NEWBERRY — Josh Manck is known around Newberry as the man behind the scenes of Newberry College athletics. If he is not sending out press releases about the most recent game or student athlete honor, he is updating the Athletic Department’s social media or assisting another institution.
Manck, the Assistant AD for Athletic Communications at Newberry College, was named Small College SID of the Year in April by National Wrestling Media Association. His response to winning the award? “Awesome.”
“Getting this award, I have gotten people in the grocery store who know me say congratulations. I am used to publicizing everybody else. Saying things about myself is weird,” the Texas native said.
Manck, 33, was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1983 to Lynn and Katy Manck. He is a middle child with three older half sisters and one younger sister.
Josh Manck is very proud of his Texas roots, saying “damn right I am” when asked about being a Texan and every March 2 you can catch him celebrating Texas Independence Day.
His family moved around a bit when he was young, but for the majority of his childhood, Manck lived in Gilmer, Texas, graduating from Gilmer High School and then attending Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in communication arts with an emphasis on video production.
“AC is a liberal arts school, kinda like Newberry, and they very much emphasize taking stuff that interests you as well, and I wound up almost being a double minor in religion just because if I had taken one more upper level course I would have had a double minor, completely on accident,” Manck said.
During his senior year, Manck started covering some local high school football games for internet radio. This was in 2004, and Manck said it was not as easy to get on the internet as it is today. He was then invited to work for an ESPN affiliate in Shreveport, La., by Terry Bennett, with whom he worked at the time.
“I wound up getting a drive time show in the afternoon, face on a billboard and everything within a month and a half. One of the billboards was across the street from the Independence Bowl. It was pretty cool for about a second, but then the boss ran out of money and could not pay us anymore. So that was over in about three months,” Manck said.
A couple of months went by, and he randomly applied for a job as a sports writer at the Cleburne Times-Review in Cleburne, Texas. Manck said he wrote a test article that they appeared to like and they hired him in October 2005, even though he never took a journalism class in college.
“My writing was far too lengthy at the time. I was used to trying to fill 20-page papers with eight pages of content, instead of trying to get eight pages of content down to two pages of content, like you do at a newspaper,” he said. “My first football recap had three jumps in it, my editor said ‘you have to cut some of this,’ I said ‘no, I like it as it is,’ I stood up for myself and fought for it. He said ‘OK, but on Sunday morning you will see why.’”
Moving on up
Cleburne is located right outside Forth Worth, Texas, and has nine high schools, which Manck said is great during the school year. However, the town did not have any colleges nor did they necessarily have a vibrant youth sports scene, like the American Legion team in Newberry. So when summer was approaching, Manck, without specifically asking his editor, was wondering what they do during the summer without sports games.
“We were having four column wide pictures of Tee-ball, not something I was necessarily interested in,” he said.
During basketball season a local player signed on to play basketball at Southern Methodist University and Manck wanted to do a follow up story on the player. That is when he learned about Sports Information directors, because he had to go through that department to speak with the player.
He then decided to go onto CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) and look over the job listings.
“I sent my cover letter and résumé to every single job posting. Not all were entry level positions, since I was not immersed in the industry yet. I had no clue I was probably applying for jobs which were not only over my head, but over the next four people I knew heads too,” Manck said.
At that time Scott McCain was the Sports Information director at Newberry College and an intern position was available and he called Manck for said position. McCain was the only one who called Manck back.
So Manck, 23 at the time, flew to South Carolina on his own dime to see the Newberry College campus.
“I had a little bit of money saved up, not much, and I decided to give it a shot, I was 23. It was a 10-month internship and I figured if I sucked at the job, or if I hated it, I would just go back to Texas and find something else,” Manck said.
As it turned out, Manck neither sucked at the job, nor did he hate it. He said he liked all the different aspects of the job, but the job has changed since he first started a decade ago.
“There was a lot more focus on print media ads, which I do not do anymore. There was no social media and video streaming was in its infancy. Now those are two of our biggest focuses. They take up most of our time,” Manck said.
Pretty soon after Manck started at Newberry College, McCain left for Charleston Southern University. At the end of that school year, Manck said the AD also left, and he was promoted to his position in spring of 2007.
Since he was promoted, his job has changed monumentally, and he says that is the way it is across the country. Part of his job is managing social media for Newberry College athletics but he also has oversight on the individual sports social media pages.
“I was one of the first ones on Twitter I feel like, because I was just trying to find any new thing and it’s free, so why not,” he said.
Efforts pay off
Currently Newberry College Athletics is ranked number one on d2socialmedia.info. This website takes followers from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and divides it by student population.
For Manck, his busiest time of the year is what he calls the crossover season, which is February and first half of March. This is when you have the winter sports: basketball (men’s and women’s) and wrestling.
Then before those seasons end, seven other sports will begin — golf (men’s and women’s), tennis (men’s and women’s), women’s lacrosse, baseball and softball.
When the crossover season is over, Manck said baseball becomes his favorite because there is no clock.
“Won my award for wrestling, I love doing that. I love doing football, I grew up in Texas, that is my religion. I love them all, but baseball does not have a clock, it is more relaxed — relaxed, but competitive,” Manck said.
During his time working at Newberry College, Manck earned his graduate degree from California University of Pennsylvania in 2012 in Sports Management.
When he is not at a Newberry College athletic event, Manck will assist with other teams in the areas. He has helped keep stats, worked the PA system and even done some writing for Presbyterian College, Lander University, USC Aiken, USC, Benedict College and the Columbia Fireflies.
“I have been able to establish really good relationships with other colleges in the area. I work as a walking billboard for the college because I wear Newberry gear,” Manck said.
Manck currently lives just down the road from Newberry College. He has a fiancé named Mindy and two dogs.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.