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Stepping Into The Big Chair With Eastern Washington’s Tim Collins

Guest Tim Collins, Eastern Washington
20:32 min watch


Incoming Eastern Washington Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Collins joins ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz to discuss his journey to the Big Chair, digging into the process of going through a public AD search, garnering trust with a new staff and establishing accessibility with student-athletes. Collins reflects on his background as a coach and fundraiser and how both experiences will influence his leadership style in Cheney before sharing more about the life transitions that come with becoming a first-time AD. Collins and Garcia Cichosz also discuss the role self-interest plays in the competitive world of collegiate athletics, where “playing to win” has to be balanced with being a team player within a department.

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

  • - Your start date isn't for a few weeks but how busy have you been since being named the next Eastern Washington AD?
  • - How has the concept of "fit" evolved as you've advanced throughout your life and career? How does the definition of fit change as your priorities change?
  • - Did anything surprise you about the AD search process? Do you have any advice for navigating the different steps it took to get to the big chair?
  • - How much thought goes into details such as picking the right suit jacket for your introductory press conference?
  • - How did your mindset shift when walking on campus as just a candidate versus walking on as the big boss?
  • - How will you gain influence and garner trust from your new staff, from the student-athletes and from campus stakeholders as the new AD - aside from having the AD title?
  • - What strategies from your fundraising experience will you tap into as you build key relationships with the community?
  • - What qualities from your coaching days have you translated to your style as a leader?
  • - What role does self-interest play in the journey to the big chair? How do you balance playing to win versus being a team player throughout your career?
  • - Former Eastern Washington AD Lynn Hickey's advice to new ADs is to take an even longer listening tour than you'd think to do; what's going to be your first step when you arrive in Cheney?
  • - How do you manage the life transitions that come with becoming a new AD?
  • - What does balance look like for you?