A cluttered desk scattered with weeks of mail, invoices, receipts and numerous other materials, would make it seem like an organizational mess to an outsider. However, beyond the desk, covering the walls and lining cabinets and bookshelves are numerous magazines, awards, and other sports memorabilia that portray the successes of a distinguished man. Behind the desk sits a man who seems to have all the time in the world, and is always sporting a smile on his face.
Tom McGuire has been involved with Sports Information at Bloomsburg University for more than 23 years, and is in his 14th year as Director of Sports Information. McGuire oversees the 20 varsity sports in the Huskies arsenal as well as performing duties as the Athletic Marketing and Promotion director. During McGuire’s tenure at Bloomsburg University, sponsorships have increased from $7,500 to nearly $50,000 per year, and overall he raised over $200,000 toward athletic scholarships across all athletic teams.
McGuire has been a sports enthusiast all of his life, since the age of five. He began competing in sports in 4th grade, and participated in high school cross country and basketball all four years. After high school McGuire attended Wilkes University, competing on the cross country team for four years, being named the team’s MVP as a sophomore.
After receiving a communications degree, McGuire worked as a disc jockey at a local radio station in the Wilkes-Barre area. After a few months, he received a phone call from the athletic director at Wilkes University asking him to become the cross country coach. He accepted the position and while coaching, McGuire fine-tuned his publicity skills promoting the cross country team in local newspaper write-ups. Within a year, the position of Sports Information Director at Wilkes became available, and McGuire submitted his resume and application with virtually no experience in the field.
Once hired as the information director at Wilkes, McGuire began a nine and a half year stint with his Alma Mater. In this role, McGuire’s primary duties were promotion and publicity for the school’s 13 varsity athletic teams. McGuire also hosted the television show Colonel’s Corner, which highlighted all of Wilkes athletic events and programs.
After his tenure at Wilkes, McGuire became the Sports Information Director at Bloomsburg, along with being a contributor to the Bloomsburg University Magazine.
“I always wanted to stay involved with athletics in some way,” said McGuire. “Being involved with Wilkes and Bloomsburg as a Sports Information Director has kept it in my life.”
Throughout the 14 years which McGuire has been associated with Bloomsburg University, he accomplished many feats. In 2006, McGuire promoted former BU running back Jamar Brittingham for the Harlon Hill Award and the D2 Player of the Year Award—taking the formerly unknown athlete to a third place finish in final voting.
McGuire repeated his accomplishments in 2010 by taking freshman running back Franklyn Quiteh to a sixth place finish in balloting.
Also in 2006, McGuire promoted head football coach Danny Hale which culminated in a top 10 finish in the first ever Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award. Hale and the Huskies were featured in a national television presentation hosted by Keith Jackson on ABC Sports.
As if the list of accomplishments was not long enough, McGuire also has mentored nine students in sports publicity, opening many doors for different careers. Students who shadowed under McGuire now work with the likes of the New Orleans Hornets, University of Alabama Birmingham, Georgia Tech, and IUP.
Sophomore mass communication major Enrique Josephs was recently employed by McGuire to announce the Huskies sporting events. In just one semester, Josephs has covered matches for the Huskies including men’s and women’s basketball, lacrosse, softball and baseball, and has high aspirations for the upcoming years.
“Thus far it has been great working with Tom,” said Josephs. “He has given me a great opportunity to kick start my possibility of one day becoming a sports announcer.”
In his capacity, McGuire’s position calls for countless work hours as well as a hectic work environment. McGuire holds two things important to his success very closely, his organizational skills and not being afraid to delegate some work to his undergraduate students. “You can’t survive in my line of work wanting to do everything,” said McGuire. “Many people have quit the job because they simply had too much to do.”
In the field of Sports Information, those involved have to stand out from the rest of the crowd. McGuire believes that his ability to take on extra work with sponsorships promotions and marketing differentiates him from others in his line of work. “The fact that I do both promotions and marketing, as well as hold the title of Sports Information Director makes me very unique in the PSAC conference,” said McGuire. “Not many people are able to do it all.”
However, success does not come easy for McGuire; there are many challenges in his line of work. Supervising 20 varsity athletic sports allows him to be involved with many different people, but there are some drawbacks. “Keeping everyone involved happy is very difficult sometimes,” said McGuire. “I just do my best to give each team equal share in publicity and give it my all every day I come into the office.”
McGuire’s motto of giving each team equal share certainly pays off. He sees that the most satisfying part of his job is giving publicity back for student athletes in their hometown newspapers or local television. “Sometimes whenever a student athlete graduates from Bloomsburg, I receive a thank-you note for getting their name out there,” said McGuire. “And that’s what makes this job worthwhile—seeing all the work I do pay off”.
McGuire draws most of his inspiration from his parents, who taught him to be a driven individual he was growing up. He has taken much of their advice into his personal life, and his professional life. “My parents gave me valuable advice when I was growing up,” said McGuire. “Whatever they did, they did it well. They taught me to do everything as best as I can, and to work as hard as I can.”
McGuire also received professional advice from Pete Nevins, former East Stroudsburg Sports Information Director. Nevins served as the director from 1969-2002, until losing his battle with brain cancer at the age of 68. McGuire holds Nevins advice very close to him as he comes into the office every morning. “He always had great advice, and he has been doing my job since the time I was born,” said McGuire. “He was a guru, pretty much everyone around the country knew him.”
Being involved with athletics his entire life; McGuire does not plan to stop now. He has many personal and professional goals that have yet to be attained, but one thing holds true—he is making collegiate sports a better all-around experience for all student athletes affiliated with him. The accolades that McGuire holds are only the beginning in a career that will soon blossom with more success.
[box type=”bio”]By Bloomsburg University Student, Dylan Spangler. Dylan is a Junior majoring in Mass Communications.[/box]