Delaware Sports Blitz is excited to announce a new series we will be doing called Behind the Sports.
The Behind the Sports series is looking at men and women who prepare athletes for their best on and off the court ( SIDs, AD, educators, trainers and etc.). The series will also be looking at different careers in the sports field from media, operating an arena, ticket sales, public relations and etc.
Next in the series for Wilmington University is someone who does a lot of multitasking with the multiple titles she holds in the University’s athletic department and that is Erin Harvey. The current Assistant Athletic Director/Compliance Coordinator/Senior Woman Administrator has worked in Wilmington’s Athletic department for 15 years. Harvey also was the Sports Information Director for ten years and was the head softball coach for six seasons.
Name the job and a brief summary of what it entails?
Harvey: Assistant Athletic Director/Compliance Coordinator/Senior Woman Administrator.
As Wilmington’s NCAA Compliance Officer, I certify the initial and continuing eligibility of the University’s 200 plus student-athletes, and maintain rules compliance by student-athletes, coaches, and staff. The Office of Compliance is in charge of ensuring that there is full institutional control in all activities directly and indirectly associated with Wilmington Athletics, and oversees that the department operates in accordance with the rules and regulations as set forth by the NCAA, the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) and Wilmington University on a daily basis.
How long have you been in this area of work?
Harvey: I’ve worked with the University’s Athletic Department for over 15 years now. I’ve been the Assistant AD/Compliance/SWA for six years. Prior to the role as Compliance Officer, I spent ten years as the Sports Information Director of the Wildcats’ eleven intercollegiate programs. During that span, I also spent six seasons as the Head Softball Coach, leading my teams to a combined 157-128-1 record (.551). The teams qualified for the CACC tournament in five out of the six seasons with Harvey at the helm.
In 2007, I guided the squad to a 31-15 record, a turnaround from 9-31 the previous year, which marked the biggest improvement among all schools in NCAA Divisions I, II, and III. The teams also fared well academically, twice finishing as a National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association Top-3 All-Academic Team (2007 & 2012).
Before my tenure as Sports Information Director, I also worked within the Athletic Department time handling scheduling and contracts, along with overseeing the departmental sport-specific budgets.
What interested you to get in this area of work?
Harvey: I have always had a passion for sports, and growing up knew I wanted to work in the field. My time as a student here at Wilmington was wonderful and I had the chance to intern in the department my senior year. It was during that time I fell in love with college athletics. Being able to help develop student-athletes on and off the field became my purpose. This University and its family-like atmosphere became my home, and it was the best of both worlds. Work is still fun every day, and I consider myself extremely blessed to have the opportunity to impact the lives of young people and work alongside people who care and have as much passion as I do.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
Harvey: Working with the student-athletes and helping them along on their journey. Seeing them achieve both academically and athletically gives me a great sense of pride.
What are some of the challenges of the job?
Harvey: Often times in the world of NCAA Compliance, the news you have to give isn’t always good news. It’s frustrating to “break the hearts” of the student-athletes and coaches I work with. I wish I had more good news to share, but with the rules and regulations put upon us…that isn’t always the case. Time management is also a huge challenge, as certain times of the year can get very busy. Also, I am a one-man crew, and keeping up on close to 300 athletes and 50 coaches can get difficult at times.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in this job or field?
Harvey: It’s all about who you know. I often emphasize the power of networking. Perhaps nowhere is it more important than college athletics. I won’t go so far as to say every person I talked to – but the vast majority of people I spoke with/know told me they got at least one of their jobs because of someone they knew who either hired them or recommended them for a job. I cannot emphasize enough how important networking and building relationships is in this industry, and really any industry.
Also – build up your resume with experience/skills. With resumes that are passed around, oftentimes those looking at them skip right over your education and go straight to the experience section. Obviously many jobs have minimum education requirements, so not meeting those probably means your resume would never make it to the AD. However, once your resume is in his/her hands, it’s all about the experience. Going to a certain school or majoring in a particular area is FAR less important than the actual hands-on experience you’ve amassed. This also means volunteering/interning/working for free to gain some of that experience and skill set.
You can find Ms. Harvey at @WilmUCompliance on Twitter.