Concordia wins PacWest Sports Information Department of the Year

The Concordia Courier

The Winning PacWest Sports Information Department

By Shannon Rhodes | 9/2/2022

The Sports Information Directors of the PacWest Conference voted for Concordia, led by Ben Rosehart, as the 2022 PacWest Sports Information Department of the Year for the first time in the program’s history. 

Rosehart has been at Concordia for four years and oversees the sports information efforts of the school for all 19 varsity sports and five club sports, which is the largest number of any of the PacWest schools. He manages Concordia's website and social media outlets and has a primary role in game day operations for all athletics events hosted at Concordia.

When asked about Concordia’s success Rosehart said, "Overall, I think it's a combination of consistent effort, creativity and passion to share the stories and accomplishments of everyone involved in CUI Athletics. We've made huge strides with our creative content and social media presence the past few years with a bigger emphasis on a variety of on-brand video clips, pictures and fresh graphics.” Rosehart added, “We also have been fortunate to have a great group of people that compliment each other very well with both their personalities and skill sets."

“Good leaders make decisions for the good of the group even if it's not the easiest path,” Rosehart emphasized. “They teach others but also are willing to learn from those around them. They listen to other people's opinions - even if they don't always agree or choose to go that route.” Rosehart tries to lead his staff by recognizing everyone’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. He said, “Putting them in a position to succeed with various roles and responsibilities, and empowering others to develop a versatile skill set where they can keep evolving into better versions of themselves."

Rosehart has received tremendous support from his part-time assistants Kara Vincitorio, Alex Kline, Zachary Fidel and Cayden Jones. These four assistants have been key contributors to the department's success. 

Kline focused on the social media side creating a strategy for the athletics department. Kline said, “Coming from a marketing background, I quarterbacked all of our graphic design templates for the last two years and developed the athletic department’s social media strategy. Essentially focusing not just on the information itself, but how it was being presented and received.” He added, “NCAA Division II schools often struggle with how they market their student-athletes and their accomplishments – due to limited resources and staff. With this in mind, we set out to differentiate ourselves from not only the other schools in the PacWest Conference, but the entire DII West Region by becoming leaders in social media coverage of our sports.” 

Kline not only had amazing things to say about the athletics department but he spoke very highly of Rosehart. He said, “Ben is an inspiring leader. He enabled everyone on the team to utilize their strengths to bring CUI’s department to new creative heights. His trust in his assistants allowed each of us to flourish individually, and we turned into a powerful think tank by fueling each other’s ideas for new content.” He added, “Our success, and this award, is a direct result of the collaborative culture that Ben created.”

Graduate Assistant Fidel focused on highlighting athletes' talents. He said, “It's almost as if we ‘work’ for the student athletes by promoting their athletic talents, and it's always a good feeling when you can see them show real emotion after a video we posted online or a cool photo of them. Also, the staff within our athletic department is one of the best out there.” 

Fidel capitalized on their social media presence as well. He said, “I think we achieved this award by really going above and beyond when it came to our social media presence.” He added, “This was my first year as a graduate assistant (I did my undergraduate at The University of Alabama), and we really stressed the importance of video creation and engaging with our audience. Last year we put out really great videos that got a lot of attention on our social media platforms, along with our graphics.”

Going forward the sports information department wants to focus on student athletes’ personalities away from the field. Their goal is for fans and followers to get a clear glimpse of who the athletes are as people rather than just players. Fidel said, “Yes, game highlights are still popular within athletics but I believe showing how our student athletes are off the field really engages our audience.”

As Rosehart and his assistants look ahead, they are eager to continue growing and developing. This is just the beginning!

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About Shannon Rhodes

Shannon Rhodes is a passionate and driven third-year student at Concordia University. She is following her love of writing while pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Communication.

Shannon holds the position as Sports Editor for the Concordia Courier, a student-run newspaper that highlights events and accomplishments happening on campus. As a sports editor, Shannon works closely with the student athletes to cover recent sporting events, athlete spotlights and other sports-related news.

Shannon enjoys collaborating with her peers and speaking the truth to her campus community.

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