Name: Cayla Morgan
Current Position: Marketing Coordinator
Number of Years in Current Position: 7 months
Alma Mater(s): Wright State (BA), Auburn University Montgomery (MS)
Twitter Handle: @Cayla_Morgan1
LinkedIn Address: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cayla-morgan-a216786a
When/why did you decide to pursue a career in college athletics?
Shockingly, I actually didn’t “know right away” that I wanted to work in sports. I knew I wanted to work in marketing, and I knew I loved sports. My first internship in undergrad was in collegiate athletics in marketing. I thought I would “try it” and see if it would possibly be something I would like to have a career in (I am huge on trying new things and taking on any open opportunities). I was fortunate enough to intern under some really great leaders/mentors who showed me all the opportunities that collegiate athletics has to offer, and well, the rest is history…and I wouldn’t want it any other way!
What is one thing that has surprised you about working in this profession?
It is amazing how small the collegiate athletics world really is! Everyone knows someone, and everyone is always willing to help!
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Do not be afraid to fail. You learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes.
Who is your role model in this industry and why?
I have been blessed to have worked for some great mentors along my way. Brandon Hays was the ultimate “first boss” in collegiate athletics. I love people who challenge me and encourage me to learn and be innovative. Anyone who is invested in helping someone else succeed is someone I would put on top of my list!
What are your career aspirations?
Ultimately, to move my way up to an Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing in Collegiate Athletics or work in marketing with an NBA team.
What has been your most memorable moment on the job?
Is it cliché to say that most moments are memorable in this industry? The emotions, the relationships, the student-athletes, so hard to choose! If I have to choose just one, I would say the last meet of this past season with Pitt Gymnastics. We not only set the single-meet attendance record, but we set the season average record, and the total attendance record with that meet! Of course, it was memorable because on paper, the numbers are great, but what makes it memorable is the atmosphere not only for the fans, but for the student-athletes. The student-athletes performed their highest score of the season at that meet, and gave the credit of their successes to the atmosphere that was created for them to perform in. Remembering that the student-athlete is the core is crucial, and being able to create that home advantage for them to achieve the best that they can is what it is all about!
Share one funny moment or story from game day.
As a graduate assistant, I added tent-chaser to my “other duties as assigned” list. After setting up for a men’s soccer game, the weather, naturally, went from 90 degrees and sunny to tornado weather. Out of nowhere the wind picked up and the tent (that I didn’t think needed bolted to the ground because it was so nice out) went up in the air and started tumbling aggressively towards the parking lot full of cars. Do I run after it, or do I let it shatter into all these parked cars? Yes, I confidently think I have super powers and run after the tent and grab onto the leg to try to stop it. Instead of stopping, the wind took the tent up into the air, with me attached to the bottom, and dragged me across the grass for about 2 minutes in front of a pretty nice crowd of people. Fortunately, it ended with only a few grass stains, a jumbled tent, and me being known as the “little Mary Poppins girl” for the next few games.
If you weren’t working in college athletics, what would you be doing?
Geesh, that is a great question! It is hard to picture myself anywhere else, but probably something in non-profit or youth mentoring!