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January 17, 2014

Tech sports information, game operations picked to staff USA Football Bowl


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- When college all-star football players from around the country hit the field Monday afternoon for the 20th annual USA Football Bowl at the Hoover Met in Birmingham, high above in the press box Tennessee Tech sports information and facilities personnel will be running the show. The TTU staff who man Golden Eagle home games in Tucker Stadium have been chosen as the official game hosts for the contest.

Members of the Tech sports information staff will compile the official game stats, host visiting media, handle the public address announcements, and video all aspects of the game to produce a highlight DVD. Meanwhile, Tech facilities personnel will be seated at the controls of the clock and scoreboard, as well as providing in-game sound and music.

"We're very proud of the operations at our home games," said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics. "We make a tremendous effort to run a first-class operation with our home games, to make them memorable and enjoyable for the fans, the student-athletes and the coaching staffs of each school.

"So, it's no surprise that our staffs were selected for game operations for the USA Football Bowl," Wilson said. "They will do an outstanding, first-class job in a different venue, and do a great job in representing Tennessee Tech, the same as the two Golden Eagle players will do on the field."

Rob Schabert, TTU Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information and Broadcasting, will direct the Tech contingent at the game. Schabert, who is in his 31st season on the Tech Athletics staff, received the request from Dennis Wilson, president of the USA Football Network who is serving his 23rd consecutive term as president of the Metropolitan New York Football Writers Association.

In addition to Schabert, Tech staff who will work the game include sports information coordinator Mike Lehman, video coordinators Matt Wagner and Andrew Neff, volunteer statistician Art Gernt, plus facilities coordinators Matt Dexter and Tyler Birdwell.

The USA Football Bowl will draw top players from the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III, as well as players from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) and United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), officials said. On Tuesday, the USA Professional Football Leagues Testing Combine will be held, featuring NFL, CFL, and AFL coaches and scouts.

Golden Eagle offensive lineman Wesley Sherrill and defensive end Malcolm Mitchell were selected to play in the game. Punter Chad Zinchini was also invited to participate but had to decline due to other commitment.