With both fall and spring sports in action at once this semester, the Lehigh University Sports Communications and Multimedia Department is facing its busiest season yet.
Tasked with writing game recaps, handling media requests and managing photography and videography, among other responsibilities, the department’s staff has had to adapt to the hectic schedule of two sports seasons taking place simultaneously this spring.
Steve Lomangino, Lehigh Sports Communications director, said the department is quickly adjusting to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and that most of all, they feel fortunate to have Lehigh teams back in competition.
Lomangino said while their role remains the same, this season involves safety protocols and their impact on their interactions with coaches and officials.
“It requires flexibility in doing things a little differently than we are accustomed to doing them, but for the sake of having these contests completed as safely as we can,” Lomangino said.
With a staff of six, the department is focusing their time in order to still offer the best coverage they can to each team.
Senior assistant director Justin Lafleur reiterated how important efficiency is and said that he has faith in the staff’s ability to manage the tasks that surround game days in a COVID-19 conscious world.
“Ultimately, there is still a way to give tremendous coverage to our teams,” Lafleur said. “We just have to be wise about how we spend our time.”
Multimedia coordinator Kelly Rohrer said one thing she is focused on this season is preparation for a variety of circumstances, given the rapid changes that Lehigh Athletics has encountered over the past year.
“We have learned now that things can really change 24 hours, 48 hours before an event,” Rohrer said. “With that, we are trying to plan for a lot of different scenarios so that if there is a change at any moment, we are prepared to move forward.”
The Sports Communications and Multimedia Department intends on utilizing creativity and communication in order to overcome future hurdles.
“Everyone in the athletics department is very understanding of this being a different type of semester, so with good communication, I feel a lot of the challenges this season presents will be solvable,” Lafleur said.
Lomangino said as they gear up for the prospect of multiple streaming events every weekend in the foreseeable future, he and his colleagues are making use of the skills they developed throughout Lehigh basketball and wrestling competitions earlier this year.
The staff has been working closely with other departments to carefully schedule game times and maximize streaming capabilities.
“We are just doing everything we can to manage scheduling conflicts and as best we can (to) give our student-athletes a season that most closely resembles a normal season,” Lomangino said.
The three shared their excitement about the return to athletics and said it motivates them to continue, despite the increased workload.
“One of my favorite parts of working as a multimedia coordinator at Lehigh is being able to tell the unique stories of our student athletes,” Rohrer said. “Each one is different, and I really enjoy helping them make their voices heard.”
Despite the uncertainty of what format adjustments the team will face this spring, the Lehigh Sports Communications and Multimedia Department remains prepared to share the exceptional talents and passions of Lehigh’s student-athletes.