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Student SID manages sports teams, class work

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Scott Swegan, a junior, works with the football and baseball teams.  , a junior, works with the football and baseball teams. 

Scott Swegan grew up in a University press box.

Now he balances being a student assistant for athletic communications and being a full-time student at the University.

“I expect to meet deadlines with class work and hold myself to that standard [so] right now I’m a student first.” Swegan said. “I put high priority on work, but that’s still my secondary role right now.”

Swegan has been in a press box since seventh grade, when he would pass out statistic sheets for his traveling baseball coach, a former University Sports Information Director. Now, Swegan is the primary media relations contact for both baseball and football.

“I’ve never had another college kid, as a freshman, have a sport. He ran with it,” said Jason Knavel, assistant athletic director for Athletic Communications. “From there, he’s added football, which is just a total beast. Until you actually do football at the FBS level, nobody really understands the work that is involved in doing football. I don’t know how he does it.”

The Bowling Green native’s father, Gary Swegan, was the director of Admissions at the University before leaving in 2013, so Swegan said he grew up a Falcon fan. However, Swegan’s choice of college came down to the University and Indiana University. He ultimately chose to be a Falcon when Knavel offered him something he could not pass up.

“Jason offered me the opportunity to do baseball right from the get-go, so I’ve done that for three years now,” Swegan said. “It was going to be a hard opportunity to pass up.”

When Knavel joined the department in 2008, he looked for those whom he could trust to do the job right. Swegan, a high school student at the time, emerged as one of those people.

Swegan started by running stats at games, then joining the stat crew and moving up to office work, lending a hand wherever it was needed.

Despite being a student among other older full-timers, Swegan said the department’s close-knit environment makes him feel just like the other employees.

“They’ve always treated me like a full-timer,” Swegan said. “Obviously I still have to go to class … but I’ve tried to be available every opportunity that I have to hopefully reflect my passion for it and then hope that more responsibility would continue to be thrown on me.”

Now as a full-time football and baseball SID, Swegan handles all media relations duties for the sports. This can range from preparing game notes and writing previews and recaps to traveling with each team and doing social media. With the football spring game that took place April 5, the season was put into motion for Swegan as the primary contact for the first time. Swegan said he is still trying to adjust to the demanding schedule that football offers, but knows the opportunity will help him in the long run. He said he hopes this will help him jump straight to a full-time job upon graduation.

“Having baseball was great, but at the end of the day, being able to put football in my resume will kind of jump me a level,” Swegan said.

With his mother being a teacher and his father previously working at the University, Swegan said his education is important to him. He balances his job and his grades by focusing on one at a time.

When he is done with work for the day, Swegan said he goes home and works on homework, which sometimes keeps him up until one or two in the morning.

Swegan said from a young age, he was taught not to miss school. He said with such a busy schedule, he is lucky to have such a good memory to help him with his grades.

“Education has always been a priority in our family,” Swegan said. He sometimes has to rely on his memory when he doesn’t have enough time to study.

Brian McCullough has had Swegan as a student in two sport management classes and said he is a good student with seemingly “unbelievable” time management skills with all he balances.

McCullough said Swegan is always ahead of schedule with his work, turning assignments in before he has to travel with a team rather than asking for extensions.

He said Swegan’s thinking seems to be of a higher caliber in the classroom with the experience he has gained by working in athletic communications.

“I think because of his work experience, that really helped out his comprehension of the course material,” McCullough said. “I think it really helps out and adds more value to what you’re learning because he’s already experienced some of those things in his initial career.”

Swegan also has to manage his class work with traveling with the baseball and football teams during the seasons. He stays on top of his assignments by making sure they are done beforehand.

“To be honest, I don’t even ask for extensions. I just get things done when they’re due,” Swegan said.

McCullough said he holds Swegan to the same standard as the rest of his students, but noted that Swegan is a “unique” student.

“The thing about Scott is there’s no offseason for him,” McCullough said. “Other athletes, they have a downtime . . . but Scott’s commitment itself is pretty remarkable given that whoever’s in season, he’s in season with them.”

Knavel said that in his 15 to 16 years being in athletic communications and sports information, he’s never had another student like Swegan.

“The plans are that he’s going to graduate in the summer and then we have hopes that we’re going to be able to keep him in some form or fashion,” Knavel said. “Hopefully it will be in more of a permanent type of situation where we can certainly continue to expand that role.”

McCullough said Swegan is a great person to be around who is bound to do great things in the future.

“[He’ll] make us as the sport management program proud,” McCullough said. “Selfishly, it makes us look great when we have great graduates like him.”

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