• June 24, 2024

Dantzler & Goldberg Grow with NACDA Experience

Dantzler & Goldberg Grow with NACDA Experience
Jonah Goldberg (left) and Marques Dantzler (right) at the 2024 NACDA Senior Administrators Mentoring Institute

LAS VEGAS – About 8,000 college athletics administrators took part in the National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics (NACDA) Conference last week at Mandalay Bay, but only 148, including UTRGV’s Marques Dantzler and Jonah Goldberg, had the opportunity to take part in the NACDA Senior Administrators Mentoring Institute on Wednesday and Thursday.

Following a 4-day conference that featured administrators from all levels of the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, and more, Dantzler, the senior associate athletic for compliance and administration, and Goldberg, the senior associate athletic director for communications & championships, took part in an intense 23-hour slate of panels that included 16 athletic directors, one university president, and four search firms as Dantzler and Goldberg look to grow in their roles and their careers.

Throughout the institute, participants were encouraged to ask questions and speak. Each time they stood up, participants were instructed to say their full name and the name of the university at which they work.

Goldberg took full advantage of this opportunity, leading all participants in speaking opportunities including questions asked and lessons learned. In fact, Goldberg spoke so often that at the beginning of the Thursday morning session, as he introduced himself, he paused after he said “UT,” and the crowd responded by saying “RGV.”

“I left this institute energized,” Goldberg said. “We heard from a lot of very impressive people and their insight and advice was invaluable. I am so grateful for everyone who stayed the extra day or two or came to Las Vegas specifically for this part of the conference. I feel like all of us who participated have been lifted onto the shoulder of giants and I intend to make sure their investment in our growth is paid back tenfold.”

The institute opened Wednesday afternoon with a 30-minute talk from Louisville President Dr. Kim Schatzel, who gave insight into the present and future of college athletics. She then remained on stage with Louisville Director of Athletics Josh Heird to discuss the relationship between a president and an athletic director.

The next two panels included three athletic directors each, with Kirby Hocutt (Texas Tech), DeWayne Peevy (DePaul) and Diana Sabau (Utah State) speaking on the topic, “I Got the Job, Now What?” and Terrance Jones (Southern Connecticut State), Tiffani-Dawn Sykes (Florida A&M), and Adam Tschuor (Pacific) speaking about their first 100 days and the lessons they have learned on the job.

After a break, participants were treated first to a talk by Mark Shearer, the former senior vice president & chief revenue officer with the Las Vegas Raiders, and Jason Gastwirth, the former president of entertainment at Caesars Entertainment Corporation, about maximizing revenue growth, followed by a talk with Dr. Tommy Shavers, the founder and CEO of Nestre Health and Performance.

Participants then had the opportunity to mix and mingle before being showered with pearls of wisdom from 2024 NACDA James J. Corbett Award Recipient Gene DeFilippo, the retired longtime athletic director at Boston College.

After a networking breakfast on Thursday, participants went to two breakout sessions, each with one of the four search firms present. Participants then received perspective on name, image and likeness from athletic directors Craig Pintens (Loyola Marymount) and Chad Weiberg (Oklahoma State). Pintens was the coordinator of athletic marketing at legacy institution UTPA from 2002-04.

The institute wrapped up with an open forum discussion featuring two more athletic directors, including 2024 NACDA Athletic Director of the Year Desiree Reed Francois (Arizona), who also served as the host for the entire event, and Eddie Nuñez (New Mexico).

“I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the NACDA Senior Administrators Mentoring Institute,” Dantzler said. “It was definitely a meaningful experience, and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with, and learn from, administrators from all over the country.”

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