Alumni

April 7 – Washington DC Area SMP Alumni Event @ Clyde’s of Gallery Place

April 7 – Washington DC Area SMP Alumni Event @ Clyde’s of Gallery Place

Attention all Washington DC UConn Sport Management Family alumni!

Be sure to join Dr. Jennifer McGarry (formerly Bruening) and your fellow UConn SMP alumni at Clyde’s of Gallery Place on April 7, 2016 at 7pm for an evening of friendship and networking in Washington DC.

To RSVP, or to ask any questions, please contact Dr. McGarry directly at jennifer.mcgarry@uconn.edu.

We look forward to seeing you there!

UConn SMP Alumni SportPath – Michael McGuire, Coordinator, VIP Services with MLB’s Washington Nationals

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UConn SMP Alumni SportPath – Michael McGuire, Coordinator, VIP Services with MLB’s Washington Nationals

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Michael McGuire (2013)

As a part of a continuing series, we turn the spotlight on members of the UConn Sport Management Program (SMP) Alumni Community, focusing on the diversity of experience and breadth of knowledge they have gained within the industry. Designed to help current and future SMP students learn to navigate and understand the real-world intricacies of sport management, we thank SMP alumni for their valuable contributions and insight. Today, the focus is on UConn alumnus Michael McGuire (UConn Sport Management Program, 2013).

UConn’s Sport Management Program is among the nation’s elite, offering an array of classes that give a comprehensive look at all areas of the industry. It was this wide-range focus that helped set me on my current career path.

Entering college, I intended to become a coach. I got involved early as an Equipment Manager for the Football Team. But as I spent more time in the athletic department and the SMP, I realized I had as much passion for team and event operations as I did for coaching. The perfect marriage of all three came in the form of an opportunity to volunteer at the NFL Scouting Combine. Gaining a contact through my network and with a little patience and persistence, I found myself in Indianapolis the February of my Senior Year. While I preformed various duties over the course of the camp, the crux of my position was ensuring that the event ran as smooth as possible and fostering the best interview environment for all participants.

The Combine helped prepare me for my next role as an Event Coordinator with Red Frog Events. Serving as my internship required for graduation, I wouldn’t have known about the organization had it not been for a report I’d done in one of my SMP classes. Red Frog is the parent company of events such as the Warrior Dash, a 5K Obstacle Mud Run Series and Firefly Music Festival. A smaller organization, this position gave me the opportunity to work on everything from customer service to event operations logistics. I would highly recommend that anyone looking for internships or apprenticeships spend time somewhere similar in size. There are more opportunities to learn all facets of the business. Should you capitalize, it will make you a more versatile candidate moving forward.

Following Red Frog and a brief stint volunteering with the Game Entertainment Team of the Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers D-League Affiliate), I became the seasonal intern for the Community Relations Department of the Washington Nationals. Through the Alumni Association, I made a connection in the organization. I can’t say if this helped, but it most certainly didn’t hurt. Coupled with lifelong experience directing volunteer service opportunities, the industry skills I developed working events helped me in my role as a face for the Nats in the community. My main responsibilities included managing the in-game military salute program and coordinating the distribution and fulfillment of donations. Through the course of the season, I met many extraordinary people, had amazing experiences and gained a lot of responsibility in the department. By the time the internship was over, much of the staff asked that I keep in touch.

Currently, I am Coordinator of VIP Services with the Nationals. Through checking in every-so-often and updating former colleagues on my career search, my intern manager informed me of the opening and suggested I apply. I now oversee the visit of all VIP Guests to the ballpark and ensure their experience is second to none. And to think; if it weren’t for an SMP class report, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m still involved at the Combine too, for those wondering.

