Alumni Highlight - Troy Plummer

Contact: Lexie Vernon

MACOMB, Ill. - Troy Plummer is currently in his fourth year as the director of athletics at Grand View University.  He has been at Grand View since 1995 where he has served as assistant baseball coach, admissions counselor, and associate athletics director before being appointed director of athletics in 2007.       

Plummer earned his undergraduate degree from Simpson College (Indianola, Iowa) with a double major in business and athletic administration.  During his time at Simpson, Plummer held an internship position involving the day-to-day operations of the athletic department.  It was during this time that he developed visions of leading a small, collegiate athletic department.     

These visions led him to the sport management graduate program at Western Illinois University.  While working on his master’s degree, he served as the graduate assistant baseball coach for the fighting Leathernecks.      

Plummer also served as an intern for the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference while completing his master’s at WIU. As a result of this experience, he encourages students to take the internship option.      

“I feel you can learn much more from the hands on experience of doing a job, as long as it is in a field that you want to work in,” Plummer said.     

Since being appointed director of athletics in 2007, Plummer has led Grand View University to being one of the top NAIA institutions in the country. New programs added were football, men’s wrestling, both men’s and women’s bowling, and competitive cheerleading.

In addition, he authorized $4 million to be spent to develop new or update current facilities. He was also awarded the Midwest Collegiate Conference Athletic Director of the year award in 2009 for his efforts. To recognize and award its accomplishments, the NAIA has rated Grand View a Five Star Champions of Character institution in each year since 2007.      

When asked about the highlight of his career so far, he stated, “Grand View won the Midwest Collegiate Conference ‘Commissioner’s Cup’ for overall athletic success in 2009-2010. It is a tribute to the hard work of the entire athletic department.”      

Plummer currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife Amy and three children, Ty (6), Kaylee (3), and Jack (1). In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, which usually involves some sort of athletic activity such as golfing or attending baseball games. His passion for family, friends, and Grand View University has led him on a path of a long and successful career.            

Macomb, Ill. ---The Sport Management program at Western Illinois University has produced a number of graduates who are having successful careers. One of those is Shawn Touney, a 2004 graduate of the program, currently employed as the media relations coordinator with the Kane County Cougars baseball team of the Midwest League.

Touney, who finds himself in the field he envisioned when he began the master’s program at Western, had some advice for current students beginning their careers.

Touney believes students should immerse themselves in opportunities in the sports industry through internships, assistantships, and part-time work in order to gain practical experience. The contacts made from these experiences will be invaluable for their careers.

He also recommended that individuals looking for a career in sports can find job vacancy announcements on the many job boards dedicated to sports such as Teamwork Online and

When preparing for the interview with a sports team Touney said, “Studying the particular organization, the year they had, and scouring their website for how they operate or market their product, will make your interview setting much more impressive and help you stand out more.”

Touney wished he could have done a couple of things better during his time at Western in order to be a better asset to potential employers. First, he wished he would have done a better job of networking with fellow students and his professors while at Western.

Another thing Touney wished he could have done better is being organized. He said that organizational skills are critical for being successful through his experiences, whether it’s with meetings, appointments, setting long-term and short-term goals and deadlines. Networking and organizational skills are invaluable in terms of being a better asset to your company.