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September 24, 2019
NICK GUERRIERO: And a good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to today's CoSIDA Capital One Continuing Education Webinar. Today's topic is New Staff, New Roles.
Nick Guerriero, the chair of the Continuing Ed and Professional Development Committee here at CoSIDA.
Before we begin, we'd like to say a quick thank you to two of our corporate partners, Capital One and ASAP Sports. Capital One is the presenting sponsor of our Continuing Education and Professional Development Series, while ASAP Sports provides the official transcripts of each monthly webinar. As a reminder, the webinar and the ASAP Sports transcript will be posted later today in the CoSIDA Connect, our official membership online community. Please look for the links in the Connect resources library off the main page.
During today's webinar, we ask that you submit your questions to our presenters and please use the chat box, which you'll find to the right of your portal. If you have any questions for our presenters, please let us know. We'll save some time later on, and we'll go and discuss those.
So here's how we're going to do it. With us today is John Painter, the Director of Communications over at Colgate, and Kat Castner, who is now the Senior Director over at Duke. I guess it's an old Patriot league party for the three of us.
So before we get started, John, you have a background in communications that stems from working in the SEC, now in the Patriot League, and Kat, going from the Patriot League to ACC. So everyone has a little different side of -- especially with new staff and some new roles.
John, we'll get started with you first. Like I said, you had a history in Tennessee, working with the Vols before coming to Hamilton, New York, and working with Colgate. One of the things, I think, that we've seen from your office has been a lot of younger SIDs that have transitioned to some of the Power Five schools, Kat being one of them. Just talk to us a little bit about what it's like having a new staff kind of year in and year out, and what you've seen from your staff members.
JOHN PAINTER: Yeah, that's a real point. I'm really happy when that happens because that means we're doing something right. I recruit. I try to recruit. I'm always looking who's the next person, who in my league or who are opponents we played that somebody I really like what they do.
So I want to tell the folks out there, hey, look for opportunities in your league. I want people to come here for a promotion. They're not going to come here for a lateral move. I mean, that's just not going to happen. But I can offer a Division I men's basketball position, which is what Kat had when she was here, or a Division I hockey position. Both of those look really good on your resume. They're really high profile sports here.
What I don't have here and what people need to move on to get the full experience is I don't have a lot of day-to-day with media. So that's what Kat did. Kat was here for a few years, and she killed it with our men's basketball program. She went to Army and went to a different level, jumping into FBS football, daily media. Now that's what she's doing with Duke. I've had folks go on to great places -- in state, Florida, Quinnipiac. We've had a lot of great success.
I've just been lucky because some of those people I recruited in my league. What's the greatest thing about recruiting in your league? They already know your league. They know what it's like to go to Bucknell. They know what it's like to go to American. Your coaches like that familiarity that you can provide them because you already know things about those gems you're going to be visiting on a monthly basis, things like that, a weekly basis.
It's just worked out well. I recruit folks that want to come here, and I also try to provide them another way for professional development is from my days at the NCAA, before I was at Tennessee, I was at the NCAA for 12 years. Still know a lot of folks there. We've been able to get people at NCAA Championship events. Kat's doing that right now. We've had Frozen Four. We've had Omaha. We've had Oklahoma City. We've had volleyball. I probably left some out, but I used to do that back in the day, and now it's such a joy for me to be able to provide my staff to be able to go do that.
Now they've got to be good. I'm not going to throw somebody on them that's not going to do the job, but when I call the NCAA folks and say, I've got somebody for you. They're going to crush it for you at that event, it's worked out. I think that's been a real plus for them as far as making contacts in the business.
NICK GUERRIERO: Kat, stick with that as well, talking about new staffs. You're going into week 3, week 4 football. I know you weren't there for the first one. But just talk a little bit about what new staffs are like. I think you're in a unique situation where you came from Army, where you just had the cadets. You didn't have student workers. It was kind of hard to get outside folks to come on base.
But now that you're in a new situation, tell us a little bit what it's like going from kind of being a one or two-person shop or having to ask other staff members in different roles to help you to now actually having the opportunity to use and utilize staff members.
