PULASKI, Tenn.—Martin Methodist College (MMC) hosted “Martin on the Clock: Behind the Scenes of the NFL Draft” on April 8, an event featuring four top executives from the world of pro-football, planned and presented by students majoring in Sport Management.
“It was an amazing experience being able to sit down and talk with current and former NFL executives—can you imagine, general managers from four pro teams, sitting across the table from each other and talking to our college community?” said MMC senior and Sport Management Society President Drew Nipper of Tuscaloosa, Ala. “I feel honored to have been a part of an event of this caliber.”
“This unique event presented by the students in the MMC Sport Management program has been an incredible experiential learning opportunity for students and is in unison with our college-wide academic emphasis on high-impact educational practices for our students,” said Assistant Professor of Sport Management and former GM of Jacksonville Jaguars Dr. Gene Smith, also a participant in the panel discussion. “Students put forth their best efforts in the planning and production of this wonderful event. We were blessed to have Jerry Reese, Michael Reinfeldt and Ruston Webster, three noted, well-respected professional sport executives who contributed their time to our student body and shared a wealth of knowledge related to the inner workings of the NFL draft process. This was truly a special evening for everyone involved.”
“Being able to plan this event gave us, as students, a unique opportunity to gather information you can’t always find in a textbook or on the internet and then apply it in a real situation,” said MMC senior and Sport Management Society Vice President Kiara Mayo of Birmingham, Ala. “As a Sport Management Program and Society, we plan to put on more events like this to get the most out of our time here at MMC, and we are grateful to have someone like Dr. Smith who is willing to share his time, knowledge and experiences to help us achieve our goals.”
Reese, former football executive, college player and coach, served as GM of the New York Giants, leading them to two World Championships, Super Bowl 42 and Super Bowl 46. He was inducted into Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
“Dr. Smith and the students put on a terrific event!” said Reese. “It was exciting to see talented, fearless young people who will lead and take us higher to make this world a better place on every level. I was honored to be a part of it.”
Reinfeldt is a former All-Pro NFL player (Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers) and football executive. He served as GM of the Tennessee Titans, and he worked in the front office for Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, winning a World Championship with the Packers in Super Bowl 31.
“The program was extremely well-organized and provided a great platform for insight into the National Football League; it also provided first-hand knowledge of how general managers function within the league,” said Reinfeldt. “The interaction with the students and faculty was both engaging and stimulating. I was honored to be a part of this experience.”
Webster currently works in the front office for the Atlanta Falcons. He served as executive vice president and GM of theTennessee Titans and was previously the interim general manager of the Seattle Seahawks after serving as the vice president of player personnel. Prior to joining the Seahawks, he was a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ front office, where he helped build them into World Champions in Super Bowl 37.
“It was an honor for me to participate in this first class event,” said Webster. “I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the job done by Dr. Smith and all the Sport Management students.”
“I was honored and excited to be a part of such an amazing event,” said Desmond Williams of Somerville, Ala., MMC senior and Master of Ceremonies for the event. “Dr. Smith and the Sport Management Society made this a breeze for me and helped me prepare to be the best I could be. It was an amazing experience to get to meet the GMs, and I was privileged to get to introduce them to our audience. This experience is something I will always remember, and it will benefit me in my future endeavors.”
“Martin Methodist College is so fortunate to have Dr. Gene Smith on our faculty,” said MMC President Dr. Mark La Branche. “In his first year at MMC, Dr. Smith brings a wealth of experience to the Sport Management program as aformer football executive, college player and coach. He brings the kind of credentials most colleges only dream about.”
Martin Methodist College, founded in 1870, is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Martin Methodist offers baccalaureate degrees in 39 programs of study that include English, religious studies, music and dramatic arts, mathematics and natural sciences to business, social sciences, education, criminal justice, and nursing.