The unique career path of new Albertus Magnus sporting director Mike Kobylanski: ‘Covered the gamut’

Mike Kobylanski’s last day as athletic director of UConn-Avery Point was Tuesday, marking the end of his tenure in a position as unique as his career path.

“During my time here, I’ve done everything from cleaning up vomit from the pool, to washing uniforms, to planning meals for teams, to revenue generation and strategic planning, and everything in between,” said said Kobylanski, 43, who grew up in North Haven and raised his family in Cheshire. “It really covered the gamut, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

The book ends with Kobylanski’s four-year run at Avery Point in Groton, time spent leading a three-team National Junior College Athletic Association program. On June 6, Kobylanski was named athletic director of Albertus Magnus, an NCAA Division III school in New Haven with 16 athletic programs and more than a dozen full-time employees.

He will take up his role at Albertus in mid-July, replacing former UConn basketball player Jim Abromaitis, who announced his retirement in January. Kobylanski has applied for the AD position at Albertus three times – in 2010, in 2013 when Abromaitis was hired and again earlier this year.

“I’m a Connecticut guy, a Greater New Haven guy,” Kobylanski said. “Certainly I understand that these things take time and I was hoping third time would be the charm and, lo and behold, it will be. Given the breadth and depth of staff, some of the resources that ministry, there will be opportunities there that I think will be very beneficial. I’m excited.”

Kobylanski is now just steps away from the second phase of his transition from one field of sports administration to another, a career path not unheard of but still rare.

A longtime sports information director in Quinnipiac and later in southern Connecticut, Kobylanski once dreamed of holding the same position, say, at Notre Dame or Michigan. Instead, he worked his way across the state to get the education and experience needed to become an AD.

After earning a bachelor’s degree at UMass, he earned a master’s degree in journalism at Quinnipiac while working there. He went on to earn a master’s degree in sports management in New Haven, where he still teaches an Applied Collegiate Fitness and Athletics class each spring.

“After a few years, I caught the virus,” Kobylanski said. “I said, ‘I don’t just want to run the sports news department. I want to run the whole department. True, false or not, sometimes SIDs are cataloged with that specific area of ​​expertise. It’s communication, dealing with a wide range of personalities and troubleshooting. These are central to nearly every college athletic position. They were prevalent in the SID world and I had a lot of hands-on on-the-job training and related experiences.

A sports information manager is, technically, an assistant or associate sports director, primarily responsible for game day operations, score keeping, media relations, press releases and messaging.

A sports director, of course, runs the whole show. However, the nature of these jobs may vary.

Avery Point and Albertus have roughly the same number of employees, around 40, but different profiles. At Avery Point, Kobylanski was the only full-time staff member, with support from those with part-time positions and very specific responsibilities.

At Albertus, he will be one of more than a dozen full-time employees. Where at Avery Point he oversaw the baseball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball teams – as well as the school’s waterfront program – he will lead an ambitious sports program at Albertus that has gained momentum. magnitude in Division III over the past 10+ years. There are only six full-time directors.

“It’s just exponential growth,” Kobylanski said. “The resources are there. The support is there. I’ll just try to pick up the needle and move it a bit farther.

Albertus has added five athletic programs over the past nine years and continues to add staff in the areas of marketing, training, student support and beyond. Most facilities have also been upgraded. There are now about 200 student-athletes.

Albertus conducted a nationwide search before offering the job to Kobylanski.

“As the strong pool of potential candidates took shape, Mike Kobylanski, from his earliest interactions with our community, demonstrated a genuine passion for the student-athlete model that we champion Albertus,” President Marc Camille said in a statement. communicated.

Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing Andrea Kovacas will serve as Kobylanski’s supervising director.

“This is an exciting time of transition and opportunity for Albertus Athletics,” she said. “In Mike, we have the right person to continue to grow our programs, their competitive successes, and our commitment to developing graduating student-athletes prepared for meaningful careers.”

Kobylanski said a perception of Avery Point presented to him when he arrived in 2018 was that student-athletes were underperforming and not retaining the same share as the rest of the student body. He considers dispelling this notion among his greatest accomplishments.

“The furthest thing from the truth,” Kobylanski said. “I wouldn’t have been so well rounded as a candidate if I didn’t have this job. [at Avery Point], having worked with municipalities, rental income, strategic planning and compliance. I didn’t have the full scope of that in my experiences at Southern or Quinnipiac. I felt like Albertus had written the job description for me. I felt like I checked all the boxes because of what I had done over time.

Kobylanski, who has three sons with his wife Kristen, will take a vacation and start at Albertus in mid-July.

“If a student-worker calls and cannot work a shift at the sports center, it will not be me that he calls and it will not be me that sits and watches the office in these emergency situations, ” he said. “I know there are priorities from a registration and fundraising perspective, I will have time available to focus on those areas. And the biggest goal for me is to make sure that student-athletes have the best possible experience.

[email protected]; @ManthonyHearst

Comments are closed.