Sr. Associate A.D. for Communications
|Oklahoma Senior Associate A.D. Kenny Mossman writes this column for SoonerSports.com.
Mossman joined the OU staff in August of 2001 as director of media relations. In August of 2002, he was promoted to assistant athletics director. He was promoted to associate AD for media relations and communication in August 2004, then received his latest promotion in June 2006.
At OU, he supervises media relations, publications, graphic design, SoonerSports.com, licensing and SoonerVision.
In media relations, with his primary sport responsibility pertaining to football, he and his staff have promoted winners of the Heisman, Bednarik, Butkus, Lombardi, Nagurski, O'Brien and Thorpe Awards. In all, OU has won 10 college football national player awards and 20 All-America citations during his tenure.
Full Bio | OU Athletics Administration
The commentary relative to the Oklahoma women's basketball program is coming fast and furious these days, just the way it should for a team that makes the Final Four.
They're talking about Sherri Coale's best coaching job, the quickness of the guards, the improvement of Abi Olajuwon and the tournament experience of a veteran team. All of those attributes hit the nail on the head, but none capture the reason why this team is still playing in April.
Coale has tried to allude to during those brief television interviews, but it's a difficult thing to capture in a sound bite. And, honestly, you won't find "it" on the court even though it manifests itself there. No, I found "it," of all places, in the interview room.
That's where you see the polish.
Sherri Coale is one of the best communicators you'll find in any sport. Yet these days, you can stand in the back of one of the NCAA's blue-splashed interview rooms, close your eyes during question and answers with Sherri and her players, and be confounded as to which one of those voices belongs to the head coach.
It is especially true of Olajuwon, Nyeshia Stevenson and Amanda Thompson, the seniors. They conduct themselves with confidence, make interesting points and string together sentences that make even the former-English-teacher-turned-coach proud.
Those three players have grown beyond what we can measure with any device in the interview room and beyond.
We spend a lot of time talking about the role of a sports program and a coach. It really boils down to just one thing: Leave the young people better than you found them.
That doesn't mean the same thing for every student-athlete, and it's a lot more complicated than it sounds. It requires an approach that reaches beyond the practice court to nearly every aspect of a young person's life.
It's about setting goals that on their face seem unattainable, then motivating and equipping young people to realize those dreams. Yeah, I know, it sounds like some cheesy poster in a board room.
In this case, it's a lot more.
Call me a little goofy, but when I attend a game or practice, I often fixate on one of our student-athletes and wonder to myself what that person will think about their OU experience 10 or 20 years after they leave. That reaction matters to a lot of people here. There is no better evaluation for what we do.
I stopped wondering about this senior class of women's basketball players a long time ago. What we're witnessing on the court now, the joy, the passion, the polish, is simply the overflow of a college experience done right ... by the student-athlete, the university and most assuredly, the coach.
Related Links: Final Four Blog
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