KAT CASTNER: Right. You hit the nail on the head there. I went from being with John. We had a smaller staff, three-person full-time staff. When I was there with him, we -- actually, we didn't even have any interns, John. So going from that type of atmosphere and really gaining as much experience as you can. You know, you're kind of thrown into potentially maybe doing PA, potentially doing extra things that maybe don't fall on normal SIDs, but we just kind of have to do it to make the games run and do a good presentation.
Going from that to Army, we had a little bit more of a staff at Army, I would say, but there were still instances where he'd have to pull in the cadets here or there. We were limited on how much we could use the cadets. Like I said, we'd have to pull in people from our fund-raising office or ticketing office, if it wasn't a ticketed events. Different areas within the athletic department to potentially help you in situations to do PA or different areas that you might not be able to fulfill because it's a game that got added late or there are different requirements.
Here at Duke, I'm very fortunate that we're pretty much fully staffed. We have a lot of people willing and able to help, but I've been in shoes where I've had to wear a lot of hats. I attest a lot of that to my time at Colgate. I wouldn't be where I am today had I not gone through handling nine sports, handling -- dealing with coaches that are complaining that they're not in session but they need all this coverage. You know, kind of mentoring and teaching our student workers that we have at Colgate, and then the people in the other departments -- the ticketing office, the fund-raising office -- when I was at Army.
Dealing with all of that can be tricky at times, but if you're in a smaller staff or a smaller situation, you kind of just have to -- everybody's in the same boat. So when you have some free time and can help out other departments, I would suggest doing that and kind of feeling out your roles and feeling out where you can kind of fit in.
NICK GUERRIERO: John, back to you on staffing -- and remember, please submit questions for our panelists. I think we can stick with staff. I think we can talk about so many different things with staff. One of the things that a lot of us, reading what folks have to say on Facebook sometimes, can be game day staff. John being up in Hamilton or even in Knoxville, where it may not be a major city, you may have to find someone to do StatCrew. You may need to find someone who has to run the book for you. What are some of your experiences with that?
I know, being in your league, when you go up to Colgate, you guys used to utilize some students on StatCrew. If you can teach students to do NCAA LiveStats now compared to StatCrew, that's great. But what were some of the challenges you may have walked into on day one?
JOHN PAINTER: We're here pretty much by ourself, but we do have a good relationship with our Division III neighbors -- Hamilton College, Utica, Cortland, Ithaca, and obviously Cornell as well. I think just the other day we brought some folks down from Syracuse to do some play by play for us. The streaming is a whole other thing you didn't talk about there.
We're going to go help Hamilton College this weekend, so it's a really good relationship we have with our schools. We're kind of here by ourselves. There's no one else. There's no other big population. So we do kind of know what we're up against, and if we can find the time -- I inputted football stats at Utica College last year one game. I had an open week, and I could to do it just because I wanted to build that relationship that, if I ever needed it back this way, hey, I would be there, and I've at least done my part on the front end. So it's worked out.
The Colgate students aren't dying to get into sports information, that's for sure, but the best ones for our staff have really been our student-athletes. They like going to the games anyway, and throw a little pay at them, that helps out. They've really been our best ones. That doesn't mean they're always going to be there because you have out of season practices even when they're not competing, but that is a starting point for us, our student-athletes.
NICK GUERRIERO: So here's a question. John, jump on this one. Can you talk a little bit about the challenges and some of the opportunities presented when you are not only new in your office but new in your role and any advice on trying to navigate that? I know you and I have spoken about this before, you in your previous position to know, running a smaller department compared to when you were with the NCAA and kind of see how is that?
JOHN PAINTER: It was new for me. I got here, Kat and I started within about a week of each other. I hired her on the phone, how about that? But it worked out great. No complaints.
Yeah, I got here, I was brand new, but I had been mentored well. I had great mentors at Tennessee, Bud Ford and Haywood Harris and Debbie Jennings. Great mentors at the NCAA, Jim Wright, back to Auburn, David Housel. Even on my phone interview about the job at Colgate, I said, look, I know how an office should be run. I haven't done it before, but I think I have a good feeling for what makes a good office and what makes people want to be there and want to contribute.
