PAUL BUBB: “IT’S A LIFESTYLE, NOT A JOB’
Courtesy: Nick Schmidt
Paul Bubb has had over 30 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics. Bubb, a 2001 graduate of the Western Illinois sport management program, is currently the associate athletic director of external affairs at Murray State University. Since Bubb left Western Illinois, he has had a very diverse and successful career.
Bubb was attracted to the sport industry when he was an assistant basketball coach at Monmouth College, where he completed his undergraduate degree. He was in charge of raising money for the team trip to Hawaii, and discovered he enjoyed this aspect of the job. He decided to pursue a career in athletic development.
His first full-time job in the sport industry was at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale as the director of athletic development from 1985 to 1988. He then moved to Drake University from 1988 to 1989 and served as the director of athletic development and director of alumni and parent programs.
Since his time at Drake University, Bubb has held a number of positions at other universities. He was at California State University, Northridge from 1990 to 1998. His positions included director of athletic development, associate athletic director, and athletic director.
He then moved on to Boise State University from 1999 to 2001 and became the assistant director for the Bronco Athletic Association. Bubb was senior associate director of athletics and then the interim athletic director at the University of Maine from 2000 to 2003. Before ending up at Murray State University, Bubb returned to the west coast where he would again become the director of athletics, but this time at Idaho State University from 2003 to 2008.
Bubb has also been in leadership positions with the NCAA. He has served as a peer reviewer for NCAA Division I Certification Teams in 2010, and served on the NCAA FCS Championship Committee in 2008, and the NCAA FCS Regional Advisory Committee from 2006 to 2007.
Besides the positions held at the universities, he is also currently a professional member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
With all of his success, Bubb stated that the greatest highlight of his career in sports has been working with interns and other young individuals as they developed professionally.
“I have enjoyed mentoring interns who have now advanced in their careers to senior level positions, including director of athletics; hiring new coaches and seeing them achieve success – two coaches who I hired as first-time head coaches have already gone on to win NCAA Division I sport championships (baseball and women’s golf),” said Bubb.
Bubb’s diversity of experience provides him with considerable insight on how to succeed in the sport industry. Bubb believes an individual should treat his or her position as a lifestyle not a job. If an individual treats the industry as it is his or her life, not just a job, it is easier to handle the everyday positives and negatives.
Another piece of advice that Bubb felt was valuable for anyone trying to get into the sport industry was to develop a good network. He recommends getting involved in national organizations, leadership positions on campus, and in the institution’s conference, and attending national conferences and meeting new people.
Bubb stated, “Also always remember to treat people the way you want to be treated – all people. You never know when one of those you have crossed paths with may have the ear of a person you are applying for a job with.”