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Behind the scenes of Gator athletics

Berger shares favorite memories as assistant athletic director

Andrew Murphy and Jake Reidenbach

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With 21 varsity sports teams and hundreds of student athletes, it takes a lot to ensure the Allegheny College athletics program runs smoothly. Much of this credit goes to assistant athletic director for communications and media relations Jim Berger.

Berger, who is originally from the Pittsburgh area, is now in his fifth year at Allegheny. However, Berger is currently in his second year as assistant athletic director for communications and media relations after being promoted from director of athletic communication in August of 2017.

Jim Berger has a wide range of responsibilities within the Allegheny athletics program. Berger says the biggest priority is, “promoting our student-athletes and promoting our teams.”

Berger promotes both the athletes and teams in a few ways. One way is through maintaining and updating the department’s web page, alleghenysports.com, which Berger calls the, “front porch to our department.”

“I try to keep that as updated as possible with current events, stats and historical [information],” Berger said. “We have a lot of alumni that have a big interest in athletics here so that’s big.”

Beyond the Allegheny  athletics website, Berger manages all of the college’s athletic social media platforms as well as gameday coverage for all athletic contests. Berger said managing those mediums and the hectic schedule are two of the hardest parts of his job.

“It’s kind of hard on Saturdays when there’s four games or five games going on at once,” Berger said. “Just trying to keep track of everything.”

Berger said he is always working to make sure everyone is being covered equally.

“That’s probably the hardest part is balancing out and making sure I give the same love and effort to everyone equally,” Berger said.

While much of his work may take place behind the scenes, Gator student-athletes have certainly recognized the vital role Berger plays.

“I definitely have a lot of respect for him. He follows all of the sports and I don’t know how he does it. I definitely respect his work,” Volleyball player Terra Schall, ’18, said.

In addition to student-athletes, parents have an appreciation for the work Berger does as well.

“My parents really love his announcing. They are so far away that they don’t get to come up to the games very often,” Max Sessions, ’19, said. “t’s very important to us and he does a fantastic job.”

During his time at Allegheny Berger has seen hundreds of Allegheny athletic events, but his favorite memory is the 2013 North Coast Athletic Conference women’s soccer championship game.

“It was early early morning, I think it was like 10 a.m. game,”  Berger said. “It was about twenty-one degrees outside. The stands were packed. There’s a great picture of President Mullen in the middle of the student section. The team won, and they stormed the field. It was probably one of my most favorite moments.”

Berger said he is thankful to work for a division three program like Allegheny.

“My favorite part about working here, and working at the division three level is that they are actually students,” Berger said. “I really like the division three aspect because they are true student athletes. It really is college athletics.”

Berger is thankful for the Allegheny community and enjoys working at the college.

“I’m very happy I took that leap. Sometimes it feels like five years, sometimes it feels like five days, sometimes it seems like fifty years, but its been very rewarding,” Berger said.

In any case, Berger has emerged as an indispensable piece of Gator athletics.

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Behind the scenes of Gator athletics