Program of the Month Q&A: Sport Management Alum Michael Brooks, Jr. ’16

“In the sports field, it’s all about your experiences.”

Sport management alum Michael Brooks, Jr. ’16 currently works as the head coach for the Barker High School boys varsity basketball team. His daily responsibilities include planning practice schedules, managing players, and developing the skills and conduct necessary for the team to compete at a high level.

Here, Brooks reflects on how his Medaille education opened many doors for him, which made his career possible. He also emphasizes the importance of gaining experience for success in the sports industry.


What led to your decision to enroll in the sport management program at Medaille?

In my search for a college, I wanted to find a place that wasn’t too far from home but would get me out of my hometown of Rochester. Buffalo was the place for that, and Medaille was a perfect fit, because I was looking to attend a small school where I could engage with my professors and feel a sense of community.


What was your favorite part of the sport management program?

My favorite part of the sport management program was the professors. In particular, David Lukow, Esq. comes to mind when I think back on my college career. He was one of the first professors I had at Medaille, and he seemed to actually care about the students in his class. Professor Lukow was interested in why we were there, where we came from, and who we wanted to be. I greatly appreciate his kindness and influence.


What types of things did you learn about yourself and your career goals from your studies? And how did your experience in the sport management program contribute to your current career path?

I learned early on in my Medaille education that leadership is an important quality to possess in the sports industry. I graduated feeling confident in leading a team, as well as an organization, thanks to the skills I gained at Medaille College.  

The opportunities granted to me during my time at Medaille directly contributed to my current career path. I completed my required internship at St. Joe’s High School, where I worked side-by-side with the athletic director, doing day-to-day tasks. The internship resulted in me becoming St. Joe’s freshman boys basketball head coach, and that experience helped me gain the knowledge I use to successfully coach an athletics team. Medaille opened various other doors for me during my time as a student, including a sales position with the Buffalo Bills and several sports management positions with the YMCA.


How do you use the knowledge and skills you learned in the sport management program in your current work?

In my work, I always think back to what I learned during my college career. I try my best to implement industry best practices into my daily routine.


What advice would you give to current sport management students or those trying to decide on a major?

I would advise any student to be active within their college community and to accept as many opportunities as they can, because all professional experiences add value to their career path. In the sports field, it’s all about your experiences. So the more you do, the more you set yourself up for success when you graduate.

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