Kyle Wasilkowski finds ‘perfect fit’ in sports world after earning Sport Management degree
Kyle Wasilkowski always knew he wanted to work in sports.
A year after graduation, he landed a job overseeing more than 2,000 adult athletes in the Harrisburg area.
“It’s pretty crazy,” says the 2016 York College of Pennsylvania grad.
He serves as Sports and Fitness Coordinator for the Harrisburg Young Professionals organization. His duties include everything from dealing with complaints to lining fields. He also handles the finances and coordination of various events.
And he loves it.
“It’s a big step. I’m only 23. I’m in charge of people in their early 30’s,” he says. “I always wanted to be an athletic director for a high school. It’s a perfect fit for me. I am doing everything an athletic director does – but not in an institution.”
Kyle spent two years at a community college before transferring to York College. He knew it was for him, he says, particularly because of the Sport Management program.
“York College was my first choice,” he says. “I wanted to be on the Sport Management side of things. They have so many different options you can concentrate on.”
It’s something he tells to a lot of high school kids:
“York’s Sport Management program is the best in the state,” he says. “You deal with real-life situations, and a lot of other institutions don’t do that. The professors are top notch.”
As a former athlete, Kyle says taking personal responsibility was the key.
“You do your own research, which is what the professors expect,” he says. “It’s up to you. You have to be an individual to step up to the plate. It’s in your own hands.”
In school, Kyle joined the Sport Management Student Association. He says it was one of the program's biggest benefits.
The group brought professionals to campus and offered networking and volunteer opportunities. Students could interact with organizations such as the Baltimore Orioles and York Revolution.
“Students should take more advantage of that,” Kyle says. “You want to be involved with everything.”
Kyle's hard work and academic success led to valuable experience. He says it paved the way to his current role.
He spent his practicum year with the Capital Athletic Conference. He got to help commissioner Tom Byrnes and fellow York College alum Tim Mowrer. He created content for the conference website and other publications.
“I wanted to do something different, something more administrative,” Kyle says. “I was able to do the stats, athletes of the week. I got some hours in and got some experience. That was how I got my internship at Lafayette College.”
At Lafayette, Kyle helped Lafayette's Director of Athletics Dr. Bruce McCutcheon with a variety of duties. He says it’s what set him on his path.
One of those tasks was a 254-page report. It detailed how much revenue each of Lafayette’s 23 sports generated.
The monstrous undertaking taught Kyle the business side of sports, he says. It also provided a valuable lesson he says he uses in his current position.
“It took all summer long,” he says, “and it was interesting to see where all these numbers are.”
Kyle says people often ask him, “Why Sport Management?”
They usually think it’s games and having fun, he says.
To Kyle, though, it’s so much more.
“You are a manager. You are managing sports. You do sports law, sports marketing, and sports journalism. You learn how to coach,” he says. “There are so many different things you can branch out to.”