Feature: From the Field to the Office

(Photo: Tyler Aragao)

“My first alarm goes off at 6:25 but my official alarm is when Korpi wakes up.”

Korpi, a pit-bull mix, is Nicole Dale’s source of happiness and her personal alarm clock. Getting ready¬† for work entails making breakfast, doing her makeup and making sure Korpi gets fed. “I try to make myself look alive in the morning,” says Dale, a Franklin Pierce graduate and former lacrosse player. After starting her car up she makes her 20-minute commute from Dublin to Rindge where she works as a compliance coordinator for the school’s athletic department.

Since taking over on October 1st Dale has been tasked with handling athlete/coaches’ relationships, athlete eligibility, and organization. In the two months working in the department a normal day for Dale can involve a wide variety of questions, concerns and issues. Yet for Dale the frenetic pace does not phase her. “The coaches have been really understanding, respectful and have worked with me as I’ve tried to answer all their questions,” she said.

For Dale her job is about helping both athletes and coaches understand rules and policy of the NCAA, an organization whose rules are often hard to understand. “I try to take the NCAA’s language and interpret it for our coaches,” said Dale, whose typical day involves dealing with coaches and their questions. “I had a coach come into my office today with concerns over student eligibility,” says Dale, “its all about keeping track of our athletes and making sure their up to the right GPA.” With the NCAA raising its standard from 2.0 to 2.2 Dale has had to be more aware of student athletes and their grades.

When she isn’t managing athlete’s grades or coaches concerns she monitors athlete’s relationships making sure any complaints are heard. “Athletes will often email me rather than come see me in person, which is something I want to change,” said Dale. When she took the job in October her office was an unwelcoming and cluttered mess looking like a Midwestern town that had been hit by a tornado. “I wanted to make things more welcoming and feel more like home, so the athletes don’t fear me,” she said.

Working daily in athletics has opened Dale up to more opportunities working with coaches, athletes, and game day operations. The family vibe of the department has allowed for her to settle into a position that she never saw herself in prior to being hired. But for the Pierce alum it worked out and though each day presents something new it’s the day to day interactions that make coming to work enjoyable.

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