Lehigh sports managers play key role behind the scenes


Sports team managers are not student athletes, but they play a role on their teams both for the coaches and overall functionality of the program.

The managers step forward to help Lehigh teams for many reasons. They might be former athletes, people interested in the sport or have family involved with the team.

Kacie Bogar ’18, left, and Kelsey Lynch ’17 stnad on Thursday, March 30, 2017 in the Caruso Wrestling Complex. Each began managing the team during their freshman year. (Allison LeBeau/B&W Staff)

The wrestling team has two managers — senior Kelsey Lynch and junior Kacie Bogar, both of whom have been involved with the team since their freshman years. Lynch and Bogar grew up around wrestling and were the managers for their high school team as well.

“I just fell in love with the sport,” Lynch said. “Wrestling is one of those sports where if you’re in, you’re in.”

Bogar said being able to manage a wrestling team was actually a criteria when looking at schools for college.

The role as a manager can include office hours, calling schools to obtain recruits’ transcripts, food shopping for away trips, filling the water, organizing clothing, filming practice and games, taking stats, running the clock and scoreboard, playing music, etc.

“We just really enjoy it,” Bogar said. “Even though it’s work and sometimes is long and exhausting, it’s a break from school and academics and stressful things here. We get to watch a sport that we both really enjoy.”

Graduate student, Mackenzie Velasquez poses on Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Saxby’s. She is one of the four managers for the men’s basketball team and was a member of the softball team as an undergraduate student. (Allison LaBeau/B&W Staff)

Graduate student MacKenzie Velasquez is a former softball player at Lehigh and currently manages the men’s basketball team.

The team’s graduate assistant, Noel Hightower, knew Velasquez and asked her if she wanted to help out. She accepted the position to fill her extra time.

“I was done with softball, and the difference between an undergraduate student athlete to a regular graduate student is the time that I had on my hands was huge,” Velasquez said.

As a former student athlete, Velasquez understands the athletes and knows what a hectic schedule they have.

“I try to make it easier on them just because I have the time,” Velasquez said. “If I can make a practice easier by getting their practice gear out for them, instead of them having to dig through their stuff, then I can do it.”

When senior Taylor Carroll quit the volleyball team her junior year, she sought out a manager position with the women’s basketball team.

Taylor Carroll ’17, stands outside of Stabler Arena on Monday, April 2, 2017. Formerly on the volleyball team, she sought out a team to manage her junior year. (Allison LeBeau/B&W Staff)

“Having been on a team before, there are certain aspects of being on a team that you miss out on,” Carroll said. “I thought it would be cool to see how another team operates and get that perspective on a team.”

Carroll said her experience could help her in the future, being able to transfer skills to the workplace like working in a team setting and seeing different coaching and leadership styles.

While other managers sought out a team to manage, the men’s lacrosse team came to senior Lilly Shields.

“The head coach is a family friend, and once he found out I’d accepted my offer at Lehigh he asked me if I’d be interested in being the new manager,” Shields said.

Hesitant about the idea at first, Shields decided it would be a good opportunity to stay involved even though she never pursued college lacrosse as a player. Shields’ younger brother, Ralph, is a sophomore midfielder who walked on to the team last spring.

Lilly Shields ’17, stands in the press box during the men’s lacrosse team game against Boston University on Saturday, April 1, 2017. She has managed the men’s lacrosse team since her freshman year.(Allison LaBeau/B&W Staff)

Shields, along with Carroll, said the most difficult part about being a team manager is the time commitment. Missing weekends at school because of an away game or being unable to join school clubs because of practice time are some of the challenges that come with team schedules.

Balancing academics, a team manager role and a busy social life have produced organized and multitasking skills from the managers.

“In a professional sense, I don’t think there is better training in time management than being a manager of a sports team,” Shields said.

In addition to managerial skills, they said the best part about being a team manager across all sports is the relationships that form. Each manager praised their team members and coaches for being welcoming and inclusive to them.

“Some of these guys have been my best friends throughout my college experience, and I’m so thankful for that,” Shields said.

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  1. Robert Davenport on

    The author has a talent for writing as well as for Lacrosse. As a former manager, though not at Lehigh, it was good to see the spotlight on people who are often behind the scenes but provide essential services.

    Are there any male managers at Lehigh? It does seem as though the number of female managers has increased over the years.

      • Robert Davenport on

        How many BBall mgrs. are there? What tasks do you perform? What tasks do the others perform? Do tasks overlap i.e. multiple people doing the same thing? Do all go on road trips? Good luck inthe classroom and at the court, locker room etc.

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