Saint Mary’s student named senior football manager
Martha Reilly | Wednesday, August 24, 2016
This fall, Saint Mary’s senior Colleen Naumovich will tackle her job as the College’s first senior football manager in the program’s 95-year history.
Naumovich said she worked hard to stay on staff throughout the yearly cuts that stop most students from advancing to higher positions. She said many managers join as freshmen, but only 14 are selected to continue as sophomores. By junior year, that number dwindles to seven. And by senior year, it’s three.
“After you make it, you’re under scrutiny the whole time,” Naumovich said. “It was a little intimidating because I always knew there was no guarantee I would make it to the next year, but it also kind of made me savor every moment.”
Naumovich said she never took her position for granted because the future was always uncertain.
“You don’t know if there’ll be a next game or a next year,” Naumovich said. “I always wanted to make the most of it and be on my best behavior.”
Naumovich’s role as personnel manager will allow her to aid in the selection process of younger managers, in addition to coordinating everyone’s schedules, helping quarterbacks with their drills at practice and making sure the referees have balls on game day.
“There’s a lot that goes into it,” Naumovich said. “You have to be prepared to do a lot of things with little time’s notice. I’ve learned a lot about remaining calm and getting things done and thinking on my feet.”
Naumovich said some of her favorite memories involve traveling to away games because she can fly on private planes and explore new cities.
“I like going into enemy territory,” Naumovich said. “It kind of puts a chip on your shoulder, not that I’m playing or anything, but it’s still really fun to be part of the environment.”
Naumovich said she felt overjoyed to learn she had been promoted to a senior manager.
“I was happy to see that someone other than a Notre Dame student could be a leader for the organization even though I don’t go there,” Naumovich said. “I was honored to take on that role and be a role model regardless of what school I go to.”
Naumovich said her extensive involvement with the student manager program shows that Saint Mary’s students can serve as valuable assets to the football team.
“There has always been a Notre Dame student in this position before, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But now I can show that Saint Mary’s people can be involved at Notre Dame and succeed as well,” Naumovich said. “Don’t ever think it’s a disadvantage to be from Saint Mary’s.”
Naumovich said she hopes to serve as an example for the five other Saint Mary’s sophomore and junior student managers who are looking to advance to the senior level.
“I think it’s good to have someone who has done it before because you can show others that they can do it too,” she said. “I would be able to offer advice to other girls who might have this position. Being from Saint Mary’s is a little unique.”
Naumovich said she looks forward to the future of the student football manager program, for she envisions that even more Saint Mary’s women will secure senior positions.
“I think you just have to get one person in there,” Naumovich said. “And then once that happens, many more will come.”
Serving as a senior manager is the ideal way to enter her last year at Saint Mary’s, she said.
“Being so close to all the action is something I never thought I would have the opportunity to do,” Naumovich said. “It’s a pretty unique way to take part in my last football season as a student.”