Alumnus turned faculty transforms university athletics
For some, Belmont athletics are an after-class activity. For others, they’re an evening game.
The university’s many athletic teams have inspired school spirit within students for years. Now, alumnus David Fish has turned his own passion for Belmont sports into a career.
A native of Paducah, Kentucky, Fish recently moved into the position of assistant director of athletic marketing in Belmont’s athletic department.
“What I love most about my job is that there are no typical days,” said Fish. “You could say we have typical seasons for athletics, but every day is so different.”
Fish received his undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism in 2004 from Belmont and received a master’s degree in sports administration in 2007, also from Belmont.
During his time as an undergraduate, Fish could be found at every athletic event screaming loudly on the sidelines. Now, his job is to build morale for the games and get students just as involved as he was.
“As a Belmont student, I felt my role at athletic events was to be the voice of the crowd,” said Fish. “Now, as a faculty member, my role is to be behind the scenes doing everything I can to give our teams the best chance possible to win their games.”
For Fish, the best chance possible means having cheering crowds and positive energy. Now that Fish is behind the scenes, he’s putting new ideas into action to improve athletics.
“He has taken on a lot as a leader in his position. He has set up shuttles to the games, started contests for student attendance and gotten a lot of students involved in different areas,” said Mike Strickland, the director of athletics.
Within the past year, Fish’s work within the athletics department has significantly increased attendance at events. By boosting the student athletics social media, Belmont has seen a larger student presence at games, especially for baseball and soccer. Many students have recently expressed their increased interest in athletic events because of the posts they have seen on Twitter and Instagram.
“I’ve always enjoyed going to basketball games,” said senior Callie Connelly. “Within the past year that I’ve been at Belmont, I’ve gone to other athletic events because of the different things I have seen on the athletics Twitter account.”
Fish created various forms of student outreach to gain the interest of students and encourage their presence at games. These incentives include games and contests that are regularly posted on the athletic department’s social media accounts.
“Everyone is doing the same thing. They’re trying to engage their students in fun activities and entice them to come to games. We want them to have such a great time that they’re coming back,” said Fish. “Really, that’s what my job is, and I love it.”
While Fish was a student, he was a founder of the Belmont M.O.B, an organization dedicated to expanding the student section at athletic events. During his time as a Belmont employee, he served as the adviser for the M.O.B. and increased morale at athletic events.
“He dreams it all up. It’s not just a matter of doing what’s been done,” said Faculty Athletics Representative Rich Tiner. “The M.O.B. was his idea as a student. He took the initiative to start it, and it’s still standing today.”
Junior Sara Castonguay works with Fish as a member of the M.O.B. council. Fish oversees its student outreach for athletic events.
“You can tell he likes to work with people,” said Castonguay. “He always asks students what they’re focused on or what they’re passionate about, and he does his best to match that with whatever task they’re given.”
As both a student and faculty member, Fish has proved to be the ultimate Belmont fan.
Article and photo by Ally Pace.