So I just leaned on that, and I certainly called folks a thousand times. I got here, and I didn't really know how to work my computer. I had a Mac computer here. I didn't know how to work that. I had never done StatCrew before. I'd never done it because I was at Tennessee, so somebody always took care of it. I'd never done that before.
I used to tell my AD the first three or four years, man, I'm a way better employee now than when I first got here because I learned so much.
It was fun for me. I was learning every day with my co-workers, and I was asking questions. I was asking them questions. Hey, what's the best way to do this? What do you think about that? That's what I'm going to do. I'm always going to communicate. My office is always going to know what's going on in the office. If I have news, they're going to know it.
The only time -- if my AD says, keep this to yourself, I might not even keep it to myself. I'm still going to tell just because they're the ones on the line. They're the ones right there with the coaches that are working with coaches. It might be that we're going to make a coaching change. You know what, that person needs to know that's probably going to happen in the next couple weeks, right? It happens. It does happen. We're right there. We're supposed to be guiding the people through that process. And doing our part as part of a team.
So, yeah, I always have great communication in my staff, and I think they appreciate that.
NICK GUERRIERO: Kat, talk a little bit about that too because I think you are completely in a new situation on both fronts. You're going from working with sports like basketball and even with football at Army to now going to a place like Duke, where you're literally walking into a kind of preset staff of -- if it's StatCrew or PA. Maybe some of the roles and responsibilities that you had to handle on a game day at Army and at Colgate, at Duke now you probably don't have to handle those. So talk a little bit about that.
KAT CASTNER: Yeah, definitely. I guess my time working at Colgate -- I kind of did the opposite of John. John started out big, kind of tapered down to a mid-major, just the way his path ran. My path has kind of flip-flopped, and I started mid-major, and I've now elevated to being in the ACC. So I kind of still take what I learned and how I handled and managed at Colgate and even at Army, and so now when I'm managing people and dealing with -- I have a secondary for football, for example. So like making sure he understands that, hey, it doesn't come easy. Not everything, just because we're potentially Power Five, doesn't come easy. We still have to do the grind, the every day. You still have to communicate with coaches. You still have to do this and that.
I mean, communications is what our business is. So being able to communicate with others in the office, like, hey, I'm really swamped this week. Would you be able to help read this release for me? You know, like I can't get to it. Kind of gauging and seeing that evolve, I guess, throughout my career. You know, when I started out at Colgate, it was very much reliant on John and Matt Faulkner, who was in our office at the time.
But now I feel confident and comfortable enough that I can make decisions. Even though I'm in a new role here at Duke -- I was the director at Army, and now I've taken the Senior Associate Director title. So even though I'm not fully in charge of the office here, I still feel that I'm able to be a resource and help out with others in the office and continue to help them grow.
Because that's what it is. We're in the business of evolving. Just like sports rules change, SIDs have to change as well. John, when we first started, like he mentioned he hated Macs, wanted nothing to do with Macs. That's fine. That's the way he was brought up. That's the way he was an SID.
With graphics, with social media, SIDs are doing everything nowadays. We're tweeting. We're cutting up clips for video. Here I'm lucky enough that I don't need to do that as much, but with Army, I handled our baseball team at Army, and it was pretty much a one-man shop. You're sitting there doing a baseball game, and you're trying to stat the game, do all this and that.
But as long as you have great support, and you learn and communicate, you kind of can set yourself up for success.
NICK GUERRIERO: John, talk a little bit about -- and then we'll switch over to roles in a bit. But when it comes to staff, you talked about having to bring in, over your seven years, three to four people on the men's basketball side, but when you're looking for someone to take on a role like men's basketball or hockey or football, which could pretty much be your number one sport on your campus, what are some of the things that you're looking for from those candidates? Like what's going to stand out to say, okay, you're ready to take on a men's basketball gig from a new staff member.
JOHN PAINTER: Well, you want someone -- like I said, I want people coming here for a promotion. So I've already seen that they can do the job on the sports they were working. It might have been women's hockey. It might have been women's basketball. So I can offer and say, hey, you were doing this sport. Now you can come here, and you can do this sport. Like I said, it's going to look good on your resume, say Division I, fill in the blank there. It could even be a lacrosse, a lacrosse specialist.
