NAIA Intern Spotlight
By Sam Knehans, NAIA Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As the clock ticks into the 97th minute, Baker (Kan.) lines up for a free kick near midfield. On the line is a trip to the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Quarterfinals.
The ball is struck. It soars toward the box, where Baker’s Donny George meets it head-on, delivering a header that is deflected by the Huston-Tillotson (Texas) keeper. Nathan Byarlay, a defender for the Wildcats, is streaking toward the right post when the ball lands at his feet. He hammers it home for the lone goal of the game, punching Baker’s ticket to its first-ever quarterfinal appearance.
Riding on the momentum of Byarlay’s overtime thriller, Baker would go on to its best NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship finish in 2011, losing to eventual champion Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in the semifinals and claiming third place. Byarlay would go on to make the NAIA All-Tournament Team and to be named an NSCAA and NAIA First Team All-American.
Now Byarlay, a 2013 Baker graduate and sports administration major, will be pivotal in facilitating NAIA National Championships—like the one he so recently participated in—as the NAIA’s Championships Department Intern for the 2013-14 season.
Byarlay says that participating in an NAIA National Championship made him want to be a part of championship operations from the administrative side and that the NAIA internship came highly recommended.
“I’m interested in working in collegiate athletics and see the NAIA as a great opportunity to gain invaluable experience and exposure to how a governing body operates. My internship supervisors at Sporting KC and Baker Athletics previously interned at the NAIA and highly recommended it too,” Byarlay said.
Byarlay is just one of several current interns at the NAIA National Office in Kansas City, Mo.
Sam Knehans, a 2013 graduate of Syracuse University whose fields of study included magazine journalism and sport management, is the NAIA’s Communications and Sports Information Intern for the 2013-14 season. Knehans brings a wealth of experience to the NAIA National Office, having previously interned for Syracuse Athletics, the Syracuse Chiefs, IMG and NAIA-member Missouri Baptist Athletics.
Hillary Chidsey, a sport management major from the University of Kansas who will graduate in December 2013, is the NAIA’s Champions of Character Intern. When asked about why she chose to intern at the NAIA National Office, Chidsey focused on the core values of the organization.
“I appreciate and respect the NAIA’s mission of providing athletic opportunities without sacrificing the academic and moral integrity of intercollegiate athletics and, being a smaller organization, I knew I would get a well rounded internship with more diverse experiences to strengthen my skill set,” Chidsey said.
James Bain, a law student from the University of Kansas, is the NAIA’s Legislative Services Department Intern this summer. Prior to law school, Bain, a 2004 graduate of Southwest Minnesota State, worked in minor league sports for the Sioux Falls Storm and the Wichita Wild, both indoor football teams. While attending law school, Bain has remained involved in indoor football as the Commissioner of the Champions Professional Indoor Football League. He has also worked in sports information at the University of South Dakota, where he attended law school for Fall 2011-Spring 12, and the University of Kansas, where he currently attends.
The NAIA National Office is proud to officially welcome this class of interns and is still accepting applications for three internship positions for the 2013-14 season: the Legislative Services Department Intern, the Men’s Division I Basketball Intern and the Videography and Digital Graphics Intern.
Are you interested in a career in the sports industry? Why not get your start at the NAIA National Office? Apply today by clicking here.