A window inside life at Augustana College

An interview with Dave Blanchard of Luther College

I had the chance to talk to the sports information director, Dave Blanchard, of Luther College. It was a great chance to see how the Augustana office compares to another Division III institution.

 

Dave Blanchard – Luther – Division III

 

Q: Why did you want to be an SID and how did you get into it?

“That was strictly accidental. I started coaching men’s basketball at Bethel University (Minn.) where I graduated from college. As I got into the coaching more and as Division III schools do they started piece-mealing things together to get on at a decent full-time so first I was an equipment room manager then head golf coach, then they tossed the sports information thing at me because no one else really wanted to do it. So I just ended up learning it from the ground up.”

 

Q: Do you have any regrets?

“No, it’s been a good way to make a living. You get to watch athletics. Things have really changed…10 years ago before the internet and websites broke loose the time commitment was drastically different than it is today in the instantaneous world that we live in. To be honest with you, if it would have been like it is today, it would have been harder to sell your soul, especially when you are raising a family. It was a lot easier raising a family in this position than it was coaching because you were always on the road. That’s one thing that I do not regret because I was able to be home and help with the family and get to my kids’ events.”

 

Q: How many hours would you say that you put in a week?

“It depends on the time of year. In the fall it is a heavy load in the one man shop, plus the transition into winter. On an average I’m guessing that I have to be working somewhere between 60-80 hours a week. It’s seven days a week right now, it never used to be that way but it is now.”

 

Q: Do you use student workers quite a bit?

“Yes. The school does an excellent job with providing student work opportunities and I use quite a few student workers. That staff has grown drastically, especially now with the video streaming that takes place in our world. So right now I have a student work staff of around 14.”

 

Q: Do any of your students work office hours with you?

“Yes. There are two things that go on. First, I hire a few athletes that help during their off-season. I do usually have two or three (workers) that keep regular office hours. The most they can work is 10 hours a week and most of our kids are at 6-8 hours. They’ll do stuff like get programs ready and writing releases along with sizing photos for websites. Some of them that want to get into this kind of business, I turn loose and let them go and they are doing things like updating the website, working on bios, and writing game recaps, we use it as a learning experience. “

 

Q: Do any of your students that work the 6-8 hours a week usually help at events?

“Usually not. I have a group set up to help at events. I have three or four kids trained and I try to do it from when they’re freshman on so I have them for a few years.  If we get in a pinch sometimes the people that work in the office will help at events, but not usually.“

 

Q: Do you think that you’ve kept up with social media?

“For the most part. We’ve kept up with Facebook and twitter. Those are probably the two that we use the most along with our website. We’ve tried some instagram as well.”

 

This interview was part of the academic portion of my internship in the Augustana sports information office. A couple more will follow.

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