Working In Sports Spotlight: Blake Timm
Blake Timm, shown here with his oldest daughter, Sydney, is in his third year directing communications efforts for the GNAC.
Blake Timm, shown here with his oldest daughter, Sydney, is in his third year directing communications efforts for the GNAC.
Blake Timm
Blake Timm

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The 2018 GNAC Working In Sports seminar will take place on Saturday, March 3 at the Alaska Airlines Center on the campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage. Now in its fourth year, the Working In Sports seminar provides high school and college-aged students with an interest in a career in athletics a chance to hear from, and network with, professionals from all aspects of the athletics industry.

The seminar is limited to the first 100 registrants. To reserve your spot, visit

This Working In Sports Spotlight profiles one of this year’s featured panelists.

Name: Blake Timm
Current Position: Assistant Commissioner for Communications, Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Years In Current Position: Three years At GNAC, 19 In collegiate athletics

Colleges Attended: Pacific University (Undergraduate, Journalism)

Primary Job Responsibilities: I direct the communications and external relations efforts for the conference. That includes compiling & maintaining conference scores, standings, and statistics; maintaining conference books, running the GNAC's social media channels, coordinating the conference's all-conference and special awards programs and weekly awards programs. I coordinate the media efforts for our GNAC championships events and communicate regularly with local, regional and national media to promote the conference and its member schools.

Things You Enjoy Most About My Job: First of all, I work in sports. I can't think of another profession that is more fun to work in than sports. I get the opportunity to work with and promote student-athletes who are among the best athletes and people you will find anywhere. And no day is the same. That keeps me on my toes.

Why You Pursued A Professional Career In The Athletics Industry: I have always enjoyed sports, whether it be participating or working the events. When I made the jump from broadcast journalism to sports information, I found the position not only challenged me but utilized all my skills sets in an exciting way.

First Job In The Sports Industry: I started out doing public address announcing at my high school, doing mainly freshman and junior varsity basketball games. By my senior year, I was doing PA at varsity games whenever the regular guy couldn't be there and doing radio color commentary at the college in my hometown.

A Key Mentor Who Helped You On Your Career Path: My biggest professional mentors have been those friends who helped me learn the business and gave me constant encouragement. Folks like Kelly Bird (Linfield), Blair Cash (formerly of George Fox, now at Multnomah), Nick Dawson (formerly of Pacific Lutheran, now at Evergreen State) and Steve Flegel (Whitworth) brought me along and taught me what it was to be a great sports information director.

Most Influential Person In Your Early Professional Development (And Why): The folks from my hometown that gave me a chance in high school. Barry Gottula, the athletic director at Klamath Union High School, allowed me to take my first shot at public address work and was a great encouragement throughout my prep development. Bobby Thompson, who still does basketball play-by-play, gave me my first shot on the radio and was nothing but supportive to a 16-year-old. Kathy Farnsworth, my news director at KOTI-TV, provided me valuable lessons about being a professional that stick with me today.

Biggest Hurdle You Overcame Breaking Into The Sports Industry: Proving that I deserved a shot at my first job. When I was hired at Pacific University, I was up against a lot of experienced professionals. I was able to demonstrate the value I could provide to the department and the ability to move things forward.

Key Attributes That Have Helped You To Be Successful: Work ethic. Whatever your path in athletics, the best work hard. You can't be afraid of the hours. At the same time, I work hard to achieve a work-life balance. Even in sports, you can't live the job 24-7.

Looking Back, What Is One Thing You Would Do In College Or Early On To Help You Along Your Career Path: Because I had worked in television and radio before college, I was hesitant to take on unpaid roles. I would have done more of those as a college student. The on-the-job experience is just as valuable, if not more, than the coursework going into your degree.

Best Advice You Would Give To A Young Adult Wanting To Work In Sports: Take advantage of every opportunity. Don't be afraid to take on those volunteer and unpaid experiences. At the same, study things that are outside of sports and your major. Being well-balanced in your studies will make you more marketable as a professional.

Favorite Sports Team: San Francisco Giants & Seattle Mariners.

Favorite Athlete: Steve Prefontaine. No one worked harder despite his natural talent. Ichiro Suzuki. He is so committed to excellence in his craft and is the epitome of a team player on the field.

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: As an athlete, it was winning a medal as one of the top-25 finishers in the junior unseeded race at the Foot Locker West Region Cross Country Championships in high school. As a professional, the opportunity to work at both the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon, and the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Portland.

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