A look into the work of the Sports Information Department
Garrett Hadley | Sports Writer | @GarrettHadley
Part of the college experience includes athletics and having a team to get behind and cheer for. Whether it’s fall semester or spring semester, there are always different sports going on at UVU with teams and players to follow.
The athletic events we experience can provide great moments and memories and leave us wanting to experience more. The athletes and coaches put in a tremendous amount of work to make our school proud as they go out and perform. Behind the scenes though there are people hard at work making sure everything is in order and ready.
At UVU, the Sports Information Department puts in the work to prepare for games and ensure that everything runs as smooth as possible. The department runs off the hard work of Associate Athletic Director Clint Burgi and his three assistant sports information directors, Lorie Garnett, James Warnick and Jason Erickson.
“Game day involves everything from productions, media relations and statistics to cleanup and any other random stuff that happens to come along,” said Garnett. “When there’s not a game, we’re preparing for them and it involves a lot of writing, designing, preparing game notes and game previews, videos and a lot of design and production.”
Garnett handles all media matters in regards to cross country, track and field and women’s basketball. She had also been on the track and field team, as a pole vaulter, at UVU in 2010-12, before she transferred to BYU. She worked on the BYU newspaper, The Universe, as the sports reporter.
With all the different home games to cover and prepare for that come throughout the school year, it’s not uncommon for the Sports Information Department to be on campus at all times of the day and week.
“It’s hard to have a typical day … our days are never nine to five, there’s a lot of nine to midnights,” said Burgi. “We’re here on a lot of weekends, that’s just how it goes.”
Burgi himself attended then-UVSC back in the late ’90s and has experience working on both sides of the media information: both as a reporter and now, giving information to reporters. He was the sports editor for the student newspaper, the College Times (which later turned into the UVU Review) and the TV producer for the student channel, NetXNews. He also spent four years at ABC 4. Now, he is the main contact for men’s soccer and baseball and is on the play-by-play team.
Despite the fact that the Sports Information Department sometimes works up to 60 plus hours a week, they love their job and embrace it.
“I love that it’s not a desk job or typical nine to five,” said Garnett. “Every time I come in to work it’s something different. You get out of this job what you put in to it and if you want to lean and do more then you can and it’s a great experience.”
Working so closely with sports every day, the Information Department finds joy in their work through the success of the teams and athletes at UVU.
“My favorite part of the job is sharing in the success of winning with student-athletes,” said Burgi. “Working with the events and success of winning, I kind of live and die with the team, it doesn’t matter what sport it is, I’m happy when we win. I don’t like the summer because it’s slow; I dread it because there are no events going on.”
All the work that gets put in before, during and after the game pays off and one of the big perks of working within the Sports Information Department is being able to experience it all in person.
“Working in sports, what’s better than going to a game and getting paid for it?” said Warnick. “There are a lot of different responsibilities, that’s one of my favorite parts, just all the different hats we wear. Writing stories, broadcasting stats…it’s a pretty good gig.” Warnick also graduated from Utah Valley University, in 2008, and writes college sports articles for the Deseret News.
Erickson (who was unavailable for an interview) was also the sports editor for the College Times when he attended then-UVSC. After graduating, he worked in publicity for men’s basketball, women’s soccer and men’s golf in Denver, Colorado, for the Western Athletic Conference before coming to UVU in 2014 (this month is his one-year anniversary).