By Kristen Griffith, The Whetstone
Senior Ryan Sanders said he was concerned during winter break when he heard Brett Ford, the sports information director (SID) and his future internship adviser, no longer worked at Wesley.
“There was a lot of uncertainty among the people I talked to,” he said. “Finally, a few days before returning, Coach (Steve) Clark texted me saying that Brett left.”
Ford said he made a personal decision to step away from the position after only serving a year and a half.
“Though my time was brief, I learned a great deal and will cherish the relationships I built with colleagues, coaches, and student-athletes,” he said.
Coach Mike Drass, athletic director and head football coach, said Ford resigned and relocated with his fiancé to New York.
Senior Drew Thomas, a four-year work-study student, said he enjoyed working for Ford.
“Brett was well organized and he was fun to interact with,” he said. “He was able to adapt to our schedules, so he was pretty flexible with the time-scheduling.”
Although Ford left in the middle of the school year, Drass quickly hired Cyrill Parham to take his place.
Parham, who received his master’s degree from Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., in December, said he applied for the job the same day the offer was posted.
“Coach Drass called me the next day, we had a phone interview and he invited me on campus,” he said.
Parham said Drass offered him the job the next day.
“I heard (Drass) interviewed a couple of people,” he said. “Not everyone can do this job, unfortunately. It’s time-consuming, a lot of hard work but I enjoy every second of my job.”
Thomas said his only expectation for Parham is consistency.
“I heard he’s really thrilled to be part of Wesley athletics,” he said. “Keeping the hours the same, what time you want us at the games, who’s helping set up, who’s helping breaking down, just consistency.”
After meeting with Parham and discussing his internship, Sanders said Parham will be a great fit for Wesley.
“He’s a younger guy, so I think he’ll bring some good new ideas to the table,” he said. “Just from doing a little research on him I saw that he was from a school just like Wesley.”
Parham said this job is multimedia driven, which he has had experience with while working as the assistant SID at Thiel.
“I used a lot of Instagram, YouTube and tried to make sure I utilized all my resources that were at hand,” he said. “To put a brand out, you want to make sure you use as many platforms as possible, but also make sure it’s quality content.”
Parham said despite Thiel’s poor athletics, the school made the top 40 social media sites list for Division III sports. They’re ranked 36th while Wesley is ranked 159th.
“For a school (Thiel) with a little over a thousand kids, there’s about 2,000 Twitter followers, 1,100 Instagram followers, and about 1,500 Facebook fans,” he said. “Pretty good numbers for a school that hasn’t had a winning football season in 10 years.”
Wesley’s athletic social media pages share similar numbers when it comes to Twitter and Facebook, but its Instagram page, created in 2015 under Ford, has fewer than 300 followers.
“It’s all about making sure we highlight everything,” Parham said.
Parham said flexibility is important as an SID.
“You’re pulled in many different directions, and you have to be flexible and versatile and that’s what makes a quality SID,” he said. “And I hope I’m one of them.”