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Essential Lessons For Sport Administrators With FSU’s Lisa Varytimidis & Georgia Tech’s Joeleen Akin

Guest Lisa Varytimidis, Florida State; Joeleen Akin, Georgia Tech
17:12 min watch


Florida State Senior Associate AD/SWA Lisa Varytimidis and Georgia Tech Executive Associate AD/SWA Joeleen Akin join ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2022 Women Leaders Convention to share insight into their role as sport administrators and the lessons they’ve learned from sport oversight duties. Akin and Varytimidis dissect how their experiences as student-athletes and coaches informs their interactions with coaches and student-athletes from the vantage point of a sport administrator and a senior leader. Among their top tips for success as a sport administrator: embrace active listening, communicate transparently and have a holistic onboarding process for new coaches.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - When did you first get sport oversight duties in your career journey?
  • - Lisa, when were your first sport oversight duties?
  • - What strategies did you tap into to learn sports you weren’t familiar with, so that you could engage with those coaches and athletes knowledgeably?
  • - What are your strategies Lisa?
  • - How do you manage to shift your focus from the entire department's needs to the priorities of a single sport program?
  • - How do you bridge the gap between advocating for a coach’s requests and thinking strategically about the long-term needs of the entire dept?
  • - How do you help a new Head Coach acclimate to the role, the nuances of the department and the donors and supporter environment?
  • - How do you keep abreast of all the changes in the use of sports performance technology and data for the sport programs you oversee? Do you stay aware of what your peer institutions are doing when it comes to data and tech?
  • - How are the dynamics of the student-athlete experience different from your time as student-athletes and coaches? How are you helping coaches navigate challenges like NIL, social media, mental health and wellness?
  • - You both had experience as coaches; we’re seeing a slight shift away from the coach to administrator career path. What skills did you cultivate as a coach that you've translated to your administrative career?