No two “SportsPaths” are the same. For every person who had to intern with five organizations before landing their first full time job, there’s someone out there who gained a manager position all from a chance meeting. It’s the nature of the beast. But the similarities between those who are successful regardless of career stops lie in the process. From listening to the paths of others and reflecting on my own, here’s what I would suggest: Get involved early and volunteer as much as you can. When you get those chances, really invest yourself. Stay late. Ask questions. Introduce yourself and talk to as many people as you can (for those frightened by the term, this is all networking is. Everyone in the industry knows how hard it is to break in. Most would be happy to speak with you). Be a little selfish when it comes to your professional development. Step outside of your comfort zone regularly. Most importantly, the only one who can make anything happen is you. There may be great contacts in your network who can put you in phenomenal places; you still have to be the one to follow through on the opportunity. Believe in yourself, dedicate yourself to what you want to achieve, and there’s no stopping you.

And don’t forget to pay attention in class.

Mike McGuire
SMP Class of 2013, Husky Forever

SMP Alumni Bob Quinn named Detroit Lions GM/EVP

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SMP Alumni Bob Quinn named Detroit Lions GM/EVP

Bob Quinn becomes third UConn grad to serve as professional sports GM.

Article and Photo Courtesy of UCONNHUSKIES.COM

University of Connecticut graduate Bob Quinn has been named the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Detroit Lions. A press conference was held on Monday to announce his hiring. Quinn will oversee the Lions’ football operations and report directly to Owner and Chairman of the Board Martha Firestone Ford and President Rod Wood.

Quinn, native of Norwood, Mass., earned his master’s degree in sports management from UConn in 2000 and completed his undergraduate studies at UConn in 1998. He and his wife, Julie (a Storrs native), have a son, Kyle, and a daughter, Grace.

Before his 16-year tenure started with the Patriots, Quinn spent time as a graduate assistant in the athletics department at UConn.

Quinn becomes the second UConn graduate as a current NFL GM as former Husky All-American linebacker John Dorsey is with the Kansas City Chiefs. In addition, UConn graduate and former Husky pitcher Billy Eppler is the GM of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

“We are thrilled to have agreed to a deal with Bob to make him our new General Manager,” Wood said. “As Mrs. Ford indicated at the outset, our search would be national in scope, and we would do everything possible to identify the very best person to lead our football operation. We believe Bob is that person.”

For 16 seasons, Quinn has played an integral role in several aspects of the New England Patriots player personnel department. In the past four seasons, he served as the director of pro scouting after the team promoted him to that position in May 2012.

During his time with New England, Quinn helped the Patriots build one of the most impressive stretches in NFL history that produced four Super Bowl titles, including the most recent championship last season (Super Bowl XLIX). Since 2000, Quinn’s first year, the Patriots won six AFC Championships, 13 AFC East titles, 12+ games in a season 10 times (which includes the past six years) and 10+ games in 14 of his 16 seasons.

Quinn’s responsibilities have included both pro and college scouting during his tenure with New England. From 2009-11, Quinn was the Patriots’ assistant director of pro personnel. He worked, prior to that, in college scouting as the team’s national scout in 2008 and as a regional scout from 2004-07. Quinn served two seasons as a pro scout in 2002-03 after he joined the Patriots in 2000 as a player personnel assistant.

Alumni Focus: Fernando Carrasquillo – at the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum

Alumni Focus: Fernando Carrasquillo – Steele Internship Program at the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, Summer of 2013

Fernando Carrasquillo (2013)

As a part of a continuing series, we turn the spotlight on members of the UConn Sport Management Program (SMP) Alumni Community, focusing on the diversity of experience and breadth of knowledge they have gained within the industry. Designed to help current and future SMP students learn to navigate and understand the real-world intricacies of sport management, we thank SMP alumni for their valuable contributions and insight. Today, the focus is on UConn alumnus Fernando Carrasquillo (Sport Management, 2013).

