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OHIO’s Center for Sports Administration celebrates 10th anniversary

Thursday, December 10 2015 12:00am

Alumni, students, and faculty gathered Thurs., Dec. 3 to celebrate a huge milestone for the Center for Sports Administration: its 10th anniversary.

by Brianna Wilson

If there’s anything the Center for Sports Administration (CSA) has learned since its formation on Dec. 5, 2005, it’s that a lot can happen in ten years. To celebrate the CSA’s many accomplishments of the past decade, the program featured six speakers: the dean, the current student, the alumni turned professor, the retiree, the new guy, and the man behind the CSA, Jim Kahler, who’s served as director of the CSA since its founding ten years ago.

What did they have to say?

  • College of Business Dean Hugh Sherman: “Looking back, I have to thank former Dean Gary Neiman for founding the Center to institutionalize and build our professional network--and for choosing Jim Kahler to lead it. Jim has been a driving force in this program’s success over the past 10 years.”
  • Current MSA student president Parker Poliakoff: “On behalf of the students, we can’t thank you enough for the opportunities this program has provided to us, the alumni we’ve been able to connect with, and all that we’ve learned.”
  • Alum turned professor Louie Iglesias: “Jim [Kahler], there’s a bear in all of us, and you poke that bear. You challenge us all to do more, and the success we have is because of that. For that I thank you.”
  • Retiree Dr. Andrew Kreutzer: “The Center has a face, and it’s his [Jim Kahler’s] face. He epitomizes leadership, and our students know they have an industry leader behind them. Our program is poised to stay a step ahead; we have a team with foresight, energy, and ability, and that’s thanks to Jim [Kahler].”
  • New guy Bob Boland: “I was one of those people in many other programs who kept chasing a shadow, which was always ahead of me--and that was OHIO. So rather than compete, I joined up. I couldn’t be happier to be here.”
  • Man of the Hour Jim Kahler: “I want to pay tribute to our students. The talent that come through that door every year is astonishing, and a cornerstone of the program’s success.”

What are some of the Center’s biggest accomplishments to date?

  • SportBusiness International ranks our Professional MSA and dual MSA/MBA programs the best in the world--and it has for years
  • TheBestSchools.org recently named the Professional MSA program first on its list of “The Best Online Sport Management Master Degree Programs”.
  • Building an alumni network of more than 3,000 alumni who are now sports professionals around the world
  • The Center moved to the College of Business five years ago to prepare students with core business skills that are critical in today’s landscape
  • The Center now supports the Bachelor of Sport Management, Master of Sports Administration, Master of Athletics Administration, and MSA.
  • Founding the Darren Butler Sports Business Forum, an annual event that connects students with sports business professionals. While the event began as a small speaker series, it now is one of the most esteemed professional development opportunities in the region for sports business students.
  • Supporting the overall University raise its national and global profile through media coverage. Current faculty Jim Kahler, Norm O’Reilly, and David Ridpath were recently honored as some of the University’s top newsmakers at this year’s inaugural Faculty Newsmakers Gala. Kahler was recognized as the faculty with the highest number of media placements.
  • The Center has co-hosted five Race For A Reason events with O’Bleness Hospital and Athletes in Action. Last year, the event boasted 1,050 participants and raised more than $115,000 for 107 charities, non-profits, and student organizations.

With a history of excellence, only one question remains: What’s next for the Center?

Starting in January 2016, Robert Boland, J.D., will assume the role of director of the Master of Sports Administration Program. Kahler will focus his efforts more fully on the growing Center for Sports Administration, as the executive director.

“I’m excited to build additional programs and initiatives to maintain the MSA program’s reputation as a global leader and contribute to the Department of Sports Administration,” said Kahler. “Building new programs and partnerships, facilitating student experiences, and engaging more with alumni is a role that I look forward to as we continue to grow.”

Kahler and the Center will focus on undergraduate students, in addition to the graduate students it now serves, and on executive education. 

As Kahler said at the celebration, “It’s been a great years, and there’s more to be done. We are incredibly excited for what’s next.”