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Episode 029 – Tulane University Associate AD for Strategic Communications Scottie Rodgers

Posted on Dec 12, 2016 by in Podcast Episode | 0 comments


Former CSTV colleague goes deep into his career path, the power and best approaches to networking, and how to thrive in organizations large and small.


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Bio (for more):


Scottie has done it all in the world of college athletics. He spent five years with the SEC office, and then five years with the NCAA as its Associate Director for the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. He had a stop at CBS Sports Digital where he and I first connected, before moving on to the Ivy League as its Associate Executive Director, Communications and External Relations.

This fall, Scottie began a new chapter in his career when he went on campus at Tulane University to serve as its Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications.


  1. You’ve worked for a conference, the NCAA, a business partner and now on campus. Talk about how you got each of those opportunities and fill in your career path for us a bit.
    1. Most of the opportunities came organically
    2. There wasn’t a plan to go to each of these stops
    3. Began by working the athletic department at the University of Alabama, at the right time (1992) when UA won the national championship in football
    4. (Daniel recalling the UA/Miami championship game)
    5. Follow up talking about the importance of working for nothing/little early on
    6. How the dominos fell for him to land the full-time gig with the SEC one year out of college
    7. (Daniel on the key of doing excellent work to position yourself for opportunities)
    8. Started a networking group while on the NCAA staff
  2. (17:00) Can you give some examples of extraordinary leaders or leadership moments you’ve witnessed and what made them unique?
    1. Roy Kramer – Vanderbilt AD; SEC commish who went from 10 to 12 schools and started the conference championship game trend and also the BCS model/formula
      1. Relied on his coaching instincts (won a football national championship)
      2. People saw his vision and wanted to get behind it
      3. He said jump and Scottie would say “how hi?”
    2. Tom Jernstedt – father of the NCAA tournament; president of USA basketball
      1. Lived nearby the NCAA office
      2. Scottie learned Tom would be in the office on Saturday, and started coming in Saturdays to do extra work and get some time with him
    3. Bill Hancock
      1. Riding the Blue Moth
  3. (26:15) How does leadership change, if at all, when you are talking about a large organization like the NCAA, to a small organization like a conference office?
    1. In a large organization, it is critical to get to know people
      1. On certain days, he would take a walk up and down a hallway and just start to talking to people
      2. Before long he became known as the guy who knew everyone in the building
      3. Would take different/long routes to his office from a meeting or on the way in/out to facilitate interacting with people
      4. Networking lunches
    2. In a smaller organization, didn’t do as much of that since you naturally got to know everyone much quicker
    3. (35:15 follow up about networking)
      1. Don’t network just for the sake of networking; look to add value
      2. He likes connecting people and putting people together who will do great things
      3. When at conferences, don’t sit with/talk to the people from your organization; meet new people!
      4. Work an NCAA championship; great way to meet people.
      5. Goal should be to get to a point in your career when you don’t have to seek out new opportunities; they will come to you based on the work you are doing.
      6. (Daniel follow up on the CALS conference re: Will Reece, and how true networking is about relationship building with the purpose of adding value to others)
      7. Athletics (and many other industries) are relatively small worlds, and you don’t know who is connected to who. Those relationships can make/brake whether you get a job/opportunity.
  4. Where can people go to learn more about you, Tulane athletics, or anything else you have going on?
    1. LinkedIn
    2. Twitter @SFRodgers

Thank Yous/Acknowledgements:

  1. Antioch Live/Clear Day Media Groupmusic
    1. More here.
  2. Jonathan Davis – production
  3. Clint Musslewhite voice over



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