By Carlos Toro
Less than two weeks ago, Rider’s new sports communication director was coordinating sporting events for the Broncs’ Jersey-Shore rival Monmouth.
Now, former assistant sports information director of the Hawks Greg Ott has entered the Broncs’ Zoo after weeks of searching.
Having spent many years in the MAAC, Ott doesn’t think he’ll have to make adjustments moving to a bigger role.
“I’ve been around the MAAC for so long, I know everyone already from all the schools,” Ott said. “I don’t have to adjust to the new environment. If anything, people will have to adjust to me. Just the other day, I had someone email my Monmouth email, which obviously is now discontinued.”
Ott replaced Bud Focht and Brian Solomon, who were serving Rider as sports information director and assistant sports information director, respectively. Ott assumed the role on Nov. 7, with the official announcement being made on Nov. 9. Focht retired from his position back in October, and Solomon decided to pursue a career in accounting and left the position.
Ott said being able to work as head of a Sports Information Department and to work with Rider staff is something he could not pass up.
“Being able to work with people such as [Athletic Director] Don Harnum and [Associate Athletic Director] Karin Torchia is a great opportunity,” Ott said. “I know what [President] Dell’Omo has done over at Robert Morris and he has a big interest in athletics. I know he has a strong vision for Rider Athletics.”
Ott’s career in college athletics began as a sports information graduate assistant at Quinnipiac from 2005-07.
He then moved on to a much bigger school as an intern at Iowa State. Ott worked from July to December of 2007.He said that the experience of working at Iowa State helped him advance in his career.
“After Quinnipiac, I wanted to go to a school with a football program,” Ott said. “I learned a lot from working there.”
Ott then moved back to Quinnipiac where he stayed for four more years as an assistant sports information director from 2007-11. He then became an assistant athletic director of communications at Monmouth, his last workplace before taking the head job at Rider.
Ott earned his bachelor’s degree in communications and sports journalism and English from Springfield College in Massachusetts. He is currently in the procress of earning his master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University.
Brian Solomon, who worked as Rider’s assistant sports information director from 2000, said the school will benefit a lot from Ott’s experience and work ethic.
“I think Greg will do an excellent job,” Solomon said. “Greg had an excellent reputation both at Monmouth and Quinnipiac as not only an excellent writer, but a tireless worker, and I think Rider made a strong choice from an excellent field of candidates.”
Ott’s role as Rider’s sports information director includes working with athletics on a day-to-day basis, managing statistics from the school’s various teams, writing various game stories and articles on the official Rider Athletics website, gobroncs.com, and promoting the school’s hundreds of athletes.
“A lot of the programs here are successful, as evidenced by the men’s soccer team qualifying for the NCAA Tournament again,” Ott said. “Success like that starts from the top. It’s all about staying ahead of the curve and working diligently to help promote the student-athletes we have here at Rider. I’m excited to be taking the next step in my career at Rider.”