'Women in Sports' Panelist Profile: Carrie Kosderka-Farrell
Kosderka-Farrell is in her 12th year as head softball coach at Concordia.  She also serves as an assistant athletic director for the Cavaliers.
Kosderka-Farrell is in her 12th year as head softball coach at Concordia. She also serves as an assistant athletic director for the Cavaliers.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Second in a series 

The second annual “Women in Sports” career seminar, presented by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, will be held Saturday, Jan. 24 in Portland, Ore.

Designed for college and high school females interested in pursuing sports-related careers, the seminar will take place in the Georgia Pacific Room 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.

Panelist Profile: Carrie Kosderka-Farrell, Concordia University

Head Softball Coach I Asst. AD/Student Welfare and Development 

Carrie Kodskerka-Farrell is in her 12th season as the head softball coach at Concordia University-Portland. During her coaching career with the Cavaliers, she has overseen the emergence of Concordia as one of the dominant teams in the region. In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Kosderka-Farrell as serves as an assistant athletic director responsible for student welfare and development.

Prior to being named the Cavaliers' head coach in 2003, Kosderka-Farrell spent two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Utah.

Colleges attended:

  • University of Utah (undergraduate)

  • Western Seminary (graduate)

College major:

  • Undergraduate: Social Science/Secondary Education

  • Graduate: Counseling

Years in current position: 12

Primary job responsibilities:

Head Softball Coach                                                                     

  • Recruiting

  • Fundraising

  • Team development

  • Travel planning

 Assistant AD

  • Teach SALT (Student-Athlete Leadership Training)

  • Supervise Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

  • Head of Fellowship of Christian Athletes

  • Liaison with student service

  • Service projects

  • Evaluate exit interviews

  • Crisis management mentorship

Things I enjoy most about my job: I love mentoring student-athletes.  I love being in the good and the bad parts of their journey.  I love developing teams and bringing out leadership qualities in people.  I do like crisis management.  I like using problem-solving skills on a moment’s notice as well as my counseling education. I love being on the field every day and working with my assistants to help lead my program. I like meeting new people all of the time and having every day at work be different.

First job in the sports industry: Assistant softball coach at the University of Utah
A key mentor who helped me on my career path: Lance McDonald, former ASA softball coach
Most influential person in my early professional development: Mona Stevens, former head softball coach at the University of Utah
How I got involved in my professional career: I coached very early.  I started at 18.  I took every coaching opportunity I could.  I was willing to put in the hours for little pay. I was upfront with my coaches that I wanted to learn everything possible about coaching and put it into practice. I got into administration by accident.  We were in need of a compliance officer.  I had proven to my athletic director that I could take on big challenges by running the university’s biggest event on my own.  That led me to getting into administration at 28 years of age.
Biggest hurdle I overcame breaking into the sports industry: Dealing with others lack of ethics.  I left high-level sports because I couldn’t deal with all the corrupt things that went on around me.  I never wanted to lie to recruits or break rules.  That is one of main reasons I left the DI level.
Key attributes that have helped shape my career path: I am very personable.  This helps with recruiting, mentoring and coaching.  I am almost hyper social.  I want to be involved in the growth of my athletes and pretty much everyone around me. I am very hard working.  I don't sleep enough because I want to tackle as much as possible. I am a visionary.  I love to see the big picture and develop programs.  I also am not afraid to be different from others as long as it serves my student-athletes.
Knowing what I know now, the one thing I would do differently in college to help me on my career path: I would have gotten more involved.  I was injured the majority of time I was in college.  I spent more time at doctors than in class.  I wish I could have been more involved in things other than school and sports.  My students at Concordia do so many remarkable things and I think I live vicariously through them.
Best advice I’d give to a young female wanting to work in sports: Be fearless.  You have a voice, and no matter who your boss or coworkers are, you have something to bring to the table.  I have been blessed with bosses that let me be who I am and take risks.  I am so grateful for that.  I was always nervous of messing up when I was younger.  I now look at that as such a waste of time.  If you make a mistake you learn from it and move on. Being passive and holding back never gets you or the people you are leading where they need to be.

Favorite sports team: I am not that big into sports.  I know that seems hypocritical.  I follow softball mostly and love the Oklahoma Sooners.  On the pro level, the team I have to root for is the Denver Broncos because I love Peyton Manning.
Favorite athlete: Jessica Mendoza, former softball national team player
Most memorable sports-related moment: Winning my first conference championship and carrying my little girl Gracie onto the field saying to her, "We finally did it.”