Frank Keenan

Manager of Athletic Marketing at Notre Dame College (Ohio), NCAA National SAAC Representative for the The Mountain East Conference, NCAA DII Championships Committee representative for National SAAC. Englishman, Kicker, Optimist, Falcon, Palatinate, Cyclist, Aspiring Sartorialist
Recent Tweets @

Here are the updated rankings are for official athletics twitter feeds for NCAA Division II schools. 

The biggest risers this month are the East Stroudsburg Warriors (PSAC) who moved up ten places from 35th to 25th, with an increase of 476 followers between February 13 and March 25. Their increase in followers may have been helped by their men’s basketball team hosting the Atlantic Region tournament and reaching the regional final. In attendance for the regional final was Warrior alum Penn State Head Coach James Franklin  (@coachjfranklin) who is very active on twitter. 

The NCAA Division II Twitter Top-25 is available here

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The NCAA Division II Twitter Conference Rankings are available here

The Conference rankings see a new number one with the SIAC jumping from third to first place. The increase of 3,409 followers however seems a little odd as the increase came at an exact rate of 202 followers between February 27 and March 16. 

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Growing up I was warned of the dangers of being a jack of all trades and a master of none, I was encouraged to find a speciality and to focus. In contrast to these early warnings small college athletics rewards the “Jack of all trades” and in fact the ability to contribute in multiple areas is a necessity to succeed.

In a recent small college administrators chat (#scachat) the question was asked “what advice would you give to a student wanting to work in college athletics?” The responses were almost unanimous in stating that working hard, getting experience in multiple areas and differentiating yourself were the key elements for success. With this in mind the “Jack of all trades” who is the master of one area can be very successful in small college athletics.

Whether you work in compliance, sports information, marketing or development at a small school you do a little bit of everything. On a daily basis you can go from writing a press release to running a scoreboard, cleaning a gym floor to facilitating a SAAC meeting, designing a schedule poster to hosting an event for donors. The diversity of the job is something that must be embraced and thus the “Jack of all trades” must be embraced. 

The designer of Quora, a question-and-answer website where questions are created, answered, edited and organized by its community of users, David Cole contends the need for specialization. In his post, The Myth of the Myth of the Unicorn Designer, he supports the idea of the “Jack of all trades” asking the question;

“Would you rather carve a door 1% better than you did last year, or learn how to build the rest of the house in the same amount of time? This question provides a great analogy for athletic administrators as you look to build a culture of success throughout a department. You must be aware of and have knowledge of all areas of a department in order to support one another. 

In addition to learning about your own department it is essential to look outside your department and learn from others. Learning, or professional development as human resources term it, must not be seen as an activity that distracts from you achieving your day to day tasks. In fact it must be seen as a necessity for achieving these tasks in a creative manner. We are constantly challenged to problem solve and to provide quick and affordable solutions. In order to provide creative solutions we must have a body of knowledge that is diverse. 

Within marketing and particular athletic marketing there is always competition to be the first to do something new and to avoid the dreaded fear of missing out. In his post “Picasso, Kepler, and the Benefits of Being an Expert Generalist”, Art Markman suggests that one way to do this is to be an expert generalist or in layman’s terms a “Jack of all trades”;

“One thing that separates the great innovators from everyone else is that they seem to know a lot about a wide variety of topics. They are expert generalists. Their wide knowledge base supports their creativity.”

An added benefit of being a generalist is the ability to connect with multiple audiences, which is something that marketers strive for. Throughout college athletics your audience is constantly varying from sport to sport, in age, in terms of technology usage and many other factors. In his post “Knowing a Little of Everything Is Often Better Than Having One Expert Skill”, Adam Dachis makes a great point in stating;

“Thinking of things without any connection, without multiple perspectives, leads to work that’s often un-relatable. Being more of a generalist makes it possible to take something personal and share it with others in a way they not only understand but can appreciate.” 

The “Jack of all trades” is a great approach but within this there is value in being a “master of one.” Within all athletic departments, big or small, there are go to people for certain challenges and actions. It is important to be this person for something. As mentioned previously it is important to differentiate yourself, one way to do this is to become your departments specialist in an area. In doing this you not only become indispensable but the learning process you undertake to gain knowledge in that area can help you to become an even greater generalist.  

Finally we focus on creating a varied and valuable experience for our student-athletes, we encourage them to be “Jacks of all trades” who not only succeed on the field, but in the classroom, in their families and in their communities. We celebrate this achievement with Academic All-American honors, Elite 89 awards and Community awards. In NCAA Division II “Life in the Balance” is the strategic positioning platform for the division which again in layman terms could be “Life as a Jack of all trades.”

Small colleges are a great place to work and to be a “Jack of all trades, master of one.”

"I never want to take this for granted so I try to keep motivation simple, real and positive. If I only scrape a living at least it’s a living worth scraping, if there’s no future in it at least it is a present worth remembering"

Inspired by Jason Matheson and what he has done at Auburn University with the Social media Top-25 I decided to see who was at the top of NCAA Division II when it came to twitter followers. 

Rankings are for official athletics twitter feeds and I will periodically update the rankings.

The NCAA Division II Twitter Top-25 is available here

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The NCAA Division II Twitter Conference Rankings are available here

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Craig Pintens (@UOPintens), Senior Associate Athletic Director - Marketing & Public Relations at Oregon and current NACMA president (@NACMAPresident) asked the question;

The question received a lot of great responses, which are worth sharing;

Social Media gives you an opportunity to share your story

Think before you tweet

Be intentional

The media may have an interest in what you tweet

Every day is a job interview

christinesyme:

As promised, here are the resources I recommended during the call today.

People Networking:

Online chats: #SIDChat

CoSIDA LinkedIn group: search and join on LinkedIn

Google+ groups

Campus committees

Local community groups

Developing expertise:People with personal/professional brands on…

The #FalconFlock

Great to see the #FalconFlock in full force supporting Notre Dame College Men’s Basketball in their home opener.

We have worked hard to give our student fans and student-athletes an identity which they can be part of and embrace.

Hopefully we can continue to build on the success and create a game winning atmosphere at all home events. 

Two ways to determine a successful day:
1) You learn at least one new thing
2) You help, mentor or teach at least one person.

Move the needle.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Winston Churchill (via leadnowathletics)

My parents caught the American Football bug when they cam over to watch me play. Fortunately for them the NFL plays two regular season games a year in London. Here is Sarah Keenan’s analysis of today’s Steelers vs. Vikings game and a look forward to the 49ers vs. the Jaguars.

"Just got back and a bit fed up with the Steelers. We cheered on the Steelers although it was the Vikings home game."

"The last minute was agonising and frustrating. I was not too impressed with how they protected the QB even though Roethlisberger is experienced he was sacked 6 times and threw at least 3 balls into nowhere. 4 losses in a row! Met two ladies from Pittsburgh who were resigned to it being a bum season. They are great baseball fans and the baseball team is doing better they said."

"We were up in the gods so you would not have seen us. I have two pristine Miami Viking flags which I refused to wave! They blow a horn when they have a 1st down, a field goal or a touchdown and they sing a silly country type song and run round with purple flags."

"I think it’s the Jacksonville Jaguars home game at the end of October. they will be munched by the 49ers."