By Kim Kubiak
AURORA – Aurora University students see his name almost every day in their email inbox. His job is not to annoy anyone; as the director of sports information, it’s simply to promote all 20 AU sports teams and hundreds of student athletes.
Brian Kipley is a 2002 graduate of AU where he also played baseball and worked in the sports information department as a student. After graduation he coached baseball at AU and became even more involved in the sports information department. To help put a face to that name that regularly appears in your inbox, we thought we’d offer an inside look into Kipley’s job at AU.
Q: How would you describe your job as director of sports information at AU?
A: I cover all 20 athletic teams by attending every home event, posting stats that are required by the NCAA and our athletic conference and manage game day operations such as organizing the stat crew and video crew. I get paid to watch college athletics. That’s awesome, but very time consuming.
Q: How has your job changed in the nine years you’ve been here?
A: It’s changed a lot. Now we have to maintain a website, all the social media like Facebook and Twitter, a phone hotline, and oh yeah, we’ve added nine sports in nine years to our athletic program. It became so time consuming I had to give up coaching the baseball team and dedicate myself fully to sports information.
Q: Speaking of social media, how many emails do you think you send to AU students in one week?
A: Ha! Most people would say way too many! I really do try to consolidate them as much as possible but part of my job is to promote our athletic program and all our student athletes. People can opt out of our emails and sometimes when they do, they get a little hostile, but we don’t take it personally. On the flip side, we do get a lot of comments from athletes who thank us for reporting their accomplishments to the entire student body. That’s rewarding.
Q: How did you get into the sports information department?
A: I’ve played baseball and enjoyed other sports my entire life. It was natural for me as a student to work in the department when I could. I’ve been here ever since. Many student athletes end up working in our department. Right now I have 15 student workers and most of them are current or former student athletes.
Q: What’s the one thing you’d like AU students to know about you?
A: Wow, that’s a great question. I’d have to say that being the director of sports information is more than just a job to me. Being alumnus and a former student athlete, I have great pride in our university. I love seeing our student athletes do well, academically and athletically.
Q: It doesn’t sound like you have much, but what do you do in your spare time?
A: I got married this past summer so I enjoy my family and friends. I grew up in the south suburbs, about an hour away, and my parents still live there so I like to see them as much as possible. I’m a huge Chicago Blackhawks fan so I watch them as much as I can. I also love all the other Chicago sports and I’m a huge college football fan too. I like to watch games and relax when time allows.
Q: What would you tell others interested in sports information as a career?
A: I’d tell them they don’t have to be an athlete but they do have to love sports. They don’t have to major in communication either. I was a business major. This is not a 9-to-5 job and they will work many nights and weekends. Even when they’re not at a sporting event, there’s a good chance they’ll be working from home recording stats, reporting a story or sending emails!