My favorite thing about writing this weekly column is being able to open up to you all, pulling back the curtain a bit and revealing my (and my team’s) thought process on things. As you may be aware, we dedicated last week to our inaugural NEXT UP series, and we received some excellent feedback in return. In the spirit of this article, I thought I would use that feedback to provide some insight into how we pulled the series off, and maybe offer a glimpse of what’s to come.
As always, The Weekly Audible and our entire site for that matter, are entirely dependent upon you. Have something you would like to say? Let us know on Twitter at @CollegeAD. Need more than 140 characters? Then hit the “Contact AD” button below.
For a quick recap
Look who made the list … 👏🏼👏🏼🐸⬆️ https://t.co/Lru5AdBIGj
— Chris Del Conte (@_delconte) June 16, 2016
First and foremost, let’s take Chris Del Conte’s advice, expressed partially through the power of emojis, and look back at our honorees. We’ve even put together all of our headers into a fun little graphic. Feel free to print it an tack it on the wall next to your ’92 Dream Team poster. You can also get to each article through the links in the roster below.
Now for a fun little coincidence
Rutgers Promotes Sarah Baumgartner!! https://t.co/POnPf9BDun
— Andy Koerner (@AndyKoerner26) June 15, 2016
While we did get word ahead of time that Sarah Baumgartner would be getting a promotion, it was completely by happenstance that it was announced the day before she was featured in our NEXT UP series. Don’t get me wrong, we couldn’t be more excited, but this wasn’t planned… or was it.
All roads lead to Rome
— Rudy Baez (@RBaez09) June 17, 2016
Internally, we’ve always discussed current ADs with our expectations altered by what kind of AD they are. “Is he a decent fundraiser?”
“She’s great at strategic planning.”
So for us, and apparently you guys as well, it was great to see representation from all different aspects of the this industry. No one strength and management style is right for every athletic department. That’s the truth with sitting ADs, and it was certainly the truth with NEXT UP.
Speaking of representation
— Erick S. Taylor Jr. (@ericktaylor_jr) June 14, 2016
I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to minority and female representation being my biggest fear going into this exercise. When you look at the numbers like we did earlier in the year, you worry that maybe our industry isn’t diverse because the gatekeepers of it clutch their keys a little too tightly. Maybe it really is a good ol’ boys club.
But that fear was erased when I saw who we had put together for our panel. Not because I thought they would artificially stack their nominees with token representation, but because I knew that they appreciated hard work and talent above all else. I honestly think we put together the best, most comprehensive list would could have. We made sure to only include people we felt had a real, legitimate chance of becoming and AD sooner rather than later, and the fact that minorities and females were so heavily represented goes to show that the industry is moving in the right direction.
— Jason Baxter (@Jason_Baxter) June 14, 2016
Wrapping this up, we really just want to thank everyone, not just those that were involved in making this series possible. Our goal from the start has been to provide the college athletics industry with news and advocacy. Anyone could make a list of people they like, but the way so many of you embraced this project really says a lot. Thank you all. We can’t wait to do it again.
Maybe sooner rather than later
— #scachat (@sca_chat) June 20, 2016
Q4: (2/2) Who do you see as being "next up" at the small college level? #scachat
— #scachat (@sca_chat) June 20, 2016
First off, if you aren’t familiar with @sca_chat, do yourself a favor and check them out. Even if you aren’t at a small college, their weekly chats are worth following.
This week they asked a question that we got quite a bit on social media and at NACDA; Where are the small schools? It’s both a fair question, and one we’ve always had the intention of addressing. But running a smaller program, be it in the Group of 5 or even Division III, is a whole different animal from running a Power 5 program. Like we mentioned above, not one style fits every department. Likewise, not one type of recognition fits every division.
Matthew Monte is Managing Editor of College AD and formerly Co-Managing Editor of Underdog Dynasty. He is a graduate of The B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at UL Lafayette, mostly because it didn't require a foreign language. Matt is also a recovering stand up comedian who occasionally relapses.