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Delivering News From The Source

New Sports Information Director

By: Dylan Thomas

Waldorf welcomed a new Sports Information Director (SID), Mike Stetson, on September 29, after abruptly losing the previous SID just a short three weeks prior.

As a SID, they’re in charge of compiling states and helping with live streaming at all home sporting events. The SID communicates the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) and the North Star Athletic Association as well as writing articles on the websites in order to promote each team, and attract new recruits. The SID also collaborates with other SIDs and media outlets to give them pronunciation guides, rosters, player anecdotes, etc.

Matt Oliver served as Waldorf’s previous SID, and after resigning from his job the day after Labor Day, Kyle Smith, Sports Information Graduate Assistant, who had only officially started his employment here at Waldorf on August 1, served as SID until Stetson was hired. “I pretty much ran the sports information department by myself for three consecutive weeks, with the exception of help in the photography aspect by Tara KIngland,” Smith stated. When the opening came up in early September, the Athletic Department did some advertising and Stetson was an individual that a telephone interview was done with. From there, Denny Jerome, Director of Athletics, did reference checks and “felt really good about him.”

“One of the big things is Stetson is very efficient in doing his work and professional in the way he handles and works with people. Stetson has that valuable experience so everything Waldorf does in this program, he’s done before, which is something we needed because we didn’t want to get in that situation of training someone new,” Jerome explained.

Stetson attended school at University of Idaho. His first job was as a newspaper sports reporter in his hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska, where he worked for a year. He then moved to Nampa, Idaho and worked as a sports reporter and editor, for the town’s newspaper, for 16 years. There he covered the College of Idaho and Northwest Nazarene University (NNU). In 2013, he moved to the sports information director at NNU. When he first started at NNU, Stetson was the only person in the department- no student workers, no graduates. He was in charge of covering all the sports. He then moved to Forest City in September.

Stetson decided to make the move to Iowa due to Waldorf having a variety of programs, the programs really having a chance to excel, being a private school, and having that Christian element. “I like that at Waldorf we have Chapel, you can mention the word God without being beaten by crazed people, but that it isn’t so ruling what you do in your life. Waldorf lets you be a Christian without telling you how to be a Christian. It’s a warm and inviting place,” Stetson reflected. Stetson says that just in the first few days he’s been very flattered by the reception he’s gotten from people on the campus.

“I meet people, and they tell me “we love your articles, you’re so positive and you’ve brought this great attitude to it.” and although, i’m flattered by that, that’s just what I see as my job. I’m only here because I want to make our student athletes and our programs, stars. It’s not about me, it’s about their accomplishments on the field, in the classroom, those are the things that are highlighted,” Stetson declares.

“We’re very happy with Stetson. He was put in a tough situation and he passed with flying colors. He did all of the things we hoped he would do, and he did them well. We were very pleased with the results,” Jerome exclaimed. Stetson comments that’s the transfer has been fairly easy in the work aspect. Stetson had never actually done football before so he had to called a friend, who’s the SID at the College of Idaho, and got a quick crash course on how to do football stats.  

“I was a little bit panicked the first half of the game, but by the second half of the game things were going smoothly.” Stetson remarked. Outside of work, the move from Nampa, population: 91,382, to Forest City, population: 4,013, came as quite a shock to Stetson and his family. Stetson has been with his wife, Diana, for about a year and half. They have two daughters, Heavenlee and Hannah, who are actually Diana’s nieces. Her brother passed away about a year ago from complications of Diabetes, and although she has always played a mother figure in their life, she made it official and adopted them.

Although Stetson and his family have had to make some adjustments from living in a big city to a small town, they considered Forest City to be a really big blessing. Their two daughters are able to ride their bike out in the yard, and they let the dogs stay out all day and not have to worry. When Stetson was hired, he was immediately thrown into work the next day with covering the football game, and the days following. “He took the ball and ran with it. One of the compliments we heard about Stetson was he’s very proactive and he’s self motivated. Stetson takes a lot of pride in his work and that’s important for us,” Jerome admired.