This blog is designed so a variety of authors can contribute and write about college sport. There are a diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and opinions represented by the contributors resulting in a wide range of viewpoints. The list of contributors will grow, but to start, a few Ohio University Sports Administration graduate students, faculty, and friends will take the lead.
I will update these bio’s as I get them from contributors:
Heather Lawrence, Ph.D. is a lifelong fan of college sports and was lucky enough to have a great career as a student-athlete at the University of Florida. In college, she also began her career in athletic administration where she learned from the best about what goes into having a successful athletic department. Working in athletics at the University of Florida and then at Southeastern Louisiana University gave her two very different experiences in college sports. Now, as a faculty member at Ohio University, her goal is to use those experiences as a student-athlete and administrator to help students interested in working in college sports figure out what is right for them.
Paul Benedict lives in Athens, Ohio with his fiancee (Heather) and their two dogs (Thunder – an Appalachian All-Breed with a bionic hip, and Lucy – an Aussie frisbee freak). During the day, Paul is a senior associate with Adena Ventures – an early stage venture fund that invests in companies (mostly tech) based in central Appalachia (OH, WV, KY, etc). His interest in sport is both personal and professional as a lifelong Xavier fan, being surrounded by OU Sports Admin folks 24/7, and the occasional investment in sports tech companies. Paul is a graduate of Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business (MBA) and Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College (BA).
Dr. B. David Ridpath, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sport Administration at Ohio University in the School of Recreation and Sport Sciences. This is Ridpath’s second stint at Ohio. He previously served as assistant wrestling coach at from 1994-95. While on head coach Harry Houska’s staff, the Bobcat wrestling team won the Mid American Conference wrestling championship in 1995 and finished 19th in the country. He also earned a Masters of Sports Administration and Facility Management degree from Ohio in 1995. Prior to returning to Ohio University, Ridpath spent two years directing the graduate sports administration at Mississippi State University, seven years at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia where he served as an Adjunct Professor of Sport Management and Marketing, Director of Judicial Programs and Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance and Student Services. He also worked in the athletic department at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, for three years from 1995-1997 as Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotions, Director of Internal Operations, and Director of Compliance. While at Weber State he served as a media manager at the 1997 NCAA Men’s Basketball Western Regional in Salt Lake City and as Co-director of the Mid-American Conference Wrestling Tournament in 1996. Ridpath received a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from West Virginia University in May 2002. He has been used as an expert in litigation involving college sports and is regularly quoted on issues in college sports in national and international publications.
Athena Yiamouyiannis, Ed.D. is the former Executive Director of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) and has over 15 years of industry experience. She joined Ohio University’s sports administration faculty in fall of 2006. Previously, she worked at the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) where she served as Director of Membership Services overseeing NCAA rules education operations and serving as liaison to the NCAA’s Committee on Women’s Athletics. Yiamouyiannis received a Bachelor’s degree in Math and a Master’s degree in Sports Management from The Ohio State University, in addition to an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University.
Tricia Turley is the Associate AD/Compliance & Student Services at Ohio University. Prior to arriving at Ohio in 2008, she served as a senior level athletic administrator at UMass and Northeastern. Tricia also has experience in Enforcement at the NCAA, was on the Executive Board of the Women’s Basketball Foundation as part of the local organizing committee for the 2006 Women’s Final Four, and as an Operations/Scouting Intern for the Washington Redskins. She received her B.S. from Cornell University and has earned a Masters Degree and Graduate Certificate from Northeastern University. In here free time, Tricia enjoys cooking for friends and setting up her new home in Athens.
Rob Norris is a graduate student at Ohio University, earning degrees in Business and Sports Administration. Before landing in Athens, he spent seven glorious years at the University of California, Davis…two as a student and five as an employee. During the last three years in Davis, Rob was the event manager for UC Davis Athletics and recognized what he hopes will be a long career in intercollegiate athletics. Rob is a native of Cobb, California and an avid golfer and backpacker.
Prior to enrolling in the dual MBA/MSA graduate program at Ohio University, Christina Wright interned at the NCAA with diversity and inclusion. She received her bachelor of arts in public communication from American University in Washington, D.C. A four-year letter winner and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative of the women’s indoor and outdoor track team, Christina finished her throwing career as the school record holder in the indoor and outdoor shot-put, and second on the all-time best list for discus. Upon completion of her graduate studies at Ohio University, Christina plans to continue her career in intercollegiate athletics administration at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level and later pursue a doctorate degree in higher education administration.
Garrett Munro is a graduate student in the MBA/MSA dual degree program at Ohio University. He was born and raised in Sidney, NY, a small, rural town in upstate New York. Prior to coming to Athens he attended the State University of New York at New Paltz for undergraduate. At New Paltz Garrett was a 4 year member of the Men’s Varsity Soccer team and received a degree in Accounting. He also completed an internship at KPMG, a big four accounting firm, in New York City prior to his final semester of undergraduate. Upon graduation he accepted a job offer with KPMG and moved to New York for 6 months before being accepted to the graduate program at Ohio and moving to Athens.
Dr. Anastasios Kaburakis is currently an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Sport Management Graduate Program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, School of Education, Department of Kinesiology, after serving the Department of Kinesiology in the School of HPER at Indiana University as Visiting Lecturer. He worked with the Indiana University Sport Management program since 2001, after earning his law degree from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece, and practicing law licensed through the Thessaloniki Bar Association. While in Greece, he taught and coached basketball at the American High School and College of Thessaloniki, Anatolia College, also coaching at Aris Basketball Club (Junior Men) and the National Teams of Greece (Cadettes and Junior Women), working with the Greek Basketball Federation.He has published in many areas of intercollegiate athletics and the law. He has also collaborated with Heather Lawrence on a variety of research projects.
Taylor Wood is currently a first year graduate student in Ohio University’s MBA/MSA dual degree program. Prior to his time at Ohio, Taylor attended the University of Kentucky where he was a English major and a History minor. After spending some time writing for free-of-charge newspapers, he decided to act on his passion for sports and apply for the OU program. Upon admission, Taylor was offered a fellowship at Northern Illinois University, where he was able to learn and gain tremendous experience working for the Huskie Athletic Scholarship Fund. His main interests lie in the external operations of Intercollegiate Athletics. Taylor grew up in rural Kentucky and is an avid soccer player and outdoorsman.
Chris Lindauer, President of Sports Career Consulting, has over a decade of experience in sports business. He has been involved with every aspect of team sports, from ticket sales and sponsorship to marketing and game entertainment. He has even had the unique experience of drafting a NBA player, submitting the pick of former St. John’s standout guard Erick Barkley while representing the Trail Blazers at the 2000 NBA Draft in Minneapolis.In 2003, Chris left the Blazers franchise to start a new company, Sports Career Consulting. SCC is an organization dedicated to providing education resources to business and marketing teachers throughout the country with an emphasis on sports and entertainment. To date, nearly 1,400 teachers have accessed SCC’s online textbook. Thousands of students have been impacted by SCC’s programs, from engaging in sports marketing projects to promote local high school sports teams to meeting the top executives at Jordan Brand and touring Nike’s World Headquarters.
Jeremy Hammond is a ‘08 graduate of Ohio University in the sport management undergraduate program. He is currently the Event Services Coordinator for the Georgia Dome. His job grows every day and he loves the work environment where he is surrounded by great people to learn from. His favorite part of the job is the interaction with the client-whether it be the ACC, SEC, Falcons, the bowl, GHSA-building relationships and gaining their trust.
Michelle Wells has worked in the Sports Industry for nearly 15 years, starting as an undergraduate student at the O’Connell Center at the University of Florida. In 1997 she received a master’s degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University. Since receiving her master’s degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University, she has gained experience working for Disney’s Wide World of Sports, the ING New York City Marathon (New York Road Runners), has had her own sports business with a friend, and worked many other events. In 2007 she took on a role in marketing with GamePlan Technologies, Inc. Michelle led and worked with six wonderful graduate assistants who were constantly coming up with new projects for college and pro sports organizations to use GamePlan’s software. Since the fall of 2008, she has been the program coordinator and assistant professor for the University of Charleston’s (WV) Sport Administration program.
Jason Hill is a current dual-degree MBA/MSA student at Ohio University. Raised in Mount Airy, North Carolina, Jason has always had a passion for sports, specifically at the collegiate level. After spending four years in the “southern part of heaven” at UNC Chapel Hill, Jason moved to Atlanta, GA and worked as an Operations Analyst at the corporate offices of The Home Depot. He and his wife have two bulldogs (Dewey and Mollie) who are gradually adjusting to Midwest weather.
Sean Phifer is a first year graduate student in Ohio University’s Sports Administration program. He is a recent graduate of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and originally from Fort Collins, Colorado. He hopes to enter intercollegiate athletics on the development side with the long-term of being an athletics director at the Division I level.