'Women in Sports': WOU's Randi Lydum

Monday, December 8, 2014

Latest 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. In addition, the seminar will include a "professional development segment" and networking reception presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

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

Randi Lydum, Western Oregon University
Director of Compliance/SWA 

College attended:

  • Western Oregon State College (Now Western Oregon University)

College major:

  • Major: Health Education
  • Minor Language Arts (K-12 teaching certification) 

Current position: Director of Compliance/SWA at Western Oregon University

Years in current position: Entering 3rd year

Primary job responsibilities:

  • Coordinate and monitor all compliance functions within a NCAA DII Athletic program
  • Plan and implement monthly rules education programs for athletic staff
  • Coordinate and track initial and continuing eligibility process for 350 student-athletes
  • Compile and submit NCAA APC, ASR, and Sports Sponsorship Reports
  • Coordinate NLI and athletic aid distribution
  • Submit Eligibility and Financial Aid Reports to GNAC Office
  • Process and report violations to GNAC and NCAA
  • Supervise the Student Athlete Advisory Committee
  •  Meet quarterly with all athletic teams
  • Design and maintain Student-Athlete Handbook
  • Coordinate student-athlete community engagement activities

Things I enjoy most about my job: I enjoy interacting with the student-athletes and coaches.

First job in the sports industry: After graduating from Western, I was a teacher and coach in Pendleton, Oregon. I taught Health Education at Pendleton Junior High School and was the Head Cross Country and Assistant Track Coach at Pendleton High School.

Previous jobs in the sports industry:

  • Head Men's and Women's Cross Country and Head Women's Track & Field Coach at San Francisco State University.
  • For two years I was the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance/SWA at SFSU
  • I had the opportunity to teach Peak Performance for Academic & Athletic Success at the University of Arizona.
  • Then I became a faculty member and the Director of Retention and First-Year Experience at Defiance College, where I also served as the FAR.

A key mentor who helped me on my career path: Debbie Eide was my distance coach at Western. I love the way she interacted with her student-athletes, while being a strong role model.

Most influential person in my early professional development (and why): Dr. Betsy Alden was my AD at SFSU. She encouraged me to pursue athletic administration and gave me the opportunity to work in Compliance early in my career.

How I got involved in my professional career: I was a track & field student-athlete and coach at the collegiate level, and knew I wanted to remain active in sports throughout my professional career. After we had two children, it became more difficult to complete the daily tasks of coaching all year around so I went another direction.

Biggest hurdle I overcame breaking into the sports industry: My toughest hurdle was making the decision to leave coaching/teaching and begin working in athletic administration.

Key attributes that have helped shape my career path: I recognize the value sports can have in a person's life and I want to make sure these opportunities continue to be available for a broad range of 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 taken my coursework more seriously and taken advantage of the experiences of my faculty.

Best advice I’d give to a young female wanting to work in sports: You may have to start out working in an area of the sports industry that isn't your dream job but it's important to have numerous experiences. Most careers require that you have a broad expertise in a lot of areas so take advantage of every experience. Don't be afraid to call on others in your field and ask for advice.

If I could spend the day with one person (past or present), who would it be (and why)? If I could spend the day with one person it would be with my father, who passed away when I was an infant.

Favorite sports team: Obviously all the WOU teams are my favorite...

Favorite athlete: Too many to name...

Most memorable sports-related moment: When my fellow teammate, now husband, presented me with a diamond ring instead of a medal after winning the conference cross country meet my senior year of college.