I do football, women's basketball, and men's lacrosse. Boy, if somebody was -- a chance to hire someone, and, boy, I'd like to come there but I really want to do men's lacrosse. Okay, let's work it out. Let's switch me up somewhere. I'm fine what I'm doing. I'd rather have someone come here and make a success, and then that's what they're building.
That's what's happening right now for me. That's how I have fun every day is watching them grow and succeed. So as a matter of fact, another thing, I don't like to offer -- I don't like to tell the folks up front what all sports they're going to be covering. It kind of freaks them out sometimes when I say that, but I want them to come and do things they're really good at. I don't want to shove something down their throat.
Of course, the bigger sports, we're going to assign those, the hockey and the basketball, I get it. But maybe you like tennis versus swimming. Maybe you're more of a softball person versus track. Okay, let's work it out.
So we kind of have our own little fantasy draft once everybody gets on board. Everybody kind of freaks out about it, but then, okay, I'll take that. What have you got? I'll take this one, and then I'll take that one. People will feel some ownership on the job roles. I just think it's worked out. It scares everybody up front, but I think it works out for the best because then they have a comfort level.
NICK GUERRIERO: Let's switch into the roles actually and talk a little bit about that. Maybe we'll start and backtrack a little bit, but like John said, when he hires someone, he's not really telling them right off the bat what specifically on day 1 or day 100 your role's going to be. What was it like going into a spot at Colgate where this was your first time with men's basketball and the Patriot League, which if you look down the roster, is a predominantly male run SID shop and with like men's basketball. How did you go into that? How did you handle that?
KAT CASTNER: It was hard at times. John kind of saw me struggle. I mean, any time you're starting out in a field right out of school basically, I didn't have much experience. In college I was a college athlete, so I was kind of tied up doing that element of college rather than being an SID. I didn't even really know what an SID was until I kind of dove more into the field a little bit.
But definitely, I mean, learning and growing and having ups and downs, it's hard. Whenever you start out, you kind of -- you know, I had nine sports. Three-fourths of them, I had no clue what they even were. But then once you start to learn as you elevate in your life, you know, when you go to different jobs and different areas in your life, you can kind of start to be a little bit picky. Like, okay, what's my goal? Do I want to be men's basketball? Is this next position going to set me up for that role, for that success?
And the same thing goes to like when you hire. I've hired now a few times. John and I hired together at one point, hired some different people, but it's all about chemistry. You as -- you're interviewing the employer just as much as the employer is interviewing you when you're dealing with new staff and new roles. If you don't feel like you could fit in, then maybe that position isn't right for you, and that has nothing to do with sometimes these flashy jobs look great on paper, and then you get in there, and it's definitely not what you expected it to be.
Then again, that goes into kind of communication, building relationships in the field. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without creating relationships with Art Chase and like different -- Sarah Fetters, different people, I wouldn't be at Duke. They reached out thinking, hey, we have a great relationship with Kat. Let's see where she is. Again, I think that creating that relationship with him has helped me be successful here in these first couple weeks at Duke.
NICK GUERRIERO: So here's a good question, and you kind of touched on it, but maybe a little more in depth. What do you do when you're assigned a sport that you've never handled before? I know for some of us that have been in the Ivy Leagues or even in the Patriot League, you can have a sport like rowing or equestrian or, for Army, rifle. Obviously, you want to give the respect to those athletes, but at the same point, you're kind of sitting there like I don't know the difference between X and Y.
KAT CASTNER: That's so funny you said that because with this position I am primary football, but I'm also wrestling, and I know -- have no -- have never really been to a wrestling match in my life. Some people, that could have shied them away, but for me, it gave me an opportunity to understand and expand my knowledge as a sports information director of another sport. I think that that is so key.
Especially I know when I'm hiring, if somebody has only done basketball their whole life, are they as marketable as somebody that has done nine different sports and has been able to multitask and be successful? Their coaches are still complimenting them even though they have to split their time between them. So that kind of marketing yourself a little bit, you kind of have to be open and willing. Like I mentioned earlier, our field is ever-evolving, and there are times when people leave midseason. You kind of have to pick up the slack.
