GREENEVILLE – As the Greeneville Flyboys play their inaugural season in the Appalachian League, a group of Tusculum University graduate students is helping the team achieve success by performing integral behind-the-scenes work.
Cassie Born, Grant Crosby, Alexis Grampp, Justin Irwin and Amber Weber are enrolled in the Master of Arts in sport administration program. One of the requirements of earning this degree is to complete an internship, and these five will be with the Flyboys through the remainder of the season, which lasts until August.
Crosby and Grampp are serving in operations for the Flyboys, while Born and Weber are taking care of ticket sales. Irwin is serving as the baseball team’s strength and conditioning coach.
“Time management is a big thing for us with this internship,” Crosby said. “We like to arrive at the park early and complete our duties. Plus, we are able to see the daily operations and what goes into holding a baseball game. We all just pitch in and have learned much so far. I have been able to watch the others perform their jobs, and that has taught me some additional things.”
Born, Crosby and Grampp hold bachelor’s degrees from Tusculum and played on one of the athletic teams. Born earned her bachelor’s in biology, with a minor in math and environmental science, from Tusculum. She played for the Pioneers’ women’s indoor volleyball team and served this year as graduate assistant coach for the men’s volleyball team.
Crosby transferred to Tusculum and earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management, with a minor in business. He played on the university’s baseball team for two years. Grampp earned her bachelor’s degree in sport management from Tusculum and was a member of the softball team, which won the South Atlantic Conference tournament this year, as a graduate student.
Irwin came to Tusculum to serve as strength and conditioning coach for the men’s basketball team, and Weber arrived at the university to serve as graduate assistant coach for the women’s indoor volleyball and beach volleyball teams.
All five students are eyeing careers as coaches. Crosby has been hired as pitching coach for Barton College in North Carolina starting in August. As these students prepare for the next step in their careers, they have enjoyed and benefited from their experience with the Flyboys.
“I’ve learned more about sales,” Weber said. “That was not my specialty, but reaching out to people in this role will help me with recruiting players and talking to high school coaches about them. That is going to serve me well in my volleyball coaching career. This internship has let me branch out, built my resume and given me other options if I ever decide to pursue something besides coaching.”
Irwin played baseball when he was younger and said it is nice to be around the sport again.
“This internship will allow me to broaden my horizons in the sport field, and this will assist me big time with future career opportunities,” he said. “Ideally, I want to be a strength and conditioning coach for a Power 5 Division I basketball program, but after this stint with the Flyboys, I could definitely see baseball as an avenue that I could explore.”
Born said serving with the Flyboys has strengthened her customer service skills and enabled her to see the financial and sponsorship elements of sport. She said that will give her extra knowledge as a coach should her team need to raise funds and find sponsors. Grampp said the internship has helped her address her shyness by giving her more opportunities to talk and interact with others.
Tim Wilson, associate professor of sport management, is pleased to see how the students have embraced this internship. He said the group is performing excellent work for the Flyboys.
“Tusculum is focused on providing active and experiential learning that equips students to be career-ready professionals,” he said. “This internship is an outstanding way to achieve those goals and be part of organization in its initial stages of development. All five of them will emerge from this internship as well-rounded individuals in the sport profession and have a positive impact during their career.”
More information about Tusculum’s Master of Arts in sport administration program is available at https://web.tusculum.edu/academics/programs/masa/.