Name: Michael Mugavero
Current Position: Marketing Assistant
Number of Years in Current Position: 1
Conference: American Athletic Conference (AAC)
Alma Mater(s): University of South Florida - Expected Graduation Date: August 2019
Twitter Handle: @mi_mug11
LinkedIn Address: www.linkedin.com/in/mmugavero1
When/why did you decide to pursue a career in college athletics?
Coming into college, I had no interest at all in working in collegiate athletics. I had to be convinced by friends to even apply for the internship with USF Athletics in the first place. I started working in athletics the summer leading up to my sophomore year - and it has been a blast ever since. I decided to pursue athletics mainly after my first football game as an intern just because that was the most surreal experience… The lights, the crowd, and the general atmosphere is something that I could never give up. Being a part of creating that environment and seeing fans smiling and enjoying themselves is and always will be the best part of the job.
What is one thing that has surprised you about working in this profession?
The time commitment… I may have slightly underestimated how much time must be designated towards working in sports.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
This might seem cliché, but just to trust my gut. I would like to consider myself to be a creative person, which sometimes makes me self conscious about my ideas. Sometimes I overthink and convince myself that an idea in my head may not translate into a successful event or a fun activity for fans. By trusting my gut and getting my ideas out there, USF has been able to do really cool and fun things like Corgi Races at a football game.
Who is your role model in this industry and why?
I have been absolutely blessed to work with two of the most incredible people that I have ever met and they are the two people in the industry who I would consider to be my role models. Megan MacLeod and Adam Schemm have without question gone above and beyond to ensure that I am put in situations that will lead to my success… But I’m not picking between the two of them - I would never hear the end of it!
Adam was involved in my hiring process as an intern and was the first person to really put any kind of trust into me. He really cares about all of his interns and pushes all of them to work to their full potential. He treats everybody in the world with nothing but respect, makes it incredibly easy to talk to him, and is the most dependable person on the planet.
Megan is honestly the reason that I am where I am right now in the industry. She puts all kinds of trust into me and is always fully in support of anything that I want to try out. Without Megan, I definitely would not have done things like being the primary marketing contact of a Division 1 baseball program or handling every on-field aspect of USF football games as an undergraduate intern. In addition, Megan is without question the hardest working person I’ve ever met and I could not possibly begin to understand how she was able to manage an entire marketing department for 6 months all by herself.
What are your career aspirations?
Eventually I would love to work my way up towards being the Head of an External Relations department within a collegiate athletics program. I think it would be really cool to be able to create and implement my own philosophies throughout an entire department.
What has been your most memorable moment on the job?
I kind of touched on it already, but without question, working my first football game as an intern. It was an almost surreal experience to walk on the field with thousands of fans cheering and enjoying themselves. Knowing that I was a part in creating that made me more proud than I had ever felt. For the first time in my life know exactly what I wanted to do for my entire life. I will never forget that night!
Share one funny moment or story from game day.
This past football season, I was in charge of hosting the Inaugural USF Athletics Corgi Races. We hosted the “Paw-liminary Races” to determine which 10 dogs would make it to the Championship the following day at Raymond James Stadium when we played Tulane. During the Paw-liminary Races, everything went perfect - and all dogs went right to their owners. After having the championship field set, I was starting to panic about the championship race and was hoping that the dogs acted just like they did the night before… They didn't.
The race took place in the first quarter break, so the teams were huddled up on their respective sidelines. We set the dogs at the 20-yard line with the goal line being the finish line - this was meant to keep the dogs from getting distracted and running everywhere and into the team’s huddles and as a precaution, we had 8 interns building a fortress around the team’s huddles to protect the teams.
We started the race and everything went well - all of the corgis crossed the finish line… But then every single corgi turned around and ran all over the field. We had 20 corgi handlers and all of the interns running sideline to sideline trying to corral 10 dogs with short, stumpy legs who simply were enjoying their moment in the spotlight. People were falling, dogs were escaping grasps… It was absolute pandemonium!
If you weren’t working in college athletics, what would you be doing?
Honestly, I would likely be playing college baseball. Growing up, the MLB was always the end goal for me. In high school, I had a few offers from smaller schools but I decided that I wanted to attend a school that was on the rise in terms of national athletics relevancy and work to be a part of that rise, internally. So, attending USF was a no brainer decision for me and I have not regretted my decision for a moment.
Supervisor quote on YP of the Month:
“I am so incredibly excited that Mike has received NACMA YP of the Month for January. He is a tremendous asset to our staff and no matter what he is asked to do he does it with enormous pride for his University and a smile on his face. I have been in the marketing world for a long time and he is truly special and I am so proud of how he has stepped up during our transition. I am so happy that he is a part of the USF team!"
Megan MacLeod, Director of Marketing