Don Weast, the assistant athletic director for Media Relations, has been working with Emporia State since 1986, spending the last 11 years in his current position.
“Even back in high school, helping out with teams as student manager, one of the jobs back then was calling into newspapers and giving them results and telling them the stats… I always knew I wanted to be involved in athletics,” Weast said.
After graduating from Emporia State, Weast worked for the Topeka Sizzlers, a semi-pro basketball team as an athletic trainer. Weast then moved back to Emporia and worked as a sports supervisor at the Recreation Center, before returning to Emporia State to get his degree in communications.
A typical week for Weast during the athletic season involves taking stats for Emporia State athletics, traveling to various away games and coordinating the media by scheduling interviews. In addition, Weast is responsible for updating the Emporia State Athletic web page after the conclusion of each game.
“Generally during the season (we work) around 50 to 60 hours probably including travel. There are times it will be worse than that,” Weast said.
Josh Slaughter is the assistant director of Athletic Media Relations and the director of Athletic Publications. Along with Weast, Slaughter helps out making the media guides and game notes for selected sports.
“I think when you have a team win a national championship, or when you go to the postseason with a team and you get to see players play in the postseason, that’s to me the most rewarding thing,” Slaughter said.
In addition to his regular duties, Weast also travels with the football team and both men’s and women’s basketball teams and various other teams during the postseason.
Students are also involved in helping with stats for Emporia State Athletics. Matt Kochenower, junior marketing major, helps take stats for the media department as well as the game calling to make sure Weast has all the stats in the computer. Kochenower is responsible for traveling with teams on occasion as well as being present at all home games.
“Getting to watch all the games really close, and kind of that interaction you get with the players sometimes (is rewarding),” Kochenower said.
Weast also recognizes the benefits to taking stats at Emporia.
“That’s the fun thing, is being a part of a national championship team last year. You’ve got that connection with the teams… I really love Emporia, I love Emporia State. I can’t see me doing this in too many other places,” Weast said.