know our all-time leading scorer in menís soccer, Amos Magee
í93, is playing professionally in the A-League with the Minnesota Thunder.
We have a lot of success stories. Jed Hoyer (baseball) í96 is an assistant general
manager for the Red Sox. Jenna Flateman '04, (national champion in track) is on the national-under 23
womenís rugby team. Seb Junger '84 (track and cross country) is a nationally recognized author. Dennis
Robinson í79 (football), who was my roommate up at UMass, is a vice-president with the
NBA. Frank Hauser í79 (football and wrestling) is our 14-year veteran head football coach and Mark
Woodworth í94 (baseball) is going into his fifth season in charge of the baseball team.
Like me, itís great to stay home.
Q: What sports do you watch or enjoy now?
A: I grew up just outside of Philadelphia and my grandfather had
connections with most of the major sports teams so I got to see a lot of
games. As a youngster, I ate that up. I still root for all the Philly teams.
My favorite sport to watch is football but I find many sports very
interesting. My favorite to play is tennis, but I also like golf, ping-pong,
bowling and well, almost anything.
Q: Do you have interests outside of sports?
A: I am a consummate grocery shopper. I have turned what most people
regard as drudgery into a fine art. Let me tell you how to use a coupon some
Q: Tell me about your kids.
A: I have a son, Ross, who is almost 18, and a daughter, Anna, 16,
from my first marriage and I love being around them especially when they are
involved in an activity. Anna has made high honors every quarter at
Middletown High and has experience in volleyball, indoor track, crew and
golf. She also is quite a horsewoman. She is drama club publicity chair and
just started a knitting club.
She has won regional and school awards in Spanish, science, writing and
Ross has been a top golfer at MHS for two
seasons, competed in indoor track, played baseball and made numerous
all-star teams in his youth, managed the cross country team and went to
Nashville as a state runner-up in the Distributive Education Clubs of
America (DECA) competition. He has had his picture in the Middletown
Press five times already.
Q: Do I hear wedding bells in the air?
A: I am living with my fiancťe, Cheryl, in Cromwell. We met through
Yahoo Personals on May 7, 2003 and fell for each other right away. We plan
to get married on Block Island, where she has family, this coming May.
Q: And do you really sing the National Anthem at sporting events?
A: Yes, I just did it at our last football game and have done many
venues here at Wesleyan. I also have done it at NCAA national tournament
games in men's lacrosse, football and women's basketball at other colleges.