Alumni Spotlight - 2016 IAL Alum, Cole Moore!

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We had the chance to catch up with 2016 IAL alumnus, Cole Moore, who's been doing exciting things as the Director of Football Operations/Player Personnel at Montana State University—including fulfilling his dream of leading student-athletes on an international Habitat for Humanity trip. Read all about the trip and what Cole's been up to below: 

  • First and foremost, what drew you to the intercollegiate sports/sports industry?

    • Ever since I can remember, sports have been a huge part of my life. Whether it was playing, spectating, or coaching sports have always been there. When I finished my collegiate athletic career and playing professionally was not an option due to injury, I knew that I had to stay involved in athletics or else my life would feel incomplete. The UW IAL program was the perfect transition into a career in intercollegiate athletics…Sports taught me so many life lessons that shaped who I am today–teamwork, competitiveness,  discipline, sacrifice, commitment, work ethic, mental/physical toughness, etc.–this list can go on and on. Also, I am a firm believer that athletics and education can and should coexist, they are not mutually exclusive. In my eyes, there is no better job in the world than helping student-athletes achieve their academic and athletic goals in tandem.

  • Can you explain a typical day in your role of Director of Football Operations, and what’s your favorite aspect of your role?

    • A typical day in my role includes overseeing special football projects, managing the football operating budget, interacting and working with athletic administrators to solve problems, recruiting future student-athletes, and planning for future events, along with a number of other duties. The greatest aspect of my job is that no day is the same, it keeps me on my toes and requires me to anticipate things before they happen.

  • What aspects of your education from the IAL M.Ed. program at UW proved to be the most useful in your current position?

    • While there are many aspects of the IAL curriculum that have proved useful in my current position, I would say without a doubt that the most significant aspect of the program that has helped me today was simply my cohort. I learned so much from being around a diverse group of peers that offered different opinions and viewpoints on all of the topics covered in the IAL curriculum. Their unique perspectives on topics we discussed in class have undoubtedly stayed with me and I often reflect back on my classmates opinions and thoughts when dealing with relative problems or conflict in my current role.  

  • You’ve had the dream of taking students on a Habitat for Humanity trip since your time in the IAL program, why was that so important to you?

    • I participated in a Habitat for Humanity service project in 2014 in Braga, Portugal, and the moment I returned home I knew that if I was ever in the position to be able to lead a group of student-athletes on a similar trip I wouldn't hesitate to put it together. The entire IAL program helped me channel my inner passion for travel, humanitarian service, and student-athlete experience. Often in intercollegiate athletics, and I am guilty to of it to a certain extent, people get caught up in winning and losing in between the white lines, but the purpose of intercollegiate athletics extends far beyond the white lines or playing surface. What it is really all about is giving student-athletes the best possible 4-to-5-year experience and preparing them for life after their playing career is over. The Habitat for Humanity trip was the perfect opportunity for me to put into practice what I believe is the ultimate purpose of intercollegiate athletics.

  • What were the steps you had to take in order to make this dream of yours reality?

    • The first step of this process was getting the approval of our athletic director and head football coach, which both of them were very supportive. Second, I had to complete 10 hours of training with Habitat for Humanity to be certified as a trip leader. As you can probably imagine, there is a lot that Habitat has to prepare you for to lead a group of 10 young adults on a foreign service project. Third, I had to select 10 student-athletes who would participate in the trip. I had anyone interested in the trip write me a 250-word essay addressing previous travel experience, why they were interested in the trip, and what they hoped to gain from the trip. After finalizing the team, the last step in the process, which proved to be most difficult, was fundraising. With the support of local businesses, individual donors, and our head football coach we successfully raised the needed funds after about 8 months.

  • You mentioned that the most rewarding aspect of the trip was seeing the impact it had on your student-athletes, can you elaborate on that impact? What do you think your students took away from this trip?

    • The student-athletes that participated in the trip were all from the state of Montana and had very little to no previous travel experience outside of the United States. Their opportunity to travel to a foreign country and experience a different culture unlike anything they had experienced before was life changing for them. There are so many different ways of life in a world of 7.5 billion people and for the student-athletes to be completely immersed in a different culture for eight days was an experience they will always carry with them. Secondly, they were able to gain an appreciation for how fortunate they are back home in Montana. The home that we helped build was for a family that had very little economic means and did not have a stable living situation. Reading in the newspaper or watching on T.V. about less fortunate people is one thing, but seeing it with your own eyes is quite different.

  • What advice would you give to a current IAL student on achieving their goals after graduation?

    • Network, never give up, follow your passions, and no job is ever to small. Intercollegiate athletics is one of the most competitive industries to break into as a young professional. You constantly have to find ways to separate yourself from your competition. While completing the IAL program is a great start, you must take advantage of every opportunity to enhance your professional network and  diversify your value. Stay in touch with members of your cohort!

 

Watch the recap of the MSU Bobcats' Habitat for Humanity trip here