Puerto Rico: a Caribbean island and U.S. Commonwealth not only known for its cuisine, beautiful beaches and panoramic views, but also for being an island that lives and breathes baseball. Born and raised in San Juan, it was natural for me to be exposed to baseball through my father and grandfather. Looking back, I wish I had played the sport more and maybe play good enough to make it to Major League Baseball and cement myself in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I know, it’s a long shot, but one can always dream right? Still, I found a way to make it into the Hall of Fame, just not as an inducted player, but instead as a Development Intern for the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum.

I was fortunate to have been selected as one of 15 interns out of over 600 applicants and the only Latino to do so. I had fulfilled of my lifelong dream of stepping foot into Cooperstown, NY and walk into the same building where the likes of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, among others are inducted. Even though it was in the summer of 2013, and no living player was inducted, it was still a wonderful experience just to see all of the legends that have helped make baseball into America’s pastime and to spend a summer breathing into the baseball atmosphere.

As a Development Intern, I got to work all areas from the Ticket Booth, to Membership Services to even presenting artifacts to visitors of the Museum, all contributing to fundraising for the Friends of the Hall of Fame Program. This program funds the Education area, preservation of the hall and general maintenance of the Mecca of Baseball. Going from simple interactions with a father showing his son the heroes he grew up watching to letting people know that I was from Puerto Rico and that we contributed to three Hall of Famers, I realized that the Hall of Fame can go a long way to connecting generations, preserving history and most importantly, honoring excellence. I hope that I could open the doors to more Latinos forming part of this prestigious program while opening the doors to more fellow Huskies to honor our school in such a wonderful experience.

NOTE: You can read an article written for Puerto Rico’s Primera Hora newspaper by clicking here (can be translated through Google Chrome).

Fernando Carrasquillo
SMP Class of 2013

Issues in Sport: The Relationship between Sports and Academic Achievement in Schools

Issues in Sports: The Relationship between Sports and Academic Achievement in Schools

The University of Connecticut Sport Management program seeks to foster personal and professional growth in our students. Undergraduate and graduate students engage in thought provoking discussions in their classrooms. At the conclusion of the Fall 2014 semester, our graduate students had the desire to further such conversations to a space outside of the classroom setting. They wanted open dialogue with a wider audience. On December 9 the program launched its first discussion of the Issues in Sport series where we created a forum to talk about social issues and their impact on sports.

Approximately 30 students, faculty and staff members attended the Issues in Sport discussions series to discuss the relationship between sports and academic achievement in schools. Through a WebEx conversation, UConn alumnae Anne McKernan and Karissa Niehoff spoke to the audience about the role, positive and negative, that sports play in a student’s academic life. The key theme of the discussion was creating and maintaining balance for student athletes, After hearing from the guest speakers, attendants engaged in small group conversations about an article posted in The Atlantic entitled “High-School Sports Aren’t Killing Academics”.

Overall, the event served as a way for the community to express ideas and concerns about the current state of academics and sports. There was a great turnout by fellow sport management students and faculty; however, representatives attended the event from the Rainbow Center, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources as well. With such diverse backgrounds, there was much opportunity for versatile discussions and continuous networking.

The Issues in Sport discussion series will continue in Spring 2016. Dates and topics are to be determined.

Guest Speakers:

Anne McKernan (2011), the Director of Leadership Development for the CT State Department of Education and a former chief academic officer for the Enfield Public Schools and school principal at CREC’s Metropolitan Learning Center.

Karissa Niehoff (2010), the Executive Director of Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CAS-CIAC).

Boston Area SMP Alumni Men’s Basketball Watch Party on Dec. 12

Boston Area SMP Alumni Men’s Basketball Watch Party on Dec. 12

The UConn Men’s Basketball team will be heating up chilly winter temperatures across the region when they take on The Ohio State on Saturday, December 12!

Come join the UConn Boston Alumni Association and UConn Sport Management Alumni Community for the first basketball watch party of the season, hosted by “The Greatest Bar” on 262 Friend St. in Boston.

The game kicks off at high noon on CBS, so please join us any time from 11:00 at The Greatest Bar for pre-game festivities and a prize raffle. The alumni team and UConn basketball will provide the festive atmosphere, so all you need to do is bring your friends and family (self-pay for food & drinks), and be ready to have a great time!

