Taylor Laughry, Contributing Writer
As the crowd holds on to their final breath, the ball comes bolting toward him. Players scrambling in every direction, he catches the ball with one swift motion making 16 saves in the soccer game breaking the all-time record for single game soccer saves in his town.
Jonny Hannah, junior sport management major and finance minor, has many accomplishments in the life of sports. He has coached an athlete to completely transform his ability, he works sporting events as a coach and a referee and he plays every intramural sport offered at his college.
Hannah says, “If I’m not playing sports, I’m watching sports. If I’m not watching sports, I’m reading about sports.”
From a young age, Hannah has dreamed of working in the sports industry, and he could not imagine doing anything else. He is at NGU pursuing a lifelong career in sport management and hopes to be involved in contract negotiations for coaches and players in the future.
The sport related career became a dream of Hannah’s when he was only 7 years old. Growing up, Hannah played all types of sports like football, basketball, soccer and wrestling. He always thought sports were exciting, but as he became a teenager, he realized the team aspect was so crucial. Because wrestling is not a team sport, it quickly became Hannah’s least favorite sport. He valued the family aspect of a team that he could grow, fail and succeed with.
This led Hannah into wanting to help others in sports and provide that family aspect. He began coaching basketball his senior year of high school and continued to coach a recreational basketball team as a sophomore in college.
Throughout his coaching journey, Hannah worked with a particular high school athlete every day after their basketball practice to help him develop basic shooting form and mechanics. The athlete showed significant improvement, and he went from never having playing time in a game to becoming a starter. His skillset improved through Hannah’s dedication to working with him.
Hannah holds a work study position at North Greenville University where he is a part of the Recreational Staff. He organizes and manages intramural games and works tournaments throughout each semester. He has played and refereed every intramural sport that NGU offers.
Hannah is an officer in the Sport Management Society at NGU where his duties involve planning, organizing and managing each sport meeting of the semester. Hannah enjoys being actively involved in his major because he believes it helps him gain the experience he needs.
As a sport management major, he was given the opportunity to work the Big South Tournament that determined who went to the NCAA March Madness. He worked with media and helped livestream the basketball game, and Hannah says, “This event really helped me network and even though it wasn’t directly sport related since I was more involved with the media, it still helped teach me the ins and outs of sports.”
Hannah also works with sporting events on NGU’s campus every semester running ticket sales, concessions, sideline needs and cleaning duties. Hannah has the passion of learning everything that has to do with sports, including these duties that aren’t directly related to sports.
Hannah says the purpose behind these duties is to get experience he can put on his resume, and he overall wants to work toward being the best he can possibly be in his field.
Hannah said as exciting as sports are, it can almost be a challenge to learn about sports and be such a big fan of them at the same time. “As I’m learning sport management and the business side of things, I almost feel like I could bring value to some of my favorite teams with the things I’ve learned, but I have to remember I am still a student and not quite there yet,” said Hannah.
Hannah is a student who is incorporating sports into every aspect of his daily life to learn and gain experience to one day fulfill his dream of working with the financial side of sports.