FlipSide Face – Zach James


by Tyler Utzka

Over halfway into his sophomore year, Zach James has a lot on his plate. He is working on a double major in Integrated Marketing Communications and Sports Administration and also manages the men’s basketball team.

He has always had an interest in basketball and has prior knowledge of managing basketball teams from his experience at his high school his senior year.

“I’ve been interested in basketball all my life,” James said. “It’s one of my favorite sports, and since I’m not skilled enough to play at this level I just figured that I would try the coaching side of things.”

James’ adviser Brian Steffen, professor and chair of communications studies, applauds him for the use of his social media knowledge and enthusiasm in the classroom.

“Zach is a really curious, engaged student,” Steffen said. “I really like the way he incorporates social media in his work. I think he is very aware of the kinds of tools that students in media have to have and use in order to succeed.”

The basketball manager position came to James out of luck he said.

“Towards the end of my senior year I figured that I wanted to be involved in college athletics somewhere and I just figured that basketball would be the most convenient sport to go with,” James said. “I asked former coach Bruce Wilson if there were any available openings and he said there were, so I just jumped right into it basically.”

James thoroughly enjoys being a part of the team.

“Just being courtside and being involved with the team and being around the comradery of college basketball, just having the feel of being around a group that is committed to one goal and just being a part of college athletics is something that means a lot to me.”

You may see James dressed to impress around campus on game days.

“On game days he comes to class in a bowtie,” Steffen said. “In 21 years I don’t think I’ve ever had a student show up in a bowtie. I wish all my students would show up in a bowtie. I think it’s great, and I’m serious about that.”