Editor's Note: Brad Vannatter '16 received the Tom Renner Award from the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 2016 as the league's top sports information student assistant. A marketing major while at Alma College, we recently caught up with him to ask a few questions about life after Alma.
What have you been doing since graduating Alma College and where are you now?
Since graduation I have been bouncing around a little. July of 2016 I began work as the Assistant Athletic Director at L'Anse Creuse High School, then in January of 2017 I moved to Phoenix, Ariz., to work for the Arizona Rattlers (Indoor Football League). Now, July of 2017, I moved to New York City for a statistics position with the National Football League office.
What will your duties be with the NFL?
On game days I will be monitoring the incoming play-by-play statistics coming in live from the respected stadium, making sure everything is exactly correct and flag plays for review if necessary. I'll be working with game day stat crews with each of our 32 clubs. During the week I will double check different games final statistics and track player participation, accounting for all the players on the field on every play. This has a direct impact on player contracts and why the NFL keeps track of it. Also, I will be properly formatting all NCAA (Div. I, II, III) and some NAIA statistics into our database for scouts and personnel departments across the league.
How did your experience and education at Alma College help you get to where you are now?
Working in the Sports Information and Athletics departments provided me with the proper skills and experience to get where I am right now. I learned a lot of the same skills necessary for my job now that I learned at Alma while working game day operations and engaging myself on the statistics teams; not just for football, but all sports.
What do you miss most about Alma?
What I miss most about Alma is the people. I met some outstanding people during my four years. A lot of them I still keep in touch with today. Also, I miss hearing the sound of bagpipes playing in the distance.
What has been your coolest experience since graduation?
When I was with the Arizona Rattlers we won a championship. That, and working alongside some great football minds in Phoenix. I also hiked the Grand Canyon while I was out there which was very special.
What advice would you give to students that are getting ready to embark on their final year at Alma?
Do everything you possibly can. Whether is go on trips with Adventure Rec, or traveling on the road to watch your friends compete in their respective sport, take it all in.
And if you haven't worn a kilt yet, do it. Go Scots.