Clemson AD Addressed NGU Sport Management Society
Dan Radakovich, the director of athletics for Clemson University, held a Q & A session with members of North Greenville University’s sport management society on Monday, March 20.
Radakovich opened the session with some background on his previous job positions and how hard work and the willingness to tackle seemingly minute tasks led him to becoming Clemson’s thirteenth director of athletics.
Prior to his stint with Clemson, Radakovich held positions at the University of South Carolina, University of Miami, Louisiana State University, and Georgia Tech, to name a few. Although the roles he played at each school varied, he said that the key was to glean new information and strategies from each job. Despite the constant moving and learning curve that occurred at each new institution, Radakovich stressed the importance of determining how to operate on incrementally larger scales and how to make the most out of every situation.
“You need to use your brain power to fix issues,” Radakovich said. He urged students to build their resume, "to really understand how athletic programs work and how to build them from the ground up.”
According to Radakovich, becoming an athletic director is the “ultimate responsibility” as a sports management major and that although the purpose of starting at smaller positions can help to provide preparation for the directors’ chair. He also noted that some people are not meant to carry the burden of shouldering entire athletic programs and was quick to note that at Clemson, he values the people who “open the stadium gates” just as much as anyone else in the organization, because individuals are necessary to fill each role.
Turning his attention to NGU’s sport management majors.
“You need to take advantage of the resources that you have here both academically and athletically,” he said.
He went on to say that some key advice would be that whatever your first job may be, do not make the mistake of thinking that you are better than it, but instead stay, master it, and develop your craft.
Radakovich went on to say that, “Athletics in general, exists to create events where people come in and see your campus and it allows the campus to showcase itself....to help move programs forward. As a director of athletics, I exist to create the tools to allow our coaches to be successful."
Due to this observation, Radakovich believes that empathy is the most important trait to have when rising in the sport management ranks, because, “The most important asset of any…organization is people,” and that making sure students and coaches are both having a good experience within your organization should be of paramount concern.
Radakovich closed the session by saying that work is only work until you become all in for your craft. That “all in” mentality led Clemson to their first football championship in over 30 years and if followed correctly by North Greenville’s sport management majors, success can be theirs for the taking as well.
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