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Reaching Goals in Sport Management

A coach and basketball players putting their hands together in a circle.

As they influence their world for Christ, Pensacola Christian College sport management graduates use fitness and athletics in a variety of positions to serve others.

Michael Wilder

Michael Wilder (Sport Management ’06) is the senior programming manager with Upward Sports at their flagship sports facility and headquarters in Spartanburg, SC. At the 120,000 square-foot sports complex, he is responsible for the sports programming including camps, clinics, leagues, tournaments, travel teams, and events. “I lead a team of employees and contractors to ensure we meet our budgetary responsibilities while fulfilling our mission—promoting the discovery of Jesus through sports,” he said. “I’ve always had a passion for sports, so I wanted to major in something that would give me the opportunity to do that. God has led me along the way in His timing. I’ve learned to accept His timing and be open to whatever His will is for my life.”

Brock Cavenaugh

In Raleigh, NC, Brock Cavenaugh (Sport Management ’15) works in sales at 323 Sports where he uses his passion for sports to help teams and customers find the right equipment. “After graduating, I got married and took a job as the athletic director and soccer coach at Rosedale Baptist School in Baltimore, MD,” Brock said. “After being there for two years, I was presented with the opportunity to move back home to Raleigh and begin working for 323 Sports. Having the opportunity to meet coaches and sell products in a field that I’m passionate about is pretty cool. My job includes traveling around my sales territory visiting my customers and trying to generate new business as well. One of the coolest parts of my job is that with the flexibility of my job, it also gives me the opportunity to coach varsity boys soccer at my alma mater, Raleigh Christian Academy.”

Ryan Vanderboegh (Sport Management ’07) is the assistant administrator at Wilson Christian Academy in Wilson, NC. His position allows him to have a part in every facet of the ministry from overseeing child care and elementary to working with high school student transcripts, scholarships, and chapel and test scheduling. “The sport management major with a business management minor has been incredibly helpful with everything I face throughout the course of a day,” he said. “This particular major allows such a wide array of classes to be taken, and I can see how each one of them has been useful in my ministry. The coaching classes helped me to be ready to coach sports here at Wilson Christian Academy which have included basketball, soccer, golf, and volleyball, while the business classes helped me be ready for the day-to-day financial operations to help keep track of the bottom line.”

The sport management major encompasses physical education and business training, giving students the training needed to manage sports facilities, direct camp ministries, or administrate sports organizations. Specialized courses provide training in accounting, management, business law, coaching, first aid and nutrition, and facilities operation and organization to be well suited for a variety of positions.

Since going into their fields, these graduates have used their training in a variety of occupations. “My first job after graduating from PCC was working at a Boys & Girls Club leading an after-school and summer camp program,” Michael recalled. “After doing that for two years, I transitioned to work for the U.S. Army as a youth sports and fitness director at a military base. I was with the Army for 8 years before moving into my current role now with Upward Sports. Classes like Oral Communications in the Professions (SP 410), Organization and Administration of PE (PE 301), and Camp Programs and Management (PM 302) were valuable especially in my early years after college.”

“I’ve always enjoyed athletics and been around them my whole life,” Brock said. “The most valuable aspects of my major were the speech and Business Communications (BA 403) classes. Marketing classes were great, too, because I help out with some of our company’s marketing efforts as well.”

Although their college days are behind them, these graduates look at their training at PCC as being pivotal in their personal and professional lives. “I don’t know of a better place to establish lifelong friendships, solidify a biblical foundation, and train for the specific ministry for which the Lord wants to prepare you,” said Ryan. “I am so thankful for all PCC did to train me not just for a job, but for a life serving the Lord.”