Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wanted: New UConn Mouthpiece For Geno

By Mel Greenberg

Do you have an expertise in journalism, media guide publications, and are also internet savy?

Are you ready to handle barages of phone calls, seemingly at all times around the clock, from print, online, and electronic media types?

Do you know where to keep the nearest headache remedies when you learn your high-profile women's basketball coach goes off, sometimes unintentionally, with some comment that creates instant controversy which can last for several weeks depending on the nature of the remark?

Can you keep your mind coherent in the middle of the night while updating the ongoing individual and team statistics besides revising a hefty package of notes reflecting the last game played and the next one that's just on the horizon.

Well, if you can answer all those questions in a positive manner and lots more to a search committee and the coach -- Geno Auriemma -- as well, you might become the next spokesperson for the nationally prominent University of Connecticut women's basketball program that will be making a return visit to the White House next Monday -- not today as the Guru wrote last week -- to celebrate a second NCAA straight title.

A vacancy for the prominent Sports Information Director assistant has occurred with the apparent surprise departure of the likeable Randy Press, who has been the Huskies' media liason since the 2004-05 season following a similar stint at Penn State.

Word of Press' aparent departure began surfacing going into the weekend catching many of his close friends in both the media and CoSIDA profession off guard.

Barb Kowal, one of the legendary UConn women's SIDS of the past who went on to Texas, had yet to post word of the opening on CoSIDA's tweeter account, which she runs for the national organization as part of her social media duties.

However, the position specs, which are listed at the bottom, appeared on a recent series of UConn's job availabilities on a listserve run by the University.

"I hope it's nothing bad," said one Big East SID colleague expressing shock at the report of the opening. "I love the guy. I had no idea. Usually when someone is moving on from a school, especially a prominent one, they send a note around making us aware of the impending vacancy."

USA Basketball's Caroline Williams, who is Auriemma's media liason for his duties as the women's coach for the Senior National Team heading into the 2012 Olympics in London, England, also was surprised with the report which she received before leaving on a weekend outing in the Rockies. USA Basketball is located in Colorado Springs.

Press' departure was also news to Temple women's coach Tonya Cardoza, the former longtime UConn assistant, in a brief facebook chat Friday night with the Guru.

"Wow. I hadn't heard anything like that," said Cardoza, who keeps in touch with events at her former place of employment.

Certainly, there didn't seem to be an awareness a week ago Tuesday when the Guru covered the WNBA Connecticut Sun exhibition game against the Atlanta Dream at home in Uncasville.

The only non-basketball topic in the media room was the Guru clariying that he "only retired from The Philadelphia Inquirer" and not from chronicling women's basketball.

A Division III SID who assists Sun home games said Friday night he heard the report but had no details. The Guru was not on hand and was unable to reach any of his friends among the vast Huskies womne's media contingent, the infamous group known as The Horde that the next UConn women's SID will get to know real well ready or not.

Press has been a close friend of the Guru's over the years dating back to the Penn State era.

Meanwhile, one of the Guru's young blogerette associates, not connected to UConn, received a copy the job posting on the internal university listserve announcing job vacancies primarily at the Storrs campus,

The university is located about a half-hour or more -- depending on traffic -- from Hartford through rolling countryside in the nice months and blizzard-like conditions at times in the winter.

The one consolation is that though the area is considered socially-challenged for persons beyond collegiate age, there's scant time for a social life anyhow, escept among colleagues under similar circumstances, in handling the UConn women's job.

That said, here is the posting.

Though the Guru has been one of the persons usually consulted on past hires for the position, the paperwork should be sent to persons directed in the posting that now follows.

The Guru has yet to be named as a headhunter this time around. That said, those of you who are legitimate candidates with interest, feel free to drop the Guru a short note so he will be ready for any phone calls that may come from up North.

And no, the Guru himself is not throwing his hat into the ring.

-- Mel

Writer/Editor III (UCP V)
Assistant Director of Athletic Communications
Division of Athletics


The University of Connecticut is seeking applications and nominations for the position of Assistant Director of Athletic Communications. The primary focus of this position will be the performance of all necessary functions involved as the University media representative and day-to-day contact for the nationally-prominent women’s basketball program in addition to other sport programs as assigned by the Associate Athletic Director for Communications. The related duties of this position will include: the design, drafting and editing of press releases, game programs and all media guides – both printed and digital; the maintenance of records and statistics involving the assigned sport programs; the frequent review and provision of timely information for the Division of Athletics website; the supervision of student assistants and gameday workers and performing necessary responsibilities as the media/communication liaison with other offices within the University.

Minimum Qualifications:

1. Bachelor's degree in journalism, english, communications or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
2. 2-4 years writing experience in a Division I collegiate sports information office.
3. Advanced writing and grammatical skills, as demonstrated by writing samples; writing ability suitable for radio or video may be required by some departments.
4. Ability to meet deadlines, take initiative and work independently to carry out difficult assignments.
5. Advanced communication and interpersonal skills.
6. Basic knowledge of graphic design and awareness of graphic needs of publications.
7. Knowledge of pertinent NCAA rules and regulations.

Preferred Qualifications:
1. Two years of experience in a related media relations/sports communications position for either a professional or Division I college men’s or women’s basketball program.
2. Demonstrated proficiency in website utilities and desktop publishing as well as experience with in-game statistical computer programs.

This is a full-time position. Salary is commensurate with experience.

To Apply: Submit letter of application, resume, and names of three references to: Search Committee-Assistant Director of Athletic Communications, University of Connecticut, 2095 Hillside Road, Storrs, CT 06269-1173. Applications may also be sent via fax to: 860-486-3300 or email to: jobsinathletics@uconn.edu. Screening will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. (Search # 2010439)

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