Timothy Belin, Campus Carrier sports editor
Nearly a month after Berry hired her as its new director of sports information and promotion (SID), Brooke Brumbelow is integrating herself quickly to help the athletics department thrive.
Berry announced Brumbelow’s hire on Jan. 6 and she was immediately thrown into the thick of things. With all 21 of Berry’s varsity sports competing this semester, Brumbelow said her first few weeks have been challenging.
“They’ve been a little crazy, coming in in the middle of a pandemic while also trying to plan for a full semester of sports,” Brumbelow said. “I’m excited to have sports back in full, but coming in and trying to figure out the different schedules and everything, it’s been a little hectic.”
One of the difficulties, according to Brumbelow, has been learning who everyone in the department is and what they do, including those on her student work team.
“I have to form relationships with them while also working with them right off the bat,” Brumbelow said. “So building those new relationships and familiarizing myself with the campus is an additional challenge.”
This adaptation phase does not affect her performance, however, as she has already impressed one of her employees, senior Noah Syverson, student director of sports information.
“Her work ethic is unmatched,” Syverson said. “She’s very detail-oriented and so she’s not satisfied unless everything is working and good and everything is smooth in terms of game day operations, and that’s really good because that’s kind of how I’m built. She’s a very hard worker, she’s very detail-oriented and she’s super passionate about what she does, which is kind of infectious for the rest of the crew.”
Syverson, who was on the search committee to fill the SID role, said that enthusiasm was apparent from his very first encounter with Brumbelow on a Zoom call, and he is happy that it has remained such an important part of her attitude.
“She’s very energetic, even when we’re facing down the prospect of having to cover all these sports,” Syverson said. “She’s been attacking it, hasn’t wavered at all; she’s been super confident.”
Brumbelow said she wanted to bring that attitude towards sports because she was aware of the dip in mood caused by the lack of competition last semester.
“I know there was kind of a dull moment when there was no sports being played, so kind of getting the word out and getting everyone excited for sports again, that’s my short-term goal for this semester,” Brumbelow said.
As for long-term goals, Brumbelow said she first wants to get to know the department better before making any big plans. Syverson, however, said he was excited for one of the ideas she has talked about.
“One of the more specific things that she’s brought is that she’s trying to do a feature story on an athlete or on a team every week to post on our website,” Syverson said. “Her background is definitely in the marketing and promotion side and she has a lot of experience with social media, so her goals are kind of to grow that for Berry and make that a significant strength for us, so we’re really excited about that.”
Syverson said that Brumbelow’s previous job, working as the communications manager for the Orlando Magic, gives him every confidence that she will succeed with those plans. Prior to the Magic, Brumbelow also worked in the media relations department for the Univeristy of Georgia, and, among other responsibilities, was notably the assistant SID for women’s softball. For Brumbelow, that experience might be what she relies on most in her new position.
“That’s really where a lot of my experience kind of overlaps and relates, and I’m able to use my knowledge and what I learned from there more so in this field,” Brumbelow said. “But both jobs and both previous experiences have different factors and whatnot that I use every day here, so it’s kind of a best of both calibers and both worlds.”
Brumbelow said that a desire to return to college sports played a big part in her decision to apply for the job. The other important factor was its location, as Brumbelow was born and raised in Rome.
“It’s back near home and near my family,” Brumbelow said. “I have a baby girl and my husband’s also from this area, so with it not only being a college position but also closer to family, I went for it and here I am.”
And while Brumbelow said she relishes the challenge put forward by this unusual semester, Syverson said he expects her impact to only be truly felt when things return to normal.
“I think she’s definitely going to be a big resource for the student athletes,” Syverson said. “And I really think that what she brings to the table as she grows into the role might not become apparent at first with this semester and having to focus on the nuts and bolts of getting every game covered, but going forward when things kind of return to normal I think parents, fans, students and coaches are going to be really, really pleased with what she does for Berry athletics.”