Women In Sports Profile: Alaska Anchorage's Dede Allen
Dede Allen (left) is in her 23rd year at Alaska Anchorage and has over 30 years experience in intercollegiate athletics.
Dede Allen (left) is in her 23rd year at Alaska Anchorage and has over 30 years experience in intercollegiate athletics.
Dede Allen
Dede Allen

Monday, April 3, 2017

The third “Women in Sports” career seminar, presented by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, will be held Saturday, April 8 in Portland, Ore.

Designed for college and high school females interested in pursuing sports-related careers, the seminar will take place at Memorial Coliseum.

The event will feature panelists from a broad cross-section of occupational paths, including coaching, administration, business, marketing, media, media relations, NCAA compliance, sports medicine, ticket sales, and officiating. Attendees will have an opportunity to interact with -- and seek career advice from -- a slate of experienced sports professionals in a round-table format. 

Below is a profile on a panelist who will be featured at this year's event.

Associate Director of Athletics Compliance and Academics/Senior Woman Administrator
Colleges Attended: University of North Carolina – Asheville, Western Carolina University
College Major: B.S. Financial Management; M.S. Human Resource Development
Years In Current Position: Over 22 years

Primary Job Responsibilities: Compliance: Creating processes to avoid violations, report violations when they occur, develop and deliver compliance education to coaches, staff and other university offices with which we have contact (financial aid office, admissions). Academics: Monitoring academic progress & advising student-athletes, facilitate tutoring & monitor/intervene with at-risk S-A's). I serve as the Campus Committee as Athletics' Title IX specialist, SAAC Liaison, coordinate game management, serve as coordinator of Seawolf Hall of Fame and as a member of athletic director's executive staff.

Things You Enjoy Most About Your Job: Seeing young men & women transform over their time with us from freshmen to graduates as well as being part of a staff (UAA) and organization (NCAA) that values integrity.

Why You Pursued A Professional Career In The Athletics Industry: I realized banking wasn't for me and that I preferred the cyclical nature of the university environment. Putting my business and human resources background to work in athletics seemed like the right fit.

First Job In The Sports Industry: Lifeguard, box office ticket seller and concessions worker.

A Key Mentor Who Helped You On Your Career Path: The president of a savings and loan in Asheville, N.C., who sat down with me and talked to me about the nuts and bolts of working in the banking industry. He asked me basic questions like whether I like a flexible or set schedule, repetitive tasks or a changing horizon, working inside a large office building or outside, wearing suits or casual clothing. I know there were many other things we talked about, but this really cemented in my mind that I needed to stop looking for a job in a bank and stick where I was and develop my talents in an environment where I would thrive.

Most Influential Person In Your Early Professional Development: Ed Farrell, director of athletics at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, who created a full-time benefited position for me at UNCA after I had worked there for a couple of years on contract. We had limited budgets, but he wrote the best "thank-you" notes that genuinely recognized my hard work and effort. He noticed everything. He had high standards and expected a lot, but he was kind and forgiving if you were trying to achieve the best, even when you tried and failed.

Biggest Hurdle You Overcame Breaking Into The Sports Industry: Men assuming that I had gotten my job because I was "unfairly" benefiting from anti-discrimination laws protecting women or because of more unseemly reasons. I decided not to be bitter about that and do my job in a way that satisfied my own expectations and eventually earned their respect or ignored their ignorance.

Key Attributes That Have Helped Shape Your Career Path: Persistence, willingness to learn and adapt and the ability to ignore detractors.

Looking Back, What Is One Thing That You Would Do In College Or Early On To Help You Along Your Career Path? Studied a year abroad and become fluent in a second language.

Best Advice You Would Give To A Young Female Wanting To Work In Sports: Be willing to do the grunt work and start at the bottom with full expectation that you will EARN your way to the top.

Favorite Sports Team: The Seavolves – that’s where my paycheck comes from; the Dallas Cowboys – that’s where I was born.

Favorite Athlete: Secretariat.

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: There are two! Watching Secretariat win the Triple Crown & the 1980 Miracle on Ice hockey team besting the Russians to get to the final game and then winning the Olympics.

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