All alumni, students, friends & family are all welcome – we hope to see you there!

Go Huskies!

Alumni SportStory: Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers – UConn, the Boston Celtics and the Super Bowl

Alumni SportStory: Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers – UConn, the Boston Celtics and the Super Bowl

Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers (2012)

As a part of a continuing series, we turn the spotlight on members of the UConn Sport Management Program (SMP) Alumni Community, focusing on the diversity of experience and breadth of knowledge they have gained within the industry. Designed to help current and future SMP students learn to navigate and understand the real-world intricacies of sport management, we thank SMP alumni for their valuable contributions and insight. Today, the focus is on UConn alumna Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers (Sport Management, 2012), currently working as a Communications Coordinator for the Boston Celtics.

From collegiate athletics, professional teams and league offices, advancing my career has always been a priority for me. I have been fortunate to broaden my experience through unique jobs and internships, and as a current member of one of the NBA’s most iconic franchises, I am incredibly grateful for a role that allows for involvement in both business and basketball operations.

My experiences have also led me to many of sports’ most notable events, such as the NCAA Final Four, NFL Draft and NBA All-Star. While those experiences elevated my career aspirations in the sport business industry, the opportunity to work on one of the largest sport and entertainment events in the world made an even larger impact.

My main responsibility leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII was assisting with the accreditation process for all media. We accepted applications throughout the season, and after carefully combing through each request, granted more than 5,000 credentials to credible outlets.

Game week featured many memorable moments, including working at NFL Honors. The night before the Super Bowl, the NFL celebrates its best players and plays from throughout the season with a star-studded awards show. As a public relations assistant, I was tasked with escorting current and former players on the red carpet pre-event, as well as accompanying award winners on their interview tours.

At the conclusion of the big game, I reported to the press conference room to announce media availabilities for the Head Coaches, General Managers and various players from each team.

The opportunity to work at Super Bowl XLVIII was one of many highlights of my career thus far and an experience I will always remember. I am thankful to the Boston Celtics, as well as the NFL Communications department, for allowing me to travel to Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX to serve as a public relations assistant this year as well. Working at the NFL provided me with a chance to gain a deeper understanding of league operations while enhancing my professional background. Most importantly, my time there taught me the value of stepping outside my comfort zone.

Alumni SportPath: Matt Ouimette – Three lessons for success

Alumni SportPath: Matt Ouimette – Three lessons for success

Matt Ouimette (2012)

As a part of a continuing series, we turn the spotlight on members of the UConn Sport Management Program (SMP) Alumni Community, focusing on the diversity of experience and breadth of knowledge they have gained within the industry. Designed to help current and future SMP students learn to navigate and understand the real-world intricacies of sport management, we thank SMP alumni for their valuable contributions and insight. Today, the focus is on UConn alumnus Matt Ouimette (Sport Management, 2012).

As an incoming freshman to the University of Connecticut, I knew I wanted to get involved with the athletic department. While I was still in high school I emailed a former classmate working in athletics in the hopes of obtaining a position. After a few emails back and forth I found a home in the football equipment room- not what I had hoped for but I graciously accepted. Soon thereafter I was asked to fill a vacancy as a video assistant to the men’s basketball program. What started as a simple email resulted in working over 100 UConn basketball games all over the country.

Lesson 1: Maintain and utilize connections.

My position as video assistant required me to work home games and the occasional practice. Instead of limiting myself to the required duties, I tried to get as involved as possible. I attended as many practices as I could, assisted team managers when needed and completed each task I was given quickly and effectively. Due to my commitment I was given more responsibilities and was fortunate enough to work events such as the 2010 Preseason NIT, 2011 Maui Invitational and the now historic 2011 Big East Tournament.

Lesson 2: Take pride in your work no matter how small the task may be.

