StagTracks

A first-person account of Stags Athletics!

Something About Sarah

Blog Note: The Fairfield Department of Athletics has several staff members that work as graduate assistant’s.  While working nearly full-time in their respective field, they are also full-time graduate students. The GA’s will team up to bring you a look at Athletics from their eyes.

My name is Sarah Minice and I am the Graduate Assistant for Athletic Communications.  I played under Coach Julie Brzezinski on the Softball team for four years before graduating in 2011.  In my final semester, Jack Jones offered me a great opportunity to both continue my education and gain experience in the athletics field which I just could not pass up.

As far as my job responsibilities, I am the primary contact for Field Hockey and the Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams.  In the winter, I help out with both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams, so you could say it gets a bit chaotic in our back office when seasons overlap.  There are three months of the year that are jam packed for the Athletic Communications office, November and February/March.

This past November was a new experience for me because while I was finishing up midterms and preparing for finals, I also traveled three out of the four weekends with either Field Hockey or Women’s Basketball.  It was a tough schedule, but completely worth it.  Not only did I visit Universities and states that I have never been to before, but I learned so much about both teams and sports.

Growing up just outside of Seattle (as a diehard Seahawks and Mariners fan), field hockey and basketball weren’t very big sports.  In fact, I didn’t even know what field hockey was before coming to Fairfield.  So although my love of sports was obvious coming into this position, I can’t say I knew everything there was to know about each sport here at Fairfield.

One trip in particular that stood out this past month was with the Women’s

Basketball team to Butler University.  Everyone was so excited to play at Hinkle Fieldhouse and there I was trying to figure out why.  Well I got my answer as soon as we walked in.  There were trophy cases full of memorabilia and history all over the walls.  For those of you who don’t know, the movie Hoosiers was filmed in Hinkle Fieldhouse.  The best part of the whole thing was that Head Coach Joe Frager and Coach Dennis Masi had their “Christmas morning” faces on as soon as we walked into the main gym.

Now that November is over, we focus on our winter sports until February/March rolls around and the chaos begins again.

 

Sarah – Go Stags!!

It’s a GA Thing!

Blog Note: The Fairfield Department of Athletics has several staff members that work as graduate assistant’s.  While working nearly full-time in their respective field, they are also full-time graduate students. The GA’s will team up to bring you a look at Athletics from their eyes.

Hey Everyone!!

My Name is Claire Tully and I am really excited to get the chance to start up a blog for the graduate assistants (GA) here in Athletics. I am currently in my second year as a GA for Marketing and Promotions. I get amazing opportunities to work with many of our Division I varsity sports here at Fairfield. One of my favorite things that I get to do is interact with our student-athletes. Today was one of those days!

This morning was really exciting for me because I was able to tag along with several of our student-athletes as they participated in some community service. Today was “Read Aloud Day” where Fairfield student-athletes went into Bridgeport schools and read to children. What was great about this experience was to see how energetic and engaged our student-athletes were. They might have even been more excited about today than the kids were! The day started off with us breaking into two groups for two different schools. The school that I was attending was a Special Educational school, and that is really where the magic happened.

We were greeted by extremely nice people who were to take us to each of our classrooms to read. However, before we got that chance, we were given background on the school and its students. Instead of being intimidated or turned off by the idea of having children with behavioral issues in their classrooms, the student-athletes completely embraced it!

It was amazing to see how engaged our athletes were with the kids and how the kids embraced our players. After we finished our reading we all congregated and heard hilarious stories about the different kids in each classroom. It was great to hear that our players really enjoyed the experience and even asked for opportunities to come back. Being able to partake in such a great experience is one of the great benefits of being a GA here at Fairfield.

Thanks for reading,

Claire

GO STAGS!

Compliance Corner

Blog Note: Joe Klauder is the Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance.

 Welcome Back Stags!

With the first week of school under our belts, the 2012-13 school year is off and running. This past week was a busy one, with all of our students moving back on campus, starting classes, seeing friends, and of course our Fall Compliance meetings.

Despite all of the preparation and paperwork that go into these meetings, they truly are one of my favorite things about the new year because I get to see all of my student-athletes in one day! We took a different approach to our meeting set up this year by allowing our student-athletes to complete their NCAA paperwork online. I was a little skeptical at first because I wasn’t sure how many student-athletes check their school emails during the summer. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that before I started my meetings for the day, there were only six kids who had not done them. 416 out of 422 ain’t bad!!

As usual we held our meetings in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room so we could accommodate the large number of student-athletes we had for each meeting. We made our meetings more conversational this year, as our student-athletes were addressed by a number of athletic department reps. Athletics Director Gene Doris welcomed our students back by congratulating them on a successful 2011-12 that was capped off by winning the Commissioners Cup. Our Senior Woman Administrator Alison Sexton covered student-athlete welfare issues and tossed out her “free money” ploy to the Student Assistance Fund. Our Faculty Athletic Representative, Dr. Chris Huntley spoke to our students about his role and his continued involvement to be an advocate for student-athletes. He also talked about his idea of “bring your coach to class day,” which he feels would be a great opportunity to interact with the world of academia, but also continue to show our coaches the hard work these student-athletes give day in and day out.

Finally to round out the night, I spoke to our student-athletes about numerous Compliance topics. I also got to express to them the great opportunity they have at Fairfield University to get a great education and compete on the highest level. I commend our coaching staffs and student athletes for their patience and participation in these meetings. It’s the first step in the success we have in store for the year!  GO STAGS!!

The Other Things We Do – NCAA Committee Work

I recently returned from my summer meeting as a member of the NCAA Division I softball committee.  This meeting was my final responsibility (other than reviewing championship manuals) of my four-year term on the 10-member committee.

During those few days in July, we spent time reviewing the 2012 championship including the input from the softball coaches association and ESPN.  Our group reviewed the factors of the RPI and how those adjustments would have affected this year’s teams.  While we spent a lot of time with this review, we acknowledge that the RPI will just get the team on the board.  Our committee spends hours breaking down each team’s entire body of work to see which teams should get into the championships or become one of the 16 seeded teams.

Spending the past four years as a member of a sport committee has been a tremendous experience.  It’s a great chance to work with your peers and the NCAA staff in running a championship .  The spring includes bi-weekly ranking conference calls, a weekend of selecting and seeding the 64 team championship, representing the committee as a site rep at a regional or Super regional and culminating with about eight days in Oklahoma City (OKC) at the College World Series (CWS).

At Fairfield, we have had the experience of hosting NCAA events, and through that you really appreciate all of the people, particularly your local volunteers who give so much of their time to make the championship successful.  The experience of getting to know the volunteers from OKC and seeing the pride they have in the CWS was one of the highlights for me.  While the time away from the office was often a challenge to balance both roles, I am tremendously appreciative of this opportunity.

Earlier this summer, my term on the NCAA’s Recruiting/Personnel Cabinet also came to an end.  During my time on this Cabinet, we spent time researching, reviewing and developing legislation for the membership on Recruiting and personnel issues, particularly those that deal with the ever changing role of technology.  My participation was certainly useful in staying engaged with the NCAA’s governance process.  In the end, I think we all like the competition and the interaction with student-athletes which is what makes participation on a sport committee so rewarding.

While the summer goes really quick, it does bring about an exciting time with all the fall teams coming back to get ready for their seasons.  Go Stags!

Blog Note: Alison Sexton is in her 16th year as a member of the Fairfield Department of Athletics. She is the Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator.

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