Sports Information continues excellence

Washburn athletes have won countless MIAA titles and even a few national championships, but some overlooked athletics awards have been won by Sports Information Director Gene Cassell and assistant SID Mike Knipper.

Since Cassell’s time, he has acquired 69 total national media awards in the Division II level which include 36 best in the division and 27 best designs.

Cassell believes his and Knipper’s strong work ethic and dedication has made something that WU athletes and fans canw enjoy.

“It is something that we take a lot of pride in showing off our athletics and making enjoyable media guide for the Washburn community to enjoy,” said Cassell.

Knipper, a Central Missouri University graduate, echoes Cassell and admits he felt some pressure taking over Cassell’s staff.

“We seem to take things so serious here we are actually upset and mad when we don’t win some media guide awards,” said Knipper. “We put in long hours especially and we seem to take more pride in our guides then other schools.”

Cassell, a Northwest Missouri State graduate, learned a lot from Larry Again, his former boss at NWMS. He also gets upset when his media guides don’t win certain awards.

“Larry taught me how to use a lot on writing and dealing with media to make it more enjoyable for fans,” said Cassell. “Some of the guides just don’t fit the preferred preferences of judges, but overall I’ve been happy with most of our final results.”

Both Cassell and Knipper believe social networking has worked well for getting information out about Washburn and the MIAA to fans. Both help run the Washburn athletics Facebook and Twitter accounts that are updated with live scores from all sports. The Facebook and Twitter accounts are displayed on the MIAA websites to get information out to more people. Logan Stutz, senior basketball player believes Cassell and Knipper do a great job for Washburn athletics and fans,

“They make you feel like you are in a big sports market,” said Stutz. “By putting our great stats and information in the media guides and putting athletes’ pictures on tickets, it makes athletes feel appreciated playing for the Ichabods.”

When the different seasons overlap, Cassell’s and Knipper’s job can get long and stressful. There have been times when volleyball and football run into the winter seasons. This makes both Cassell and Knipper have to get information on numerous sports updating the web sites and live statistics for all sports and that can sometimes get tricky.

“It can sometimes get hard and very difficult, but this is not your basic nine-to-five job,” said Knipper. “When it comes down to it I’d rather get the job done in the sporting world then a business suit and tie job.”

Cassell and Knipper have advice for any young writers trying to get into the sports world—gain experience. Students should get internships and network with as much as people as they can.

“It’s sometimes not about what you know, it’s who you know in the sports world,” said Cassell. “Use your experience wisely and it can pay dividends in the future.”