In the excitement following our victory over Louisville to take the Big East crown and complete “5 Games in 5 Days” I was approached by a stranger. He told me UConn had forgot to cut down the second net and the MSG staff were about to remove the basket. He provided me a ladder in exchange for a piece of net. Unbeknownst to me, the man was the CEO of the software company I had used the previous four years at UConn. He offered me an internship on the spot.

Three months later I was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on the sidelines of Heinz Field testing Still Shot equipment for NFL use. Through the course of my internship I was exposed to numerous NFL, NBA and NCAA clients, creating valuable relationships in the process. I was also able to test instant replay software that was eventually adopted for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournament.

Lesson 3: Network! Not just a simple exchange of contact information but tell your story and detail where you want to be. You may just find yourself in the right place at the right time!

During my sports career I have worked over 200 NCAA basketball, NCAA football, FCS football and NFL games from Connecticut to Hawaii- and it all started with an email.

Matt Ouimette
SMP Class of 2012

Networking at the Fall 2015 “Career Night in Sport” Event

 

Undergraduate Sport Management Students Network with Profesionals “A Career in Sports Night” at UConn Alumni Center

Seeking advice, stories of inspiration and the opportunity to network with industry professionals, more than 60 UConn undergraduate students flocked to “A Career in Sports Night” on October 19, an event featuring networking opportunities and interactive discussions with more than 20 UConn alumni currently working in the sport industry.

Organized and hosted jointly by UConn’s Center for Career Development, Alumni Association and Sport Management Program, the event was opened by UConn’s Director of Major Gifts, Meg Culmo (’92), who encouraged the students to make the most of such events, as students who came through UConn 10 years ago never had such great interactive opportunities.

Speaking from experience, the UConn communications major, UConn women’s basketball captain and NCAA championship-winning assistant coach never thought her career in broadcasting could lead to a job as a political lobbyist or her current position at UConn focusing on fundraising efforts for capital
projects and engaging former UConn student-athletes. Doing her best in each of the roles she performed opened up unexpected doors and networking opportunities with a people in a wide array of industries over the years that has led her to her current job, which she loves passionately as it is full of great people, challenges, and great reward in supporting the institution that helped provide much of the infrastructure of her own success.

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A huge thanks to all of our UConn alumni who participated in the event!

Alyssa Budkofsky: Assistant Athletic Director for Men’s Basketball Academic Support at Quinnipiac University

Billy Haubrich: ESPN Multimedia Sales Research Manager

Brent Colborne: Associate Manager at ESPN

Danielle Upham: Assistant Director of Event Management at UConnScreen Shot 2015-10-22 at 11.29.30 AM

Dave Longo: Athletic Facilities and Operations Manager at Brown University

Jenny Gobin: Motion Graphics Operator at ESPN

Joel Satin: WWE Marketing and Business Operations Executive in Media and Sports

Kate Mainelli: NBC Olympic Sales Marketing Manager

Kirsten Britton: Assistant Director of Athletics/Event Management at UConn

Leigh Michaud: ESPN Remote Production Operations

Lindsey Lemoine: Assistant Director of Video Services at UConn

Lisa Misipeka: UConn Track Assistant Coach/Director of Operations (3x Olympian)

Meg Angeletti: Section Marketing Strategist at USTA

Meg Culmo: Director of Major Gifts at UConn

Meredith Scarlata: Associate Athletic Director/Finance at Brown UniversityScreen Shot 2015-10-22 at 11.27.57 AM

Ronnie Balzano: Digital Client Services Coordinator at Major League Baseball

Sarah Griffin: Sales Coordinator, Affiliates Sales and Marketing at ESPN

Taylor Whiting: Tournament Assistant at Travelers Championship PGA Tour Event

Zack Wainwright: Assistant Ticket Office Manager at Brown University

Aaron Watson: Supervisor at ESPN in Broadcast Media

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 11.29.20 AMJulie Purcell: Assistant Director of Compliance at UConn

 

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