Every sport is composed of the obvious: players, coaches, trainers, etc. However, the one person that every college team absolutely needs but many people don’t see is a SID. That’s the Sports Information Director or Manager, the person who plays a crucial role for teams — whether it’s basketball, soccer or track.
“Not everyone in the world cares about their jobs” says Track and Cross Country Coach, Matt Barber, “but, Nathan cares a lot about his. He puts in extra hours to make sure the website is up to date, even if there are late weekend games. Track often gets back at around midnight with results. After a long day of work on Saturday, he takes the extra hour or two to upload our results and write a recap at midnight.”
Nathan Yacovissi has been Sports Information Manager for the University of Dallas for almost four years now. In his field, he’s known as a “one man shop,” meaning that he alone is responsible for managing everything from sports statistics to running the athletics page and social media platforms for all of UD’s 14 sports teams.
Growing up, Yacovissi enjoyed playing and watching various sports.
“My favorite sport to watch and play was baseball,” Yacovissi said. “My dad taught me how to keep score of the game, which is essentially what I still do today. So, I guess you could say I’ve always had an appreciation for keeping statistics of games.”
Yacovissi first began working in the field during his college years at Centenary College. When he was an intern, Centenary was transitioning from Division I to Division III.
“Seeing them go from a D1 school to a D3 school, I was able to see how this changed the dynamic of the team,” Yacovissi said. “Being a division three school, there’s more of a restriction on practice hours and there’s more of a bond built between me and the different teams. I was able to watch them play and at the same time I could talk to them about class afterwards.”
This is what drew him to UD. Being a Division III university, Yacovissi wanted the more close connection with the athletes that his job revolved around.
“At a DIII university, you get to know the people you’re watching, whereas at a higher level division you don’t necessarily get the same relationship.”
Yacovissi’s responsibilities fall on a wide spectrum. Before a game, he makes sure that all of the equipment is functioning properly and is present for the game day. This may include anything from music speakers, score boards and computers to keep stats. During the game, Yacovissi takes charge of keeping stats while his student workers take care of other duties like capturing action shots of the game or making announcements. However, there’s a deeper aspect to the job, that comes with the experience.
“That’s what I appreciate about this job; you have to know everything about every sport. You have to study the game. You have to be able to anticipate things and plays and know the rules.”
That is certainly what Yacovissi has done in his last few years here at UD.
“I love UD, the student athletes here definitely have their own personality to them and I think that’s what makes my job here so enjoyable,” Yacovissi said. “I like the division three level. I think it creates a more well-rounded student that’s able to perform well in the classroom, but also manage their sport.”
Yacovissi says knows it is a behind-the-scenes job, but one that must be done. The profession has allowed him to constantly keep learning more and more about the field, and is something he hopes will continue in the years to come.