Women In Sports Profile: WOU's Holli Howard-Carpenter
Holli Howard-Carpenter arrived at Western Oregon after three years as the associate head coach at her alma mater, Cal State East Bay.
Holli Howard-Carpenter arrived at Western Oregon after three years as the associate head coach at her alma mater, Cal State East Bay.

Friday, February 3, 2017

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

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

Attendance is limited to the first 100 registrants. Register Now.

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

Name: Holli Howard-Carpenter

Position: Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Western Oregon University

Colleges Attended: College of the Siskiyous, Cal State East Bay, Chico State University

College Major: B.A. History; M.A. Kinesiology

Years In Current Position: 4 years

Primary Job Responsibilities: WIN games and oversee all aspects of a collegiate basketball program: budget, travel, academic advising, monitor eligibility, recruiting, scouting, practice/game planning, fundraising, community engagement, the list goes on.

Things I Enjoy Most About My Job: The student-athletes I work with. Nothing is more enjoyable than helping young women realize their potential and go after their dreams. I like helping them figure out what they want to do for careers, I like helping them find their voice and become strong young women.

Why Did You Pursue A Professional Career In The Athletics Industry: Sports have always been a huge part of my life and, as a collegiate athlete, my coaches made the biggest impact on life. I wanted to give back and give a similar experience to other young women.

First Job In The Sports Industry: Freshman head coach at Orland (Calif.) High School.

A Key Mentor Who Helped Me On My Career Path: Sara Judd. She was my basketball coach at Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) and later became the athletics director there. Sara was an amazing coach but, more importantly, she taught me about how much the little things matter. It wasn't just about basketball, it was about being a better person and she set a great example for me. 

Most Influential Person In My Early Professional Development: Debby DeAngelis, the former athletics director at Cal State East Bay. As an assistant coach, she always took the time to mentor me. She encouraged and provided me with several professional development opportunities and helped me through interview processes. She was/is my sounding board for when I'm up against a big decision. She's always honest with me even if I might not like what she has to say. I'm a better coach because of her.

Biggest Hurdle I Overcame Breaking Into The Sports Industry: Getting your foot in the door is always the hardest. I sought out several universities where I could start as a graduate assistant. There aren't many paying opportunities out there, so I had to volunteer for two years before I was promoted.

Key Attributes That Have Helped Shape My Career Path: Positive outlook, even when there are challenges. Work ethic. Persistence/determination. Being a good communicator - this is always a work in progress, difficult conversations aren't always easy to have.

Looking Back, What Is One Thing That I Would Do In College Or Early On To Help Me Along My Career Path? Network! Put yourself out there and get to know people in the industry.

Best Advice I’d Give To A Young Female Wanting To Work In Sports: Volunteer and get to know people in the field. The best advice I was ever given was to "apply for any job you want regardless of if you think you're qualified enough or ready enough." Get yourself in a position to get an interview (it's great experience) and as you get down the road further, get yourself in a position to turn a job down. Go in there and show them why you're the best candidate.

Favorite Sports Team: Western Oregon Wolves, of course.

Favorite Athletes: Cal Ripken and Walter Payton

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: After my first year here at WOU, my former team (Cal State East Bay) played for a championship and I received several texts congratulating me because I was part of that building process. My first year at East Bay, we won three games and four years later they were playing for a championship. My three years there were full of hard work and building and it was nice to see it pay off, even if I wasn't there first hand.