Athletics Adjusts Administrative Lineup

Charlie Magovern/The Campus

Unless there are students involved in some obscure athletic department fantasy league, many people probably haven’t noticed the summertime changes to the roster in Allegheny’s Athletic Department.

The changes include hiring James Kramer as Director of Athletic Communications and Marketing and former cross country coach Bill Ross as Associate Director of Athletics and Recreation services.

Kramer comes to Allegheny after working for Searchworld, an Internet marketing company that provides ad syndications. Prior to Searchworld, he was the Director of Communications and Sports Information at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At Allegheny, he will oversee all media aspects of Allegheny athletics as well as marketing strategies on and off campus.

“James’s experience was just unparalleled in our searches in the last couple of years and his focus on the marketing side of things will really let us get beyond the collection of information and the writing stories,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation Betsy Mitchell.

Though the responsibilities are still the same, Kramer has his eyes on augmenting all of the products that his office produces over a long period of time.

“Ultimately what I would like to see happen is us to start doing some webcasting, podcasting, and audio casting of all of our athletic events.”

Kramer realizes that these goals might not be very realistic in the immediate future, but believes that providing live statistics on is a great starting block. These long-term goals can be achieved faster, Kramer believes, if he could get more student involvement and make use of the Vukovich Center, which he considers an “untapped monster.” 

He hopes to get more students involved either on a volunteer basis or through work-study in order to move Allegheny’s previously stagnant sports information department to a new level of quality coverage.

Bill Ross was hired to his new position after 14 years of coaching the perennially dominant cross-country and track and field teams. Though he is an internal hire, Mitchell stressed that it was important to compare him to other candidates in order to thoroughly evaluate his desire to help both intercollegiate and club sports.

“Is he going to have to learn a lot? Absolutely. And he would be the first person to tell you that. But [with Ross] you know what you’re getting, and it’s of high quality,” she said.

 Ross made it clear that just because he used to be a coach doesn’t mean he will be forgetting about Allegheny’s club, intramural, and other recreational activities.

“A lot of times when a coach moves out of coaching into a role like this, people roll their eyes and are like ‘coach doesn’t care about intramurals,’ but that’s not how I am,” he said.

Ross emphasized that he always encouraged his players to participate in intramurals and other recreational activities.

In terms of noticeable changes, students should not expect too many differences in the everyday functioning of the Wise Center and Robinson Complex, but Ross did mention that they are focusing on optimizing their resources by tracking student Wise Center use. This places an importance on students remembering to bring their  ID cards.

“We’ve instructed our front desk staff to really be hard on everyone,” he said. “It’s not so much who’s using it, but what are the busiest times.”

Although the new changes will not lead to any dramatic changes in the near future, they mark an opportunity for the Department  to provide a wide array of services as well as more active marketing and coverage of varsity sports.