We all work in sports every day. John says we're not saving lives. He preached that to me from day one. We work with sports. So if you can't be able and willing to adapt and learn new things, then I think you're just going to be pigeon-holed to one specific sport, and you might not be as marketable in the long run.
NICK GUERRIERO: John, let me turn this back to you. Take away the background in sport and maybe turn it to social media video. With the new roles we have, where you're not just doing StatCrew or Game Notes or game stories, but like Kat said, you could be doing Twitter or Instagram. With those new roles, there may be people who haven't been trained in that, haven't gone to school for that.
Especially you look at a lot of the graphic designers that are being hired, a lot of them are talking about, well, I just learned on YouTube, or I learned on Lynda.com, one of the educational websites. What do you do in that situation as the boss?
JOHN PAINTER: Well, you've just got to decide what your end goal is. Do you want someone with a sports background, or, look, we've got to have this video, and they may not have it. Frankly, we interviewed for a video position this summer, and a couple of the people look good on paper, but they didn't really know anything about our school. I was kind of surprised they didn't do any more homework than they had not done. It just kind of ended up that the athletics background does kind of matter. It does kind of matter. You can say it doesn't.
Hey, I'm wide open. If someone can convince us that they can do the job and they can do the job technically and if that's what we need -- we're not quite as pigeon-holed, siloed that much yet. We do have to do multitask here. We're just a little smaller office. But I could see where a larger office, you might go that direction. It's just not that limited for us quite yet.
NICK GUERRIERO: So here's a question, and I think it's interesting because we all sit in a Division I world, but there are the Division IIs, the Division IIIs, and some of the NAIA schools out there watching, how does this help me? What are best practices -- and, Kat, we'll start with you -- of ways to reach out and, A, either ask for help, like did you at Army, or maybe at Colgate if you're asking other schools. What are some of the best practices that you've come across and ways to reach out to people?
KAT CASTNER: Yeah, it's tough. There have been many times where you're scrambling the day of the game to try to come up with staffing. I know that potentially for smaller schools, maybe reaching out to professors, reaching out to a financial officer's daughter who potentially could help run a camera. There's so many different outlets out there. It might not be ideal, but I think you kind of just have to roll with what you have and the staffing that you have available.
Maybe you offer up to a professor, hey, come do PA, but we'll give you tickets to the next football game or the next basketball game, something like that, as a reimbursement if you can't pay them. There's different ways to kind of go about it. It's not ideal, trust me, I get it. I've never been at a Division II or Division III, but I give all the credit to those individuals. They kill it. I don't know how they do it, but they kill it.
There's also opportunities to, depending on what the courses are, what the type of school it is, to reach out to like the department head and potentially ask them to have students sign up for maybe a one credit course where they volunteer to do basically game day help, and then you have student workers coming in. They report -- say you've got five games that week. They report to three of those games. They work three hours, four hours, whatever, and that's part of their course, and they write a paper at the end, or something to kind of pull it all together. I think that's more of a long-term goal. I don't know if that can be done too quickly, but that's an option to kind of open it up to the students.
We all work at a university, so there's tons of students available. It's just kind of a matter of going about the right way to get those students.
I know John, he obviously can speak a little bit more to it in a little bit here, but he's reached out to Ithaca and Cornell and talked to them. Cornell is definitely not a sports management type school, but he's reached out to them to create relationships with professors there so that, if somebody needs an internship, he's able to kind of bring them in and get them the credit and courses that they need.
Yeah, again, that will tie everybody back into buying into athletics. Just because, if it's a big football game, and the ticketing staff, fund-raising staff is tied up doing football stuff, maybe reaching out to professors and administration on that side would bring them into connecting more with athletics, and that just creates a better family and a better atmosphere all together for the whole university. Those would be my few little suggestions.
NICK GUERRIERO: John, what's your thought on that? Obviously, you've been around, and you've seen a lot of different situations before, but what's your best practices, ideas?
