by Megan Dreher, Editor-in-Chief
The Quadrangle is fortunate enough to cover a multitude of sporting events and athletes each week, but none of that would be possible without the assistance of the Sports Information Desk. Faculty members of the Athletics department, such as Kelly Carroll, not only coordinate interviews with media like the Quadrangle, but they also act as a media liaison to any and all external outlets, from the NCAA to ESPN. Carroll currently serves as the Assistant Director of Sports Communication, a job that covers a variety of tasks on a day to day basis. The Quadrangle was able to sit down with Carroll to learn more about her integral role in Manhattan Athletics.
The Quadrangle: How did you get involved in the work you’re doing now?
Kelly Carroll: I actually took a circuitous route. I was a journalist right out of grad school, I went to Boston University for my masters in Journalism. After doing that for a little while, around 2008 the whole media landscape was starting to change. People didn’t know what to do with digital media. I got a job in book publishing, which led to a job editing Columbia Law School’s alumni magazine. I did that for almost six years, but during that time, everything started to transition to digital as well. While working there, I realized that I wanted to get back into sports. My dad was a college basketball coach, my mom worked in the Athletic department at Westpoint. I grew up in that world, kind of went away from it, but realized I wasn’t fulfilled as an adult not doing it. I went back to school at Columbia, got my masters degree in Sports Management, and then was hired here at Manhattan. This is my first job in this field professionally, so I feel very lucky. It’s a role where you get your hands dirty in a lot of different things.
TQ: What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
KC: The traditional part of my job is being a sport information director, which covers stats, being a liaison to the conference and to the NCAA, travelling with teams when appropriate and making sure that the game day aspects of their trips on the road is taken care of, at home being a score table manager, a game day facilitator. This position started because when college sports started to become big, they needed someone to care for the media stuff—the media relations director, which I also do. The other half of my job, is all of the digital stuff. Everything externally that we do digitally falls under me. Our social media (our main account and the 19 team accounts), our website, our in house broadcasts. It’s an interesting office to be in because if you look at the landscape of college athletics now, a lot of the Power 5 schools are schools that have more resources and are segmenting their external communication. For us, it has evolved from that traditional SID role, and we continue to take on all of those other jobs that have become important to communicating in college athletics.
TQ: What is your relationship with the teams that you work with?
KC: It’s very different from team to team. I oversee Cross Country, Track & Field, Volleyball, Softball, and Women’s Basketball, so I get to work more closely with them. We’ll do a lot of things such as media training to go over best practices in how to present yourself, to interviewing them not just about their accomplishments in competition but also what they’re doing in class and the community. That’s probably my favorite part of my job—interacting with them and seeing them grow and be successful here. We want to see these kids be really well rounded people, and show everyone that we’re not just fantastic athletes here, we want them to be really good citizens of the world.
TQ: Over the past two years that you’ve been here, what has been your favorite part about working with Manhattan Athletics?
KC: There’s been a lot. The days are very long, so I think day to day you always focus on the little hurdles and frustrations, but when you look at the big picture, the people I’ve gotten to meet and work with have been amazing and very supportive. I came in not having a job like this before, so I had to learn very quickly, and everyone here gave me the opportunity to do that. So I’m very grateful for the people, both my colleagues and the student athletes. Now in the middle of my third season, seeing how much the kids have grown, become better athletes, and great people…you get to watch them turn into adults which is nice. You get to feel like you’re making an impact in someway, which I don’t think you get in a lot of jobs.