In 140 characters or less, tell us who you are and how you got to where you are today.
I am a Cali born and raised woman who fell in love with a round ball 27 years ago, that fought like hell to turn every obstacle and barrier into an opportunity to be the change she wanted to see in the world using basketball as her stage.
What’s one trend in media or marketing that you’re buying or selling?
I am buying the impact social media is having on the Black Bears men’s basketball game through #BlackBearNation. The hands-on fan engagement through the game with highlights, community events, player and coach interviews has been great for our program. This use of fan engagement is a great asset to help us create an environment in which future student athletes that we are recruiting get to be part of our family year-round and feel connected not only to the men’s basketball program but to the university also.
How do you define creativity?
Creativity is having the freedom to use your platform to give others hope and inspire the next generation to think about their life differently and have the courage to say “That can be me,” “I can be her,” “I can do that.”
What’s the project or campaign that you’re proudest of? Why?
The project I’m most proud of is to be a part of rebuilding the culture of men’s basketball at The University of Maine. A big part of my role on the staff is the development of all of our guards to be the best student-athletes on the court, in the classroom and in the community. I could not ask for a better project because depending on what grade level it could be 1-4-year commitment and relationship with my student-athletes.
What are you working on right now? Any exciting future plans that you’re able to share?
I am currently working on building a leadership series with the University of Maine Multicultural Leadership team. It’s a 6-part series we will be launching the 2019 Spring semester, where I take a selected group of students nominated by the university through what leadership means to me, and how I used those principles to become the only woman coaching Division 1 men’s basketball.
As a connected fan, what’s the best piece of sports content that you have recently consumed?
I have really enjoyed LeBron James content on HBO’s ‘The Shop’ as well as Kobe Bryant’s ‘Detail” series on ESPN+. I love anything in which great athletes take the time to share what made them such great athletes for so long.
What’s been the biggest high and low of working in sports?
The biggest high is being the only woman coaching men’s Division 1 basketball in the NCAA at the University of Maine.
The lowest is also being the only women amongst 1,400 plus men’s coaches. It is not easy to be the only woman. It comes with many highs and lows but I know this journey is not just about me, so I will keep pushing forward until this becomes a norm for the next generation.
What’s one element of the sports industry that you’d like to see change?
I would like to see more women who are coaching men’s basketball promoted in the media for what they do on the court not just for their gender. I think more media outlets need to come into all these women’s workplace and see how we actually work and understand we are not in this position because we are checking off a diversity box with human resources. There needs to be more stories that show our skills in the profession and the only way that can happen is by showing women and men in the professions sitting in the same rooms talking basketball X’ and O’s together and not the same narrative “what is it like working with men.”
What’s an example of one way in which MiS has positively impacted your career?
Being part of such a dynamic network has inspired me on so many levels because daily I am challenged to push myself to greater heights in my own professional career. It’s great to have access and connection to individuals across the sports industry who will help you grow in your profession. Since joining MiS I have received job interviews, built new relationships, received information to events that I would not even know of if is was not for MiS. It is such a confidence booster to see what MiS is doing for the culture when it comes to making sure diversity in sports includes us.
Get to know more members of the Hashtag Sports and MiS communities here.
Hear more from leaders and creators across the sports industry this June at Hashtag Sports, an annual conference designed for media and marketing professionals.