JOHN PAINTER: If I were at a local Division II or Division III and I was interested in making a move -- and there's nothing -- a long career in Division III is awesome. I have a lot of friends that are doing that now. Jim Taylor is killing it over at Hamilton College. He and I trade folks back and forth when it's real crunch time for us. We try to go to lunch -- although, Jim, if you're watching, we've got to go to lunch soon.
So come over, hey, get a hold of us. Let us know you want to help out. Get a hold of your local school, bigger school. They would love to have you. Trust me, they would love to have you because they can't always cover everything that they've got. And as Kat said, there's so many more things you're doing now than you were doing even five years ago. So there's going to be a role for you. They need folks -- especially if you're kind of reliable, if you can be there.
I know you've got your own job. I get it. Any time you can help out, even if it's two or three times a year, that's a super way to get yourself out there and be known so that then, when I hear a job in my league, I'll say, hey, call that guy over at Hamilton. That guy over at Hamilton is killing it. Call him, call her, they're really good. So that's just another way to shop yourself and to sell yourself to different level of schools.
NICK GUERRIERO: So here's a question that came in, and I think you talked about kind of moving on. So like when do you know it's time to move on? I think that's always a question people think about, and how do you overcome some of those fears, whether you're moving up or moving down? Kat, you're the recent mover. What was it that enticed you and made you feel ready to make the move up to the ACC?
KAT CASTNER: So I guess I'll start when I transitioned from being with John at Colgate to Army, and then I'll talk about when I went from Army now to Duke.
I was with John for four years. He knows it. It was one of the hardest decisions that I had to make to leave him. He's been a true mentor to me. He basically got me my first start in the field. So leaving that comfort was hard. You do it every day. Sometimes we're with the people we work with more than we're with our significant others. So definitely making sure you're in a good environment and/or you're jumping to a good environment.
I know leaving him was hard, but I knew picking up -- I was secondary football when I first came to Army, and then I also picked up baseball, which has always been a passion of mine. At Colgate, John's going to be football. He's going to be running the office. There really wasn't another step for me. So I think, in terms of my professional career, to be able to shift into doing BCS football, doing baseball, a sport that I had never really worked with. I had done softball, but they're different in some aspects. And then potentially kind of helping run an office. I mean, John helped me a lot run an office, but it's just a different setting. We had smaller staff at Colgate, so being able to run and organize and make decisions was a good step for me. That's kind of how I knew.
With the Duke jump, it kind of -- I wasn't looking. I love Army a lot, and it just kind of happened. Like I mentioned earlier, it's all about relationships. I wouldn't have been even offered the Duke job had I not created and built relationships with other professionals in the field.
I knew eventually -- there was a lot of elements that came into my decision to come to Duke. It wasn't just because it was ACC. Everybody kind of gets sometimes caught up with being Power Five, and that really wasn't the feel for me. Army was an Independent, and they are in the Patriot League, as you guys know. I had been in for eight years. The league was awesome, and it was hard. Again, it was another very hard decision to make.
But I think ultimately like for my personal life, everything kind of honed into one big decision, and I decided to make the jump. The jury's still out whether or not it was the best jump, but I'm trying to make the best of it.
NICK GUERRIERO: John, let me ask you this question. As a boss, have you ever had a conversation with someone that you've seen as a rising star in this industry and, and maybe use Kat as an example, but it's time for you to kind of spread your wings a bit and move on? Is that something you've ever encountered?
JOHN PAINTER: We were having those conversations through her four years here. What do you want to do? What's ahead? That's going on -- really, it's going on all the time. It just is. You can't have a relationship if you're not talking about what's ahead, what's ahead. And she'll tell you, I was mad when she went to Army because I thought, why are you settling for Army? You can do so much better. I wanted her to go to Duke right from here because I just thought that's really where her future was lying, but I was wrong.
I was wrong because she got over there -- I was. I was wrong. And she got into football, which was a key move, and then the next year she was number one football, and they were really good, and she was right there in the middle of it. Then, boom, that's what happened. And they were playing Duke, and guess what, now she's at Duke.
That's how it works. Sometimes it's time for Kat Castner to leave and time for Neil Lindbergh to leave and time for Chelsea to leave because, you know what, they've got to go fly. They're going to be so successful, I want to watch them. I get mad at them for sticking around sometimes. Come on, let's go. You can kill it.
Like I said, I've been lucky to have great folks go to a lot of fun places, and they haven't regretted it for one second, any of those moves. We keep plugging along here. We get the next batch, and I've got a great batch right now, a great crew right now, and they're going to be successful as well. So no complaints.
NICK GUERRIERO: Talk a little bit about just for yourself personally coming to Colgate. You said you were at the NCAA for a bit. You were at Tennessee. Then you go to Colgate. What was that in your mind to make the move there?
JOHN PAINTER: Well, my job ended at Tennessee. New coach came in. New AD came in, swept a bunch of us out. That just happened. I thought I'd be the rest of my career at Tennessee, and it didn't work out that way. I'm not the only one that's been in that boat before.
So I started looking. First I was looking in the Knoxville area to stick around, obviously. My wife said, hey, why don't you see what's out there in sports info? You really love it. So I just started looking. She said it would be great if you ended up at a really great school because our kids are getting close to college age. That's what happened. I ended up at Colgate, and my son ended up going to Colgate. Wow, it's like it was meant to be. Meant to be.
I've learned a ton more, and I have a different role now. I say if all the time to my friends. It's not being at a big school or small school. It's not right or wrong. They're just different. They're not right or wrong, and you can be great at both of them. There are CoSIDA Hall of Famers that have been their whole careers at a school that some people don't even know about, and they all kill it. We all know them. We know what superstars they are.
It's fun. It's fun to see all those different roles come together in CoSIDA. That's what I like about CoSIDA the best is that it all blends together into this great profession of all of us that really like keeping score at games. That's really what we do. We go to games and keep score. So it's kind of fun.
NICK GUERRIERO: Before we end this one, please make sure to submit your final questions. It's a fun topic, New Staff and New Roles. But let's look into the future a little bit because that's what we do in this industry. What are the new roles you feel are coming?
John, not to date you a little bit, but when you first started, NCAA LiveStats or even StatCrew may not have been something that was heavily talked about or video or social media. We all sit and look at best practices in our industry, but someone who is sitting in the head spot right now, in three or four years, what's the new position you're hiring? What's the new thing that's going to be on your docket?
JOHN PAINTER: That's a heck of a question. I tell you what, what we need here right now is we need to -- we need more consistent photography. People think video, video, video, graphics, and you forget about photography. Photography, you use it for everything. You use it for all the social media posts, Instagram, that's what it is is photography. I think that's been left behind. I think that maybe make a comeback, I hope. Good photography matters.
Yeah, it's just evolving. Kat knows, we say it all the time, okay, if we're going to add this, then what are we taking away? Right? It's always -- because I don't have more body. You don't have more bodies at American. So what are we doing? What are we going to stop doing if we're going to start doing this? Boy, I wish I knew the answer to that. I don't know the answer to that.
NICK GUERRIERO: Kat, we've talked about this in the past, like everything that kind of gets thrown at you, but what's your thoughts on that one? Where are we going with this the next couple of years?
KAT CASTNER: Yeah, so I'll start out by saying this. Everybody has their role as an SID. I know I'm never going to be the editor that John is. Any time -- I still ask him. I still text him about questions, hey, what's this? Does this make sense in this format, this writing? But I was also able, in our office, when I worked with John, I was able to bring different elements to the table. So I handled a lot of our graphics at the time. Even though I'm not a big social media fan, but I was able to handle and maintain some of our social media accounts.
So what I lacked in editing and whatnot, John kind of was that guy, and then what John lacked in terms of social media and different elements of graphics, I was able to bring to the table. So when you are hiring, the biggest thing I would -- I know this is off topic a little bit -- but the biggest thing that I would do is just make sure that they're bringing a different element to your office, somebody who, one, fits in and, two, brings a different element that you maybe lack.
I'm not the greatest at social media, but here at Duke, I don't really have to do it as much anymore. I really am able to hone in on doing sports information and dealing with media and handles those types of requests, which is ultimately what I've thrived in the last couple of years.
In terms of evolving, I think it's a very visual-based market nowadays. We, under the method of always hosting some sort of visual content with a tweet, with a post, with a release, anything like that because the days of all this text, these massive -- even game recaps have gone by the Wayside. They're not relevant anymore, and nobody's reading it. As professionals, we're just wasting our time.
Same thing goes for Game Notes. John always preached to me, and I will preach that until the day I die, if you don't get your Game Notes in by 24 hours, what are you doing them for? At least 24 hours, I should say, because nobody's reading it. You're bending over backwards for media and to get your team out there, so definitely get that in by the deadline.
Any sort of visual content, I'm not sure in terms of roles and jobs. You mentioned it earlier, graphic design has boomed. Some schools can't do that, so that means it falls on the SIDs. Strengthening your ability to learn and sit, it's going to take time. John has done -- he's come yards from when he started in terms of graphic design. Yeah, I think just kind of evolving with the changing times, but visual elements, GIFs, graphics, that type of thing. You can get your SID content like, hey, so and so had his 12th career double double and whatever. You can get that out in an element that's not just text based, if that makes sense.
NICK GUERRIERO: All right. Our last question, and it's kind of sticking on the advice, like we talked about. What's a piece of advice you give to someone who's looking to break in as an assistant SID, looking for their next big break, or looking for their next step?
JOHN PAINTER: People ask me what should I major in? Especially the younger folks. I don't really care what you majored in. Russian theater, whatever. I just want to know did you work in the office? Get to the office, get to games, get on site, tell them you want to work these games. That's what's going to matter. Kat, we had Katie Callahan from Ithaca came over, and she started in the summer, working in the office, started working games. She's working in Florida now. She's killing it in Florida. Loves it there. You couldn't drag her back up here if you tried.
She just got on site and proved her worth. I can't say it any other way. It's just get on site, prove your worth, if it has to be the volunteer level first. You're going to be so good, they're going to start paying you. Then it's going to become full-time, and you're going to fly from there. That's the number one.
KAT CASTNER: Yeah, I definitely echo John's point to gaining experience in the field. Unlike John, obviously, we want to make sure you have some sort of education first of all, but anything in the field. Like I was sports management. That didn't necessarily mean communications. I could have gone many different ways with my degree. It's all about gaining that experience. That's the number one thing that I look for. And also gaining experience at different spots, different places.
Some people are different. The way I manage and hire, I like for people to be diverse. I like for them potentially to have worked a ton of different sports. I like them to have worked at different places so I know they're able to work with different types of coaches or different types of offices, management styles. I like that. To me, that makes me feel they're a well rounded individual.
The biggest thing for me is networking, getting out. CoSIDA is a huge event. It's grown tremendously since my first year. It was only a couple years ago, but my first year, it was so eye opening. To now, like I said, I wouldn't be where I am today with the networks and relationships I've built.
And value the relationships you do build because you're going to rely on them in the long term. Hey, so and so applied for my position. Do you know them? You're always calling your former references or former people to kind of hear their thoughts because the people that individuals put down on their resume are obviously people that are going to promote them and talk about them.
So if you know that there's some sort of side connection like, oh, okay, I know somebody who worked at NC State as well. Let me call them even though they're not on their resume. They might be able to give me an insight as to how this individual is and go from there. It's all about relationships and building those.
NICK GUERRIERO: We'd like to thank everyone for joining today's informative session and extend thanks to our corporate sponsors, Capital One and ASAP Sports, for their continued support of the professional development series. A reminder you can find the webinar and ASAP transcripts on CoSIDA Connect, our membership portal, later this afternoon.
Next up is our NAIA-SIDA webinar on October the 8th, and then our next CoSIDA, Academic All-American Nomination and Voting Best Practices. That's what their topic is. For us, we'll be back on October 22nd as we host the Know Your Role webinar with discussions and roles with the department and the structures and the staffing structures and responsibilities away from sports specific. Please check CoSIDA.com and your social media channels for updates and registrations.
I want to thank John Painter from Colgate and Kat Castner from Duke once again, and we'll talk to you soon.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports