Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Alumni Highlight - Ron Seibring
WIU Alumnus Ron Seibring reflects on his career and advises for the future
Courtesy: Philip Baughman
A native of Chebance, Ill., Ronald Seibring (M. S., 1982) director of sport facilities and campus recreation at St. Cloud State University, is a first generation college student that started his undergraduate degree unsure as to what he wanted to do as a career.
When he arrived on campus he started getting involved with the Recreation Department in various ways. He eventually got his undergraduate degree in health with minors in physical education and business education. After completion of his student teaching at East Moline High School, he returned to Macomb to get his master’s degree at the urging of then Assistant Intramural Director, Stan Campbell.
As a graduate student at Western, Seibring served as a graduate assistant with Intramurals. Upon completion of classes at Western, he was hired by the Campus Recreation Department at Western Illinois University on the men’s side. During his time at Western, Seibring also met his future wife, Jan, who was a student worker for Intramurals.
After approximately two years with Western, he took a job at the University of Wisconsin-Stout as the director of Recreation Sports in 1980. In 1982, upon completion of his thesis, Seibring was hired at Wichita State University as the Director of Intramural Sports. He was involved with opening Heskett Center, the university’s new recreation center.
Then in 1986, Seibring took a position at St. Cloud State University and where he currently is still employed.
Seibring believes that when starting a career in sport it is important to get involved with as many sporting events as possible. The experience that is gained from working with these events will better prepare an individual for the sport world.
The aspect that he pointed out as being most important from his experience is the ability to make decisions. Seibring stated that there is much learned in the classroom, however, until one is exposed to real situations that need decisions made, there is no way to attain that experience.
When reflecting on his experiences, Seibring mentioned how important it was to take advantage of the full breadth of opportunities available in sport. One example he gave was how he was not able to fully get involved in the outdoor recreation side of campus recreation while at Western, which is an area highly regarded nationally. Seibring stated that gaining experience in various areas and with different events is one way to separate yourself from other candidates going for the same position.
When asked about trends in the sport world that the next generation of sport managers need to aware of, Seibring stated that it is important to be outcome based. It is important to prove that your organization has goals and is meeting those goals.
The other trend he sees is the importance of partnering with other agencies. He mentioned about how most events he hosts require the support of other agencies.
Seibring has a keen interest in what the future for the sport management industry holds. Three of his four kids, Megan, Matt and Micki, already have or soon will be working in sport. His youngest, Mike, still has not decided what he wants to do but based on the insight gained from Seibring, he would be able to gain practical knowledge about career opportunities in sport from his dad.