Matthew McCann admits he isn’t much of an athlete, but that doesn’t dampen his passion for sports.
“I am still trying to become good at bowling and golf,” said the 29-year-old native of Newark, Delaware. “The other sports, I think I have written them off by now.”
Although he may be lacking in athletic ability, sports is his life — literally.
McCann was hired as Mississippi Valley State University’s new director of athletic media and public relations three months ago. He spent the previous five years as the assistant director of media relations for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
He lives just off the Itta Bena campus. His closest family is Texas, but McCann seems to be adjusting to life in the Mississippi Delta pretty well so far.
“For the most part, everyone around here has been warm and inviting. I have been making some connections while spending what little free time I have in Cleveland and Greenwood,” McCann said.
In his first head job in sports information, McCann oversees the public relations aspect for the Delta Devils’ 15 intercollegiate sports. This includes media production, maintaining statistics, updating the official website and coordinating interviews and press conferences with the media.
Things have already gotten hectic, with the start of preseason football camp just a couple of weeks out.
“It’s about to get wild around here once school starts back and the fall sports get rolling, but I am ready for the challenge,” he said. “I have what I feel are some good ideas to help out going forward. I am excited about working with the local media, all of our players and all of our coaches.”
While at Maryland Eastern Shore, McCann served as the primary contact for baseball, volleyball, cross country and track and field. During his five-year tenure, he helped with a full department rebrand, expanded social media and served as the departmental historian.
Prior to working in college athletics, he worked in minor league baseball for three years. McCann served two tours of duty with the Bowie Baysox, starting as an intern in 2011 and joining the sales staff in 2013. He has also worked as an official scorer and data stringer for the Delmarva Shorebirds and officiated high school volleyball and recreation league basketball.
But the 2012 graduate of Mount St. Mary's wanted back in the sports information business. A friend already employed at Valley mentioned the opening in Itta Bena. McCann applied, interviewed and was eventually hired by MVSU in April.
“I loved to compare stats and analyze things, so this what I really want my future to be about,” he said. “And I’m very grateful for Valley to give me this opportunity. I have high hopes for what we can do there.”
•Contact Bill Burrus at 581-7237 or email@example.com.