The Invisible Man: Ray O'Connell and Media Relations
Ray O'Connell took the long way to Marquette.
As a high school baseball player in Chicago, the opportunity to play at Division III Spring Hill enticed him. However, after just six days in Alabama, O'Connell knew the school was not for him. He packed up his stuff and transferred to Loyola-Chicago, where his parents both worked, his mother in athletics and his father as the retired longtime soccer coach. But even then, he needed something more.
"The media relations person at Loyola knows [Marquette associate athletic director] Scott [Kuykendall], and he placed a call to Scott," O'Connell said. "I met with him after my second semester freshman year, and Scott said, 'yeah we'll have an opening come sophomore year.' It's funny how it works out, but starting fall of my sophomore year I started working in the athletic department."
Now in his third year in the media relations department, O'Connell is the unquestioned leader of the student workers. His experience and wide range of skills are a major "stress-reliever" to associate sports information director Mike Wittliff and the rest of the staff.
“Ray plays a vital role on our staff as the senior-most student worker," Wittliff said. "His hard work and understanding of intercollegiate athletics is pivotal to our department in today’s digital age."
Whether O'Connell goes to graduate school or jumps right into the sports media field still remains to be seen. But if O'Connell keeps working at it, even his loftiest expectations may come true some day down the road.
"The end goal is to be an athletic director," O'Connell said. "These past three years working in media relations has just shown me another facet to the intercollegiate athletic experience that not everybody knows about. Having gone through it, it makes me appreciative to what these people do."