Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 20, 2015

Mark Adkins, sports information director, was warmly welcomed by MU. Photo by Savannah Riley.

Adkins Connects Community to MU

Kody Smith

Mark Adkins started his professional career as a journalist after graduating from Wartburg College, composing sports stories for nearly 10 years. But he did not see this as his calling in life. 

“I just thought there had to be something more,” Adkins said. “I really enjoyed writing, but I wanted to do something else related to sports, and this was a good opportunity for me to get involved.” 

“This” is sports information director.

It all began about 15 years ago on a career tip from a news buddy. “He said I should try working for sports information. I recall during the first year on the job (at his alma mater Wartburg in Waverly, Iowa), I just thought, what am I getting myself into?” 

As Manchester University’s sports information director, Adkins is in charge of statistics as well as preparing video for athletics on His job mostly consists of trends and lists, Adkins said. “I enjoy digging through the school’s archives to see who made this program great, and then put lists together.

“You want to make a list of notable accomplishments that are put together in a way for news outlets and media to access the statistics as easily as possible.” 

He is assisted by student workers at both home and away sporting events. “One of the best things about my job is working with all the young students,” Adkins said. “It’s just been awesome to say the least.” 

Adkins, wife Terri and daughter Callie knew they found a home in North Manchester the day his family arrived and was greeted by Athletic Director Rick Espeset and a line of coaches and staff ready to help them into their new home.

“That right there was when we knew we were in the right place,” Adkins said. “That is what is so impressive about Manchester University. The wonderful staff and students I have the privilege of working with have just been simply incredible.” 

Adkins also is general manager for WBKE 89.5, “The Voice of Manchester University.” He guides the student workers, including the sports director, news director and music director. 

He is a huge supporter reaching to North Manchester with the station, not just the University. “The best part is that not only are the students becoming more involved with the station, but the community is as well,” Adkins said proudly. 

“We did a live report from Fun Fest, and the people of North Manchester thought it was awesome and just ate it up. The people have been waiting for that link between the University and the town, and I believe we are getting there.”  

Adkins knows he has found great success in media through both the radio station and sports information, but does not take all of the credit. 

“It has not been all because of me. It has been because of great student workers and staff, and I would be remiss not to thank my family,” he said. “Terri and Callie have had to go through a lot with me not being around because of my hectic schedule. I am not home a lot on the weekends, so I really appreciate their support.” 

Adkins shows great appreciation for his student workers as well, as he and his family do not just consider them employees. “I always tell my WBKE and Sports Information students that once you are a student worker for me, you are a member of my family for life.”