MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE BLEACHERS

Kevin Wood works hard to .make events such as this softball game operate smoothly

Like the steel supporting the stands at a softball game, Kevin Wood is an important piece of foundation for Bloomsburg University Athletics

At first glance, Kevin Wood doesn’t seem the type eager about tackling the everyday burdens associated with overseeing the smooth operation of Bloomsburg Athletics. A second glance, or better, a detailed conversation with Wood would demonstrate that the preparation and proper execution of his job is a crucial element of “Huskie” success.

Wood has been a son of the Northeast dating back to his childhood spent in West Hampton, Massachusetts and his Springfield College years. As a sports management undergraduate, Wood developed his passion for athletics that would ultimately lead him to further his education and pursue a Masters in Athletic Administration.  An internship at UPenn and a phone call later, Wood was invited to be the Bloomsburg University Director of Athletic Operations and he has been an important role in the development of Bloomsburg Athletics for the past three years.

Since Director of Athletic Operations is a bit of a fancy title, it would be easier to understand Wood as the organizational centerpiece of the athletic program. Wood boasts a glimmering resume that include scheduling and planning events on campus, approving game schedules and officials, and most importantly, approving the right paperwork that provides paychecks to the athletic staff. The outstanding upkeep of the facilities and organization of the grounds crew at all athletic events as well as the concerns of any student-athlete are all part of the positive difference that Wood makes at Bloomsburg University each day. Though as easily as Wood seems to execute his numerous responsibilities, he admits that “the hardest part is trying to maintain the unreachable goal of keeping everyone happy,” and is quick to confess mistakes.

Modestly, Wood attributes much of his success to his partner-intern Jared Ferreira, a graduate student who he has teamed up with to operate the Bloomsburg chapter of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).  Kevin and Jared meet monthly with a pair of representatives from each sports team to discuss fundraising opportunities, organize community service events, as well as solutions to problems facing any athlete or team.  Prioritizing is one of the most difficult issues that Wood must face in his position as director and points out that the demands of his role sometimes make organizing SAAC meetings one of his biggest concerns.

“Keeping everything balanced and knowing when to prioritize is often difficult,” Wood explains. “Many other schools in our conference have a separate individual for SAAC but I’m thankful to have Jared because he helps to alleviate that pressure.”

Wood is one of the three figureheads who conduct the executive business powering Bloomsburg Athletics. Wood works daily with Athletic Director, Mary Gardner, and Associate Athletic Director, Kathy Heitzman; an esteemed entourage for a young man undertaking a directorial role for his first occupation. Wood’s internal and external public relations make him a valued perspective among this trio of directors whose mission is to make Bloomsburg University a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference powerhouse.

With a baby set to arrive next month, Wood is forced to begin some future planning regarding both his family and career. He describes the blessing it has been to be given a leadership position for his first job but also expresses his desire to become a member of a PSAC or national NCAA athletic operations or planning committee. Wood’s experience at Bloomsburg University would certainly give him the credentials needed to succeed in a leadership position at the conference and even national level. He envisions being a part of establishing and organizing national tournaments, rules, schedules and regulations.

“I loved being a part of the planning for the National Division II Field Hockey Championships that were held here at Bloomsburg,” Wood describes. “My dream would be to move up the ranks to a position allowing me to prepare something like that.”

Fortunately on April 7th, Wood was given the chance to attend one of the national committee meetings and learn about some of the demands of his dream job.

For now with the summer approaching, Wood looks forward to perhaps his greatest influence on the Bloomsburg community. The Bloomsburg Summer Sports Camps, www.bucamps.com, is under Wood’s direct supervision. Wood organizes events, payroll and staffing for the town camps that allow local children to participate in sports during the summer intermission between University semesters. As flawless as Wood seems to operate his position on campus with his student-athletes, he does an even better job in providing opportunities for Bloomsburg locals to share his passion for athletics under the summer sun.

To learn more about Kevin Wood and how to contact him, visit the Bloomsburg Athletic Staff Directory at http://www.buhuskies.com/staff.aspx

 

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