Director of Athletics Bob Howe prides himself on being multidimensional. In addition to earning captaincy for three sports for his final two years of college, Mr. Howe’s ability as a penman is on full display during every Athletic Awards meeting, where students can count on his poems that recap highlights from the past season. As it turns out, Mr. Howe’s ability as a poet translates well to more conventional writing.
Mr. Howe’s newest frontier is “Bob’s Blog,” a monthly opinion on a number of athletics-related topics with a focus on stirring up alumni interest. His first entry this year was an update on Deerfield athletics as a whole during Fall Family Weekend.
Writing is not a new interest to Deerfield’s athletic director: “I’m not particularly quick on my feet; I’m better with a pen,” he said. Writing may even be a part of his future, as he explained, “I enjoy writing. Some day when I retire, I might do some more writing. I’d love to write a book on my experiences as an athletic director for twenty-plus years at these schools. I have a lot of interesting stories.”
Mr. Howe has ambitions of expanding his new blog to more than just updates: “I hope the blog will have a message from me and a different part of life on campus, whether it’s the Choate Day experience through our student’s eyes, to specialization [of high level athletes] and how I feel about it, and how it affects how we work in admissions, to giving a temperature to what’s going on here for people who might not go to our website regularly.”
The Athletic Department is currently promoting an initiative to involve alumni more with athletics and to steadily improve the reputation of all of our teams in a sustainable way. “We’re trying to reach more alumni,” Mr. Howe explained. “Part of the initiative here is bringing people back to campus, back to… wanting to be a part of the growth of our athletic program.”
According to his blog, in terms of the department’s goal of increasing alumni engagement, Mr. Howe said Big Green has been showing up more in contrast to last year: “This year we have scheduled many more games to be livestreamed, and already we see a much higher number of people signing on to the games from a year ago.”
Additionally, the Athletic Department’s on-field plan for team improvement is coming to fruition well this fall, as a number of teams head into the New England championships in better position than last season, headlined by the field hockey, cross country, and football teams.
More than anything, Mr. Howe wants to assure alumni that action is in place and is being carried out by the administration. “There is an athletic initiative,” Mr. Howe said, “The blog is really to get the message out that we’re working hard to make our programs better, and we’re doing it the right way.”
You can find Mr. Howe’s updates under “Bob’s Blog” on the Athletics page of Deerfield’s website.