NEXT UP are senior level administrators, handpicked by some of the most respected athletic directors in the industry, who are believed to be ready to take the next step as athletic directors in their own right. Out of those nominated by our panel, we selected 13 NEXT UP recipients from across the country to represent this year’s class. The only limiting factor is that none of the nominees could have served as an AD previously, beyond an interim role.
Over the next few days we are revealing the honorees selected by our panel. Out of respect for those panel members, we are keeping their names anonymous, but we’re more than happy to share a few details on what qualifies them to spot up-and-coming talent.
Without further ado, here are the next three members of the 2017 class of NEXT UP presented by adidas.
JENNIFER STRAWLEY, MIAMI
Career to Date: NCAA Academic and Membership Affairs (2010-2012); Columbia (2007-2010)
Strengths: Organizational Management, NCAA Governance
Why is she NEXT UP?: “It comes as no surprise to me–or to anyone who has had the opportunity to work with Jenn–that she has been selected as a NEXT UP class member.” Blake James is right. The Miami Athletic Director has a great team member and leader in Strawley, and she puts her skills on display by wearing a ton of different hats. As former Director of NCAA Academic and Membership Affairs, she’s perfectly suited to handle academics and compliance, all while serving as a liaison to both the NCAA and Miami’s student affairs. But where she really shines is in her connection with the staffers wearing whistles. “She has been an integral part of our senior team at Miami and a vital resource for me and for our entire department, especially our coaches. Jenn displays a keen sense of integrity, character, and composure in every situation and her leadership has helped us move Miami Athletics to great heights. I have no doubt that she will be an incredible Director of Athletics and being a part of NEXT UP is yet another step in that path.”
REID SIGMON, TENNESSEE
Executive Associate AD/COO
Career to Date: College Football Playoff CFO (2013-2017); Kansas State (2009-2013)
Strengths: Financial Management, Organizational Management
Why is he NEXT UP?: We could go one for days about why Sigmon fits the bill for NEXT UP, but sometimes the quote just says it all. I’ll let Tennessee Athletic Director John Currie take this one. “Reid earned national credibility as part of a visionary leadership group creating the College Football Playoff organization for the last four years, and his tremendous integrity and understanding of college athletics made him a perfect addition to our Tennessee leadership team. His intellect, personality and vast knowledge of college athletics helped get the College Football Playoff off to a great start. Reid was the driving force in the academic, athletic and financial success we enjoyed at Kansas State, and I was able to see first-hand the impact he had in supporting our student-athletes and coaches throughout the department. He is a great listener and a tireless worker who is organized and detailed in his approach, and he always brings a wise, innovative perspective to the table.”
KENNY MOSSMAN, OKLAHOMA
Senior Associate AD External Operations
Career to Date: Illinois State (1991-2001); Kansas State (1983-1991)
Strengths: Leadership, Communications
Why is he NEXT UP?: “Pure and simple,” says Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione, “Kenny Mossman’s approach to leadership has made him a highly respected and trusted voice within our athletics program.” That respect isn’t just limited to Norman, Oklahoma. Mossman’s charisma and genuine nature has won him fans throughout intercollegiate athletics, but it all starts with the way he leads those around him. “He’s garnered enormous respect from our student-athletes, coaches, campus leaders as well as a variety of stakeholders. When I think of Kenny, I think of the old E.F. Hutton commercial. When Kenny talks, people listen. Perhaps the greatest reason is that he has a history of investing in others. Obviously, he has a superb set of skills and talents. However, what he does best is connect with everyone. He’s the person that people seek when they need “straight talk” or a world perspective. In developing and enhancing our department’s culture, it takes everyone’s commitment to our core values. It’s what makes our magic, our should I say, “Sooner Magic” possible. There’s no greater example of our culture and commitment to lifelong learning than Kenny. He’s definitely worthy of the moniker NEXT UP. He’s certainly influenced our program in a positive way.”