SID (Sports Information Director) Appreciation Week was celebrated from November 6 to November 12 this year. Every college has a special individual who handles every sports’ information, as well as stream broadcasts and complete the statistics for the teams. Here at William Jewell College, our Sports Information Director is JaeLynn Ellison. The Monitor sat down with Ellison to understand exactly what an SID does, as well as what led her to Jewell.
To start, Ellison was once a college athlete herself, which is why she feels so attached to the athletes here. “I played softball and I started at Labette Community College… and then I transferred to Drury, which is where I finished.” When asked if she always wanted to work in sports, she replied, “Yes! I was on my first basketball team when I was 3… My parents were coaches and I’m a 4th generation college athlete… My baby sister actually went to one of my t-ball games before she ever went home from the hospital.” Ellison, from a young age, always knew she wanted to work in sports; Ellison was sure she didn’t want to put on nice clothes and sit in a business office every day.
As a member of CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America), Ellison found William Jewell College on their website for a part-time position in the summer of 2015, where she was previously the SID for Labette Community College for a year. After learning the different programs of a Division II College SID, Ellison took the job. She reflected back on her decision to leave, stating “I can’t believe I did it because I’m not the type to go places I don’t know.”
As mentioned earlier, Ellison’s favorite part about being William Jewell’s SID is the athletes. “Definitely the athletes. I like getting to know them [and] interact with them. When people come by my office to say, “Hello,” that’s the best part of my day.”
What does it take to be a Sports Information Director? Well, Ellison has earned an Associate Degree in Communication at Labette Community College, an undergraduate degree in Multimedia Production and Journalism from Drury University, and is currently pursuing her masters in Sports and Recreation with an emphasis in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration from Western Kentucky. On top of earning her masters, Ellison works many hours a week, as well as a few other tasks athletes and coaches might not know about. Most might recognize Ellison as the broadcast or stats lady at sports events, but her job far exceeds those.
“I… do game contracts, so all of our non-conference competitions have a contract attached to them, so people have to come otherwise they pay a forfeiture, and I’m the person that drafts those contracts and makes sure they get signed by everyone… I had to make a list of all of my job requirements 3 years ago and it was, like, 3 pages long.” Ellison also mentioned she does a lot of archiving and research for Jewell Athletics. “A bulk of my summers and time off is spent doing research trying to find old statistics, old information, old photos… I’ve worked on building record books for the last 4 years.”
With most of her time dedicated to Jewell Athletics, Ellison doesn’t get much free time, so enjoys the simple things in life. “There’s not a lot of time outside of my job. I work anywhere from 60-80 hours a week, depending on the season… but I like to watch the Saint Louis Cardinals every day, and then I have a cat who I like, but he’s kind of a turd. I don’t do a whole lot honestly.”
It’s pretty clear that JaeLynn Ellison works extremely hard for William Jewell Athletics, so we are extremely grateful for all she does!