Katie initially started on the team as a player 3 years ago, as a second string goalie. She casually played hockey in high school, so when she started school at FSU she wanted to be involved with the team at any capacity. When her second year came around, more players began joining the team and she became the third string goalie. Consequently, this is when she realized that she was geared more toward a management position and began to slowly integrate herself in that aspect of the team.
In the middle of her second year, she began taking on management duties, but was not officially the President of the team; she was the Secretary. But when this current season rolled around, the team officially voted her in as their President. She describes herself as President with general manager duties. She takes care of office responsibilities for the team, including all of the paperwork and she is the number one liaison to the sports club office. On the other hand, she is in charge of all of the merchandise sales, runs the club website, sends e-mails, and in general gets anything done when it needs to be done.
On top of this, Katie is also a current Sports Management student here at FSU. “It’s difficult to balance being a student while doing all of this and helping the boys out,” she said. “But I love what I do and wouldn’t change anything.” She loves seeing all the leaps and bounds the team has made and it drives her to continue putting her passion forth for the team.
One big push Katie has been working on for the team, FSU, and the city of Tallahassee, is to get an ice rink in town. “Having an ice rink in Tallahassee would provide a whole new opportunity for students and residents of the city,” she said. “It could immensely help our growing program and make Tallahassee a city that appeals to people from all over.” When asked about the additional benefits an ice rink would bring, she said FSU could have division II and division III hockey teams, attract players from all over the country, and in general increase student experience. Additionally, the city of Tallahassee could provide public skate sessions, and opportunities for recreational figure skating and hockey teams. “One of the big struggles our team faces is the fact we have to travel so often, and a lot of people don’t join the team based on that alone,” she said. “However, if we had a rink, we would be able to have more students want to join and make the commitment.”
Now, the push for ice in Tallahassee is certainly a big deal and not an easy task. However, there are many things that people can do to help set this process in motion. “The most important thing people can do is be vocal and voice their support for a rink. When people consistently talk about the idea and the fact that we have a hockey team, the more support we will rally for a rink,” she said. “It starts with growing awareness for our team and for hockey in general.”
In addition to starting to gather support for an ice rink, there’s a couple other things Katie is looking forward to this season. She said she, of course, can’t wait for the Savannah tournament, since it’s a time she can step back and look at all of the progress the team has made. She’s also looking forward to the team coming together, the guys meshing, and the program continuing to develop.
As for the fans, Katie said there is a lot for them to be excited about as well. “We’re becoming more fan-friendly and easier to communicate with,” she said. “This allows us to build a greater relationship with our fan base and get everyone involved.” The team is also coming out with brand new merchandise, including our new breast cancer awareness shirts. And, of course, like Katie and the rest of the team, fans should get excited about the Savannah tournament in January.
While this may seem like way too much work for a working student, she wouldn’t have it any other way. “This position is a huge opportunity for me, as I want to work as the Sports Marketing Director for the Detroit Red Wings, my favorite team,” she said. “Being able to do this allows me to tailor specifically what I want to do and prepare myself for when the time comes.” Katie has big plans in store for the team and the hockey community and with help and collaboration from everyone involved with our organization, we look forward to all the great things to come.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenny Wills is a senior Media & Communication Studies major at FSU and the current Communications Intern for the FSU hockey team.