Dylan Shick named interim SID. Brendan Saak, not pictured, will assist.
By Will Conerly
Ryan Snyder and the Quincy University Athletic Department have been one in the same for the past five years.
However, next week that all changes when the current QU director of athletic communications begins a new challenge at Penn State University handling communications for the Nittany Lions women’s soccer and track and field teams.
Snyder’s athletics resume is impressive. He was a former QU standout athlete, an assistant coach and most recently a member of the Hawks Athletics Department.
He’s well-prepared for his new assignment, but admits his initial off-the-field role was a challenge at first.
“The transition was tough for a little while because it was a learning process. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that I had no idea about,” Synder remembers.
Snyder will face a different challenge when he arrives in State College, Pennsylvania, on March 5th. There won’t be any time to get comfortable and ‘settled in’. Two days into the new job he departs with the women’s track and field team for the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Alabama.
Fortunately, he says, the experience Snyder acquired at Quincy will serve him well.
Snyder arrived at Quincy as a player for the men’s baseball team following a transfer from the University of Central Missouri. In 2015, Snyder was named to the All-GLVC team.
The next year he produced one of the most prolific offensive seasons in school history.
In 2016, Snyder broke multiple, single season school records, including home runs (23), RBIs (88), and hits (92). He also finished the season with a .444 average (3rd best in QU History), 72 runs scored, and 19 doubles (4th best in QU History).
Next, Snyder spent one season as a graduate assistant for the Hawks, who made it to the 2017 NCAA Division II World Series.
Snyder, who is now in the midst of his his second year as director of athletic communications at QU, has overseen all 19 NCAA sponsored athletic teams offered by Quincy University.
Snyder’s departure will result in changes to the QU Athletics Department.
Dylan Shick, who is the current athletics graduate assistant, will serve as the interim director of athletic communications until the end of the year.
“Dylan will do a very good job in the interim, he works very hard,” Snyder said.
Shick, earned his Bachelor of Science in Sport Management from Texas A&M in 2017. He is now working toward his MBA degree at Quincy University.
Shick has assisted in the day-to-day operations of the department including game operations, ticketing, marketing, promotions, compliance and sports information for the past two years.
The sports information department has seen other changes in recent years. In the fall of 2017, former QU Director of Athletic Communications Brendan Bitter left and returned to his alma mater, Ashland University, to serve as director of athletic communications after spending five years in Quincy.
Snyder was immediately promoted and has been in the position ever since, and now another transition is on the horizon.
“I think the familiarity of everything is going to make this transition rather smooth,” Snyder said.
Shick has been here for a year, and Brendan Saak (a QU graduate) has been at Quincy for five years (four as an athlete).
Snyder has made sure that the transition will be smoother this time, and will always have a special place in his heart for Quincy.
“It’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere consecutively,” Snyder said. “I hope I’ve made an impact here. There are two great guys who are taking over in the interim. I’m leaving Quincy in a really good place.”
Saak has helped Snyder this year with social media, graphics, and covering half of the sports at QU.
“Definitely more responsibilities and time spent in the offices,” Saak, the current sports information graduate assistant, said. “Ryan did a great job of moving the Sports Information Department in a good direction as well as create opportunities for other people. Dylan and I are looking forward to the challenge of filling that role.”
Shick and Saak are aware of that life without Snyder will be different.
“I’m going to have to step up, and step into a role where I’ll have more responsibilities than I’ve had in the past,” Shick said. “Me and Saak are going to tag team the Sports Information Department until the end of the year.”
So what’s the next step? Snyder passes the torch next week to Shick.
“I think at the beginning, it will be a lot of learning,” Shick said. “In my first week I’m going to try to sit down with every head coach and see what they would like improved or changed.”
This job is special to Shick also because it will be his first job out of school.
“This will be my first time being able to take the reins of something and have a little more responsibility,” Shick said. “I’m just excited and appreciative of the opportunity Marty has allowed to me to step in here.”
Shick originally planned to spend two years at QU with the idea that he would then try to find a job back home in Cibolo, Texas.
“In the last two years I fell in love with the people and community here,” Shick said. “I’m thrilled to still be a part of the program.”
The athletic department is prepared to power through the end of the year, and next year much more help is coming.
The department is planning on bringing in at least two additional graduate assistants and student interns to share some the responsibilities.
This will allow the department to accomplish more as a group. Shick wants to get the QU Hawks YouTube page running again.
“Doing more for our student athletes is the goal,” Shick said. “We will do our best so our student athletes get what they deserve.”
Despite all the moving parts in the athletic department, they have offered one consistent message about their mission: do more for the athletes.
“Promoting the athletes is what this job is about,” Snyder said. “The biggest thing that was stressed to me when I took this position was to make sure that the athletes were represented in the correct manner.”