BTS: SFA Athletics
From Nathan Bain’s game-winning layup to beat Duke and shock the world, to the women’s bowling team beating Vanderbilt 4-1 in the 2019 national championship to claim their second title in four years, SFA has a reputation for having a great athletic program. While star student-athletes like Bain, Marissa Banfield and Ann Hollas (to name a few) deserve all the praise they receive from fans, they are not the only ones involved in the making of this great program. I got to talk to two of the behind-the-scenes employees for SFA Athletics and got to know a little bit about them and what they do on a day-to-day basis.
Kevin Meyer is the Director of Strategic Communications for SFA Athletics. Meyer was born in Michigan where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management from Central Michigan University in 2014 before earning his Masters from Grand Valley State. He came to work for SFA in 2017 after a mutual connection between him and Charlie Hurley, the then director of strategic communications at SFA Athletics, put them in touch. He started working for SFA in 2017. He was originally in charge of women’s basketball, men and women’s track and field and men and women’s cross country. In the fall of 2019, he moved away from athletics but continued to work for SFA. He still helped out with game day activities, however, as he kept stats for the basketball and soccer teams while the department was short-handed. He returned to athletics a few months later and took the role he currently holds.
His daily duties involve anything relating to the up-keep of statistics for all 18 varsity sports the school has to offer. He’s also responsible for updating the schedules and rosters on the official SFA Athletics website, coordinating with local and national media looking to communicate with the athletes, nominating athletes for Southland and NCAA awards and much more.
“The best part of the job is honestly being around the student-athletes and being apart of some of the experiences that our teams get to encounter,” Meyer said in the interview. “I’ve been to some places that I probably wouldn’t have ever gone to if not for traveling with some of our teams.”
Kevin Young is the Assistant Athletic Director for External Affairs. He grew up with a love of sports, primarily due to him being the batboy for South Carolina’s baseball team since he was 8 years old. He has been tied to college athletics for over 20 years as he continued to work for the school through high school. He attended Anderson University in South Carolina.
Young has had nearly ten different jobs over the last eleven years, with all but one being in college athletics. He started his career out on the communications side of college athletics, but after two years at Austin Peay, he transitioned to the Senior Director of Marketing. He started working for SFA in the fall of 2019, following the departure of three crucial pieces to the department. He is in charge of social media, digital graphics and anything to do with external affairs.
Young explains that it is the “people you work with every day” that makes this job special. “We goof off a lot but we also get a lot of stuff done for a small department. I love working with the students, like teaching them the ropes and (Meyer) does a good job of that. You sure don’t do this for the money.”
With the entire 2019-2020 athletic season canceled, the crew is still working hard to make content for the fans. They recently started a new series on Twitch, where they have an SFA athlete answer questions and play video games from home. Meyer appeared on one of these episodes as a featured guest, where he and Karl Berry, Director of Broadcasts and Technology, played Rocket League.