Ryan Matthews, Winthrop’s Managing Editor, chatted recently with Rick Coe – Deputy Athletics Director at UAlbany – about new facilities, conference moves, and Win AD
Name a leadership trait that is most critical to have success in your position and why?
College athletics is a people business and when you work with so many different constituencies, the ability to communicate effectively is imperative. The most important part of communication is listening. When you listen, you show that you care, allow participation and want to learn. I believe you can gain respect and trust when you do that. Then when I have to get a message across, others are more open to receiving it because they know my framework is formed from hearing their thoughts and ideas.
How has conference realignment impacted UAlbany and did it change your strategic vision?
Conference realignment has impacted UAlbany in a very positive way because it has forced us to think about how we want our university and athletic programs to be positioned. It has also made others look at UAlbany and learn about all the great things that our university has to offer. Our athletic goals remain the same, in that we want to be competitive at every level, hire the best coaches, and recruit the best student-athletes possible.
How does the new Bob Ford field elevate your program in conference and what is the impact on recruiting?
Quite frankly, we would not have been invited to the CAA for football without our new stadium (Bob Ford Field). It is a major step forward for our football program and our institution. It is tremendous for our football program to compete at the highest level of FCS week in and week out and for our university to have great academic partners. The exposure that we now receive with the stadium and playing in the CAA has opened many doors for us in recruiting for all sports, not only football. It has generated excitement for all our coaches and prospective student-athletes as well as our general campus community.
Where do you see incremental revenue opportunities for Albany and how are you pursuing them?
Creating new revenue streams is critical for us to sustain our programs and be successful. We are actively pursuing stadium naming rights through an open RFP process. The achievements of all our athletic programs in addition to our new stadium have allowed us to develop relationships in the region that will result in increased sponsorships and advertising. Our new stadium has provided an opportunity for us to institute premium seating for football. Because of that success, we are reviewing various ticket pricing models for our other sports. In our competitive environment, we must continuously build and augment our brand.
If a peer were considering subscribing to Win AD, what would you tell him or her about your experience?
My experience has been incredibly positive and, most importantly, beneficial to our program. The data allows us to understand the market and then make better, more informed decisions. Win AD ensures that the answer to any question is at my fingertips.