Throughout our lives, we all face difficulties in our workforce where it seems that we can barely keep our heads above water. Now, multiply this by two and you have the stressful, chaotic, fulfilling and fun life of a Sports Information Director (SID)/assistant baseball coach.
This is Dan Rives and I fill both of these roles at Hinds Community College. This is the first of a two-part series, with the first installment describing my morning (and oftentimes, evening) job as SID. The second installment, which will come at a later date, will deal with my other full-time role as an assistant baseball coach.
Yes, as noted, this is a stressful and chaotic role, or roles as I should say, but they are both fulfilling and fun as well.
I get to witness first-hand the outstanding athletic abilities of our student-athletes here at Hinds, both from a coverage standpoint in the Public Relations office, as well as serving as an assistant baseball coach for the Hinds baseball team, a powerhouse program that played for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship in Enid, Okla., in 2014.
It would be nearly impossible and much too long of a read if I described to you the wide-ranging things that come across my desk here on a daily basis, but I will condense it down to give you an idea of what goes on here in the PR office.
I usually get to the office a little before 8 a.m. on a daily basis and like all of us, the first thing I do is check my email, which the length varies from day-to-day. During the football season, my Inbox may be filled to capacity with photo requests of action shots, updated rosters, press box requests, etc., as well as invitations to meetings to attend within our campus where we go over all of the pregame, in-game and halftime announcements and goings on for our home football games.
The next thing that I do is check for notifications on the social media outlets for the Hinds CC athletics department. It is part of my duty to update the Hinds current and alumni fan base on all events that are happening right now and in the near future in order to keep our fan following abreast of the many great things that our athletic department does.
Once these two things are taken care of, which both are checked constantly throughout the day and night, it is then on to the constantly changing tasks that I need to take care of, including the handling of our athletics website, www.hindsccsports.com.
The updating and additions to the website could be another full-time job in itself, and I consider this to be our main source of information, so it must be updated and added to on a daily basis. This includes, but is not limited to, rosters, coaches’ bios, staff directory, facilities, releases, schedules, upcoming tryouts, etc., etc.
Fortunately for me, I am able to add high-quality action and headshots of our athletes and coaches due to the work of Tracy Duncan, who works hand-in-hand with me in his role of Sports Marketing/Photography.
The role that he plays for our department is one of long hours and constant movement, as he shoots action photos, as well as team and individual photos of ALL 12 sports both here on the Raymond Campus and of the basketball teams on the Utica Campus of Hinds Community College.
We are able to provide our fan base, and parents especially, with the best action shots around of their children and family members in Hinds attire and on the playing fields and courts.
Another large part of what I do, which is again with Tracy’s help, is the production of media guides for many of our athletic teams. Much like the website, these guides provide our fans with an up-close look at the players and coaches of our teams.
I also spend a major chunk of time on the handling of statistics for each of our sports. Obviously I cannot attend every sporting event, so I get a large amount of help from our coaching staff in inputting these stats on the NJCAA website. In order for our student-athletes to be nominated for individual awards at the conclusion of their competitive seasons, ALL of their stats must be updated on the national site, so as you can imagine, this is a critical item.
I personally attend each and every football game, and have for years, in order for our statistics to be up-to-date and correct, and this can be a daunting task, especially on the nights we travel to the highest and lowest points of the state of Mississippi, meaning we arrive back to the town of Raymond well after midnight on Thursday nights (or should I say Friday mornings).
Once the stats are compiled each week, I will then put them on the NJCAA site and send my nominations for Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) Player of the Week to Blake Long, the SID at Northeast Community College, who compiles them into a file and sends this out to the other SIDs in the league for us to vote on.
As mentioned, I could add a laundry list of other tasks and duties that I come across on a daily basis, some planned, but most unplanned, and items that are asked to be done ASAP, which is a relative term.
I will say this, as busy as this job can sometimes be, it is extremely fulfilling to watch one of our teams here at Hinds come away with a victory. I see the long hours and hard work that each of our players and coaches put forth, so it is nice to see the effort come to fruition.
In the second installment, I will discuss the inner workings of what takes place in an elite college baseball program.