Last Updated on August 14, 2022
Interview with Dr. Michael Craw
We caught up with the University of Alabama in Huntsville's Professor Mike Craw, who is the assistant professor and program coordinator of Sport and Fitness Management. He tells us that great opportunities come to those who go boldly and do their research!
About Dr. Michael Craw
Dr. Michael Craw is Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Sport and Fitness Management at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and he is the Director/CEO of the Mat Goggins Foundation.
Professor Craw, you came from a small town in Tasmania, on the other side of the world from the United States, and built quite a successful career here in sports. For any of our readers who feel intimidated by the thought of leaving home to study in an unfamiliar place, can you talk about what helped you find your path and how you made your way, even when you were a long way from home, low on funds, and didn’t know anyone?
I recognized the notion of access to opportunity from a young age. I decided if that right opportunity came knocking I’d answer in the boldest way I could. It did, I answered (and continue to answer)… boldly!
I decided if that right opportunity came knocking I’d answer in the boldest way I could. It did, I answered (and continue to answer)…boldly!
There are so many sport management programs to choose from at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, it may be overwhelming for prospective students to choose which program is the best fit for them. What factors should students keep in mind as they are trying to choose a program?
Aim to find a program that offers authentic learning. Typically if authentic learning is offered the instructors possess a strong working history & engagement background in the sport industry. If I could go back in time and start my bold step again (but know what I now know), the question I’d ask my prospective professors would be “were you ever employed in the sport industry, if so at what level, how long did you work in the role/s, and can you describe why your industry background contributes to authentic learning formats.”
What are some of the features of the University of Alabama at Huntsville’s online Sport and Fitness Management program that students find particularly helpful or rewarding?
Elements of the SFM program are offered online. UAH’s SFM program is predominantly face to face.
You’ve published scholarly papers on a variety of subjects. What topics related to sport interest and inspire you most these days?
UAH has a vibrant undergraduate research culture. In my experience in academia, high level undergraduate student research is unique. Given the uniqueness, these days my focus is to mentor undergraduate students in research of their interest. Being part of the development of that culture is an important part of my most recent research contribution. I believe the research process makes a person more employable.
From business to coaching to teaching, finding employment in the sports world can be quite competitive. What are some ways that students can separate themselves from other candidates when it comes to getting their first job?
Do your research. Identify the/a growth gap in a sports business. If you believe your skill set fills the gap, find a way to convince a decision maker that you can fill the gap sustainably.
You’ve studied, coached, and taught in Alabama. Can you talk about some of the reasons that Alabama is a great place to complete a degree and pursue a career in sport management?
There’s opportunity here. It just takes a leap of faith.