So You Want to be an Athletic Director? Work in Sports Podcast e033

By Brian Clapp | January 03, 2018

Shaun Richard, Ohio State University Associate Athletic Director Shares His Advice on Becoming a College Athletic Director

Hi I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast.

Did you miss me? I took a little time off over the holidays so this is our first podcast since December 22nd. I’ve missed doing this.

Starting the podcast in September, I’ll be honest, has lit a bit of a fire underneath me. I love and need new challenges, and this is new. Sure it’s content and that’s my wheelhouse, but it’s also new equipment, new technology, new marketing techniques, booking guests and a lot more.

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I needed this and I guess many of you may feel  the same way. We all get stuck in ruts. It’s so easy to get into a comfort zone or a routine and just keep on keeping on. But is that really what you want? Do you really want to just go through your normal wake up, commute, clock in, do work, take lunch, do more work, drive home, watch sports go to bed routine.

This is the time of year to shake things up a bit. I’m not going to ask you to write down what you want to do this year…or your goals or some other trite new years activity. But I will ask you this – what is that thing you’ve always thought of doing but keep putting off?

For me, it is this podcast. I had an idea back in 2014 to start a podcast, but I didn’t take the time to learn the tech, study the process and make it happen. I just kept it on my wish list for 3 plus years.

That’s you want to be an athletic director

I’ll tell you what, I feel better moving something from the “big idea” to the “actually happening” side of my life and you will to. So think about that – pick something you’ve thought about doing and do it. You’ll open up a new section of your brain and I don’t know release endorphins or something like that. Bottom line, it feels good. So do it.

Just before the break I interviewed Shaun Richard, Associate Athletic Director for Ohio State University… and it was an awesome conversation about the life of college athletics and administration. Shaun shared a ton about the day to day of his job and his focus. In part 2 of our interview Shaun digs into how he got to where he is and what you need to do to follow your path to a career in college athletics.

If you haven’t listened to part 1 yet – go back and listen, it is worth it.

We’re going to pick up my interview with Shaun Richard Associate Athletic Director at Ohio State University and learn more about working in college athletics…I start out asking Shaun about where a young person should start out if they want to work in college athletics…

Questions on Becoming an Athletic Director for Shaun Richard, Ohio State Associate Athletic Director

1: While at Colgate you handled marketing and promotions, sponsorship, branding, sports information – you compare that to what you do now running the various teams at OSU and the job of an athletic director is vast – if I’m a young person who wants to be an AD, my head is spinning, I wouldn’t even know what to major in! What advice would you give someone who wants to work in college athletics?

2: So many people ask me: is it necessary to get your Masters to work in sports? As someone who has your masters in education, Athletic Administration from Springfield College – what would you say? Was getting your masters an essential step to get where you are now?

3: Colgate has around 2800 students and is in a rural area of New York – Ohio State has over 66,000 students. You published a paper on athletic marketing strategies in rural areas – which I read and enjoyed as I prepared for this interview… did you just throw it out the window on your drive to OSU?

In all seriousness, after making the jump to a huge program like OSU, have you been able to apply some of the same techniques you implemented at Colgate to market events… or did you have to start from scratch?

4: There is a saying that a rising tide lifts all boats… and I wonder if that applies to college sports. Does the success of the football team raise the profile of the sports you manage…or does it cannibalize the potential market?

5: What is the most challenging part of the job for you? And on  the flip side, what is the most enjoyable part?

Lightning Round 

1: Colgate University is not near much – when you worked there, what did you do for fun?

2: Let’s say I was coming to Columbus a few days early to see an OSU soccer game… what are three things I should do in town before I head over to the game?

3: You were the operations manager for the Jason Taylor Foundation at the exact time Jason was on Dancing with the Stars…so…do you still watch the show now?

4: How long did it take you to learn fencing enough to be in charge of the oversight?

5: You were a college baseball player – how much does having been a student-athlete help in your role now?

Thanks for listening! Subscribe already! Review us on iTunes! Email me questions


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