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This fall, Tornado athletics welcomed a new sports information director (SID) to its
ranks. The Youngstown, Ohio native in his fifth month as SID has made quite an impression
on the program.
Gasser received his Bachelor of Education degree in sport management with a minor
in telecommunications, and his Master of Education in sport administration from Bowling
Green State University (BGSU).
He began his college career studying radio broadcasting, and as with most broadcasters,
an interaction with the sports information department is inevitable. During my interactions
with the BGSU SID's, I had a great relationship with them, said Gasser. As I matured
into a broadcaster, and eventually one of their student assistants, they gave me more
and more responsibilities. Through that work, I immersed myself in the work, and took
an extra semester of school in order to do more of the work. I just loved what the
field had to offer from a creativity standpoint as well as just continually being
involved in college athletics.
Before becoming a graduate assistant as BGSU, Gasser interned with Youngstown State
University's sports information department for six months. While he had not initially
planned to continue on to graduate school, BGSU's athletic department approached him
about becoming a graduate assistant for the sports information department, particularly
for their hockey and baseball teams. Seeing what an invaluable opportunity it was,
he quickly accepted.
This was definitely a career path I was interested in, said Gasser. How could I pass
up such a wonderful opportunity? I was basically getting paid to find out if this
career field was for me, not to mention I would have my master's degree at the end
as well. I definitely couldn't pass up the opportunity.
With graduation approaching, Gasser knew, like all graduates, that he needed to find
a job, hopefully one that would be a great fit. When offered the opportunity to interview
at King College, he was unsure about a possible move from Ohio to Tennessee. One visit
to King was all it took to answer any questions or concerns I had about moving, said
Gasser. When you get the feeling that something is just right, typically it always
is, and that is the feeling I had when I visited King.
Our Sports Information office is an essential part of our athletic department operation,
said King Athletic Director David Hicks. It's the public face of Tornado athletics,
providing the branding and coordinating all communication with the media. And while
that's the most visible aspect of sports information, the behind the scenes details
are just as important. Communicating with the conference office, the NCAA, and opponents
with regards to statistic, nominations for various awards, maintaining accurate statistics,
coordinating our webcasting, live stats, and social media are all invaluable aspects
of the Sports Information Department.
Although the duties of a one-person Sports Information Department overseeing 24 varsity
intercollegiate sports for a NCAA Division II school can be daunting, Gasser stepped
in to the role with enthusiasm and a dedicated work ethic.
I received an overwhelming amount of support from King's Athletic Director David Hicks
as well as the coaching staff and the entire King community, said Gasser. From the
moment I stepped on campus, everyone extended their hands out to me, and said they
were glad to have me on board – which is almost more motivation than anything anyone
can ever give you, not only to know there are expectations, but to know you are welcome.
Ryan has done a phenomenal job in his first 5 months, said Hicks. He came with a solid
background as a student assistant and then a graduate assistant at a Division I program,
and has brought many of those ideas to King. Under his leadership, for the first time
King is offering live video webcasts of our home sporting events, live stat feeds,
and our in-game promotions and fan interaction have seen improvements. He's quickly
become a well-known person on campus and is generating a lot of enthusiasm for our
Ryan's initial goals are first of all to master the basics and increase the Tornado
presence on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. He would also like to
increase the audio and video coverage, and increase the Tornado presence in a variety
of mediums utilizing media and internet. It is all about setting goals and staying
on the cutting edge, said Gasser.
When asked about his favorite aspects of his position as SID he commented, If you
were able to attend any of our recent games, you already are seeing some of the changes
that the athletic department as a whole has implemented. When you go through all the
hard work and everything in a game turns out well, you pull down a W, and at the end
of the game you sit back and reflect and see how well of a job or at least how seamless
it seemed, that is when it all begins to pay off. Maybe the reflection is the favorite
part of my job.
For more information on Tornado athletics, visit www.kingtornado.com.