ALUMNUS OF THE MONTH
This month’s Alumnus of the Month spotlight belongs to
Martin "Marty" Kaufmann, Class of 1989.
Marty, son of Marianne and the late