UMD Hosts College Athletics Leadership Symposium

Maryland Athletics
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Collegiate Athletics Leadership Symposium (CALS) partnered with the University of Maryland for a three-day conference as a panel of top administrators discussed  the most current and relevant issues in collegiate athletics.

The event kicked off Sunday night in Heritage Hall at the Comcast Center with opening remarks from University of Maryland President Dr. Wallace D. Loh, who was introduced by director of athletics Kevin Anderson. Loh commented on the importance of athletics as an overall portrayal of an entire institution.

“Athletics are a microcosm of American life – an enterprise that engages people’s passion,” Loh said. “The perception of your institution comes from athletics. The loyalty and spirit to the university comes from athletics.”

Loh also shared the importance of innovation and globalization, in addition to adapting to the quick advancement of technology.

Keynote speaker DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players association, opened Monday’s session discussing the development of future leaders.

“This symposium is a very user-friendly, but intense think tank for senior management administrators,” said Nebraska associate athletic director Jamie Williams, who joined the conference for a third consecutive year.

Montana State University director of athletics Peter Fields, who was also a panelist on facility planning, enjoyed the opportunity to exchange ideas with the top administrators in collegiate athletics in a small setting, and was impressed with Under Armour’s presentation on developing, growing and managing a brand.

“It is great to make these important connections, build friendships and engage in sharing information, which can provide solutions to the challenges we all have in front of us,” Fields said. “I now have a better understanding that we need to connect with a younger audience when designing and developing our future uniforms and apparel.”

Will Reece, director of CALS, called the symposium a success and credited the University of Maryland for its role as host.

“Maryland was a very logical selection because of Kevin Anderson’s reputation in athletics and his tireless work as the past president of NACDA,” Reece said. “Maryland has also had an outstanding reputation and a tremendous legacy in athletics.”

Reece’s ultimate goal for the three-day symposium was for the participants to build strong relationships that will help them in their current and future roles in collegiate athletics.

“It is our hope that everyone leaves the symposium re-energized ,” Reece said. “They bring back great ideas to their respective campus and then are successfully able to implement them."

The 2013 program concludes tomorrow  with panels discussing strategies for sustained revenue growth, creating and maintaining a compliant culture and crisis management.