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The Inflection Points Of Leadership With Colorado State’s Joe Parker

Guest Joe Parker, Colorado State
27:45 min watch


Colorado State Director of Athletics Joe Parker sits down with ADU’s Tai M. Brown and Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2024 NCAA Convention to reflect on the major inflection points throughout his career, including his nearly nine years in the Big Chair with the Rams. Parker discusses the value of football oversight as a senior leader and the importance of Deputy AD experience, crediting Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt with preparing him to take the leap to an AD role himself. Parker: “The preparation I did for the four years leading up to [the Colorado State opportunity] at Texas Tech made me feel like I was nearly in the chair.” Parker also digs into developing and reinforcing departmental culture, mission and core values, how he empowers senior staff and supports mid-level managers on his team and how he draws the line between personal and professional personas.

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

  • - Talk to us about being a sport administrator for football. Because the sport is so important to the entire department, are you, as the sport administrator, really the one responsible for football?
  • - Is there another level of responsibility that someone would want before getting to the Big Chair?
  • - How do you gain and garner trust as the Deputy AD up to the AD and vice versa?
  • - Is there an "Aha" moment when you're interviewing someone or meeting members of a new staff when you determine they need to be part of your team?
  • - When you were the candidate, how did you display executive presence during your first in-person interview?
  • - If you felt like you were your full authentic self during the CSU interview, who showed up to the previous times you interviewed for an AD position?
  • - Did you know that you could come in and handle some aspects of the role and then figure out the rest along the way?
  • - What strategies do you tap into to empower your senior staff?
  • - How do you ensure the "middle management" on your staff receive the appropriate amount of your attention? What opportunities are set up for that level of team member?
  • - Is the concept of setting core values every year something that Football Head Coach Jay Norvell brought to CSU or something you've embedded within the culture across the department?
  • - You establish core values, culture, mission and vision early in your tenure - is that something you have to revisit and reinforce periodically with your staff?
  • - How have you defined that line of personal versus professional in terms of what you share publicly?