'Women in Sports' Profile: GNAC's Bridget Tetteh

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.

Bridget Tetteh, GNAC
Assistant Commissioner  

College attended:

  • Western Oregon University-BS
  • Western Oregon University- MS Education

College major: 

  • Undergraduate: Major Health, Minor Biology
  • Graduate: Health Education

Current position: Assistant Commissioner for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference

Years in current position: 2 1/2 years

Primary job responsibilities: 

  • Serve as the Conference Senior Woman Administrator liaison
  • Serve as the conference compliance coordinator
  • Serve as the director of conference championships
  • Represent the GNAC at assigned conference and national meetings
  • Administer the National Letter of Intent program
  • Administer NCAA Coaches Certification Program
  • Serve as the conference SAAC liaison
  • Serve as the conference meeting coordinator

Things I enjoy most about my job:  Working with championships. Watching the athletes as they win a championship is amazing. I have the unique opportunity to get to interact with coaches and administrators from our 11 conference institutions. Organizing conference events like the "GNAC Women in Sports Career Seminar.”

First job in the sports industry: Very first was a volleyball referee for elementary girls when I was in high school.

Previous jobs in the sports industry: 

  • Associate Head Coach Track & Field and Cross Country at Pacific University, Forest Grove, Ore. (2008-2012)
  • USATF Association Certified Track and Field Official
  • Assistant Coach, Track & Field and Cross Country, at Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Ore. (2006- 2008)

A key mentor who helped me on my career path: Just as with raising a child, it takes a village. A variety of people have helped me on my career path.

  • High school coaches (Kamala Skipper, Bob Gray, Julie Reeves)
  • College professors and coaches (Jessica Henderson, Mike Johnson, John Knight)
  • Professionals in the sports industry (Dave Haglund, Jane Teixeria, Brian Swanson, Sharon Rissmiller)
  • Family (mom, dad, husband)

Most influential person in my early professional development: Mike Johnson, head track and field coach at Western Oregon University. He has always believed and supported me from day one. He gave me an opportunity to coach as a graduate student, and then helped me get my first full-time coaching job at Pacific University.

How I got involved in my professional career: When I started college I wanted to be a high school teacher. As I went through school I realized I really enjoyed track and field, and given my unique background in the heptathlon, I wanted to spend as much time as possible in the sport. So I got involved with coaching as a graduate student (with a little nudge from Mike Johnson and John Knight). From there I was lucky enough to get a full-time job coaching track and field and working in the athletic department at Pacific University. Soon I realized some of my favorite things about working in athletics were organizing the track meets and working at other games around campus. It was the passion to work in events that help lead me to my current role in administration.

Biggest hurdle I overcame breaking into the sports industry: Believing in myself and finding my voice. Since I started in my career at age 22, the first few years I was younger than some of my athletes. It took some time and support for me to realize my potential.

Key attributes that have helped shape my career path: Hard working, friendly, going the extra mile.

Knowing what I know now, the one thing I would do differently in college to help me on my career path: 

  • Network: I am shy and I wish I would have gotten out of my bubble to meet more people.
  • Internships: I wish I would have done more internships to "try out" different careers.

Best advice I’d give to a young female wanting to work in sports: Make meaningful connections with individuals in the sports industry. Find someone who is doing your dream job and talk with them about their career path. Find a mentor; it does not have to be someone in the exact career you would like, but someone who is willing to help advise you on your journey.

If I could spend the day with one person (past or present), who would it be? Billie Jean King, She did so much for women's rights in sports.

Favorite sports team: Too many, I don't even have a favorite sport :-) The best part about working at the conference office is I get to cheer for 11 institutions.

Favorite athlete: Favorite per sport (right?):

  • Jackie Joyner Kersee
  • Venus Williams
  • Kerri Walsh Jennings
  • Reggie Miller
  • Nicolas Batum
  • Richard Sherman

Most memorable sports-related moment:

  • As an athlete: Competing at the OSAA Track and Field State Championships and breaking the school record.
  • As a coach: Every time one of my athletes had a personal record (PR). I love the look on their face.
  • As a fan: Watching Ashton Eaton break the world record in the decathlon at the 2012 Olympic Trials.