University of Delaware Athletic Director Chrissi Rawak

Chrissi Rawak joined Higher Ed Athletics to talk about leading the Blue Hens and begins the conversation with an institutional profile. Rawak had several different roles in college athletics and shares what made her decide to pursue an AD position. Rawak talks about the decision to create a chief of staff position at Delaware and advice for what other athletic directors might want to consider if they are thinking about creating a chief of staff role after doing some research of her own. The conversation then turns to the role of talent management and professional development of her staff and why investing in them is so critical to the success of the department. Rawak knew it was incredibly important to integrate with the university and explains how and why the athletic department decided to create an internship program with 12-16 interns each semester that goes towards their degree. I then ask Chrissi what it takes to be a successful fundraiser and how someone without fundraising experience, or nervous to make the ask, can do to improve (the worst thing that can happen is they say “No”). Keeping with the tactical advice in this episode, I asked Rawak her philosophy on hiring and evaluating head coaches and she shares her thoughts on internal promotions and why she understands coaches moving for other positions is sometimes okay. The conversation ends with a discussion on the athletic department being responsible for oversight of recreation and club sports at Delaware, and whether that might be a trend in the future at other institutions.

0:20 Institutional Profile
4:42 Deciding to Become an AD
9:52 Chief of Staff Positions in Athletics
17:40 Talent Management in College Athletics
22:54 Creating a Robust Internship Program
29:45 Growing to Love the Role of Fundraising
39:15 Head Coach Hire & Evaluation Strategies
47:22 Athletic Departments Supervising Recreation & Club Sports

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