By | Keaundrey Clark
LJ: How are you fitting into your new job?
DR: I bleed green and gold, and I love using the metaphor of sports to teach, so I couldn’t be happier with the role. However, there are significant challenges that are requiring long hours to research and to plan possible solutions.
LJ: What are your expectations for the job?
DR: My role, as the Athletics Director of Humboldt Athletics, is to lead a dedicated team of professionals (coaches, trainers and staff). Together our goals are to align our department with the mission of the university, to provide transformative experiences for our student-athletes, and to offer HSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and our community engaging programs that support the university’s goals.
LJ: How do you think you can add to the success of HSU sports?
DR: My hope is that I can help to reinvigorate our programs and re-integrate athletics into the university. My expectation is that Athletics will support the university’s efforts in: improving campus life, increasing outcomes like graduation rates, attracting potential students, building meaningful relationships with our community, and raising funds for the advancement of the university.
LJ: What are some goals you want to accomplish in the first few semesters here?
DR: Together with my staff, we will support our student-athletes both on and off the field. We will also offer the President proposals for the future of athletics. And we will execute whichever plan is chosen.
LJ: What sports are you looking to add or could be suggested in the future?
DR: That is a good question, but one I can’t answer at the moment.
LJ: How is the athletics budget looking, it is in debt how is administration handling that?
DR: Our finances are impacted by decreased enrollment (less revenues) and increasing costs (primarily due to mandated salary and benefit increases) so, despite heroic cost cutting, we continue to face a growing deficit. As a result, the President has asked for long term plans that will address the shortfalls.
LJ: Some athletes are fearing their sport may be cut, what can you tell them to reassure everything would be okay?
DR: I am looking forward to a very exciting Fall schedule. I hope that our students, faculty and staff will come out to all of our games, enjoy the events, add to the excitement and show everyone how important our sports teams are to the campus.
LJ: The softball field has been looking horrible over the past year and was unusable last season. What could be done for it to be fixed for the spring?
DR: I am working with our facilities management team on potential plans. Everything costs money and time, but I am hopeful.