From the field to the classroom, sports information director becomes teacher

By Ransom Cozzillio
February 16, 2011

As the old adage mocks, “those who can’t do, teach.” Arguable logic aside, it begs the question, “what happens when those who can “do,” also teach?” Enter Brian Beacham, Cabrini’s one-man sports information department and now, its first ever sports communications teacher.

The sole member of Cabrini’s sports information department, Beacham has been “doing” quite a lot for the athletics program since arriving at Cabrini three years ago.

“He is a phenomenal worker,” Joe Giunta, director of athletics and recreation, said. “He has taken Cabrini College athletics to a much higher level. The website, the articles, the press releases, the coverage he gets, not only in this area but beyond, is great.”

As sports information director, Beacham is responsible for ensuring that the Cabrini athletics department has a voice both on and off campus. On a daily basis Beacham must guarantee that our athletics program receives its due notoriety. Through press-releases, game recaps, social-media updates and the like, he puts Cabrini athletics in a position to be recognized both locally and nationally. And, for him, this territory comes with notable successes.

“One of the things I hang my hat on here at Cabrini is that I was able to get Casey Grugan into Sports Illustrated,” Beacham said. “That was one of my favorite things, to get a Cabrini student-athlete into one of the most prestigious sports publications.”

Sports Illustrated appearances aside, there may be no greater success for the Cabrini athletics department than the much lauded website, Beacham is charged with the extensive daily upkeep of the site and is often credited for its current, professional level iteration.

“He just does an amazing job with,” Orlin Jespersen, assistant director of recreation, said. “And because it’s the face of the department, any recruits, any parents, anyone interested in athletics are going to go to that page and leaving with a great impression. The detail he puts into everything, it’s a really good reflection on the department and the college as a whole.”

Beacham’s notable accomplishments likely stem from a love for what he does. And sports have always been a focus for him. Before coming to Cabrini, Beacham spent time at Temple University, where he received his master’s degree of education in athletic administration and spent considerable time in their renowned athletics department.

After leaving Temple, Beacham spent a year honing his skill at Syracuse University’s athletics office. There, he was able to take in the knowledge and expertise unique to a big-time school with a big-time athletics program.

“He has some great experience coming in from big D1 sports departments with Temple and Syracuse,” Jespersen said. “Having that knowledge really helps us because he sees how things should be done or even could be done and brings that to our program.”

Having elevated Cabrini’s athletic department as he has, many would wonder “where is there left to go?” For Beacham, the answer is simple: into the classroom.

“Dr. Zurek (chair of the communication department) had been interested in getting together a sports communications class and he thought I’d be someone good to teach it,” Beacham said. “I’ve been interested in getting into the classroom and working with the students so I was happy to take that opportunity.”

As a first-time teacher, Beacham’s class focuses on the basics of sports communications. Students learn how to write sports press releases and articles, cover games and events and get an inside look at professionals in the sports world via guest speakers.

For his part, Beacham is enjoying his first stint in the classroom and the opportunities it provides both himself and the students.

“So far I like teaching a lot,” Beacham said. “When I first thought about doing it, the most attractive thing for me was helping students in communications here at Cabrini realize that sports is an avenue for them if they want to make that their job.”

With all that he brings to the classroom, his new students certainly seem to appreciate his attention and expertise.

“Sports comm is really interesting. I didn’t know what to expect going into the class, but I’m really glad I took it,” Shea Boland, senior communications major, said. “I think Beacham is doing a great job with his first teaching position. This class isn’t just lectures from a PowerPoint; it’s a class you look forward to going to.”

For Beacham it seems that sometimes, those that teach, really can “do”. And with his passion for sports, Cabrini and its students will certainly benefit from his presence both in the athletic office and in the classroom.

Jackie Neary, Cabrini Women’s Lacrosse and Field Hockey head coach and an educator to all her players, sums Beacham up best.

“He is very excited about teaching. I think he loves it and it’s great for the students,” Neary said. “When you’re passionate about your job it shows in your work, and I can’t say enough good things about him.”


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Ransom Cozzillio

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