The sports information director has passion for sports, the ability to communicate with the public and keeps the game statistics in order, among many other tedious jobs.
The man in charge of all this is Jon Wallin, who has worked for 10 years in the UMHB sports department.
Wallin is responsible for everything from staffing the press boxes to reporting results and reporting statistics to the American Southwest Confer-ence. He also attends many of the games the university has to offer and travels for some of the away games.
He nominates players for players of the week awards and tries to get them recognized nationally. His list of duties continues to grow because he is also in charge of the athletic Web site and writes radio broadcasts for local stations.
“The most rewarding thing about my job is having our athletic students being recognized,” he said. “I know how hard they work and they’re not on scholarship. To put in the amount of time they do at practice and go study; to have them recognized and put their picture in the paper means a lot.”
Wallin graduated from Baylor and has always been in the communication field. He worked for the ABC station in Waco, in the news department for two years, as the weatherman for three years and as the sports anchor for three years.
Wallin has always loved watching and playing sports.
“My favorite sport to watch is probably football, both college and professional,” he said. “I like to play softball; I like to play golf. Whatever the kids are playing, I like to mess around and do that, too.”
Basketball Head Coach Ken Deweese constantly interacts with Wallin during the basketball season.
“I consider him irreplaceable,” DeWeese said. “We couldn’t function without him. We wouldn’t get any attention or media without Jon Wallin. A portion of the awards the team gains every season should go to him.”
Football Head Coach Pete Fredenburg has been here almost as long as Wallin. He believes Wallin is the single most vital person in the UMHB athletic program.
“He is maybe the most important because of his dedication and great work he does and he does it all with such grace,” Fredenburg said. “I would like to tell him how much I admire him for his dedication, hard work and positive attitude.”
Wallin doesn’t have a typical eight-hour-a-day job. During the fall semester, he puts in about 80 hours a week, inhibiting some of his family time. He has a 10-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter who attend some of the games. Wallin says they have a knack for knowing the players and positions.
“They want to know what daddy is doing, so they keep up with it, too,” he said.
Being at work and on the road can be hard.
“It’s difficult at times, but they’re very understanding, and we try to work it out where either they come to the game or I sneak away here and there,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it takes a toll. My wife is very understanding and very patient.”
Wallin said it’s great to work with the coaches and players. He thinks everybody in the sports program is willing to help each other and that they are all good at their jobs.
Deweese thinks Wallin is an asset to UMHB and thanks him for all he does for him, the other coaches and the teams.
He said, “We couldn’t find any two people who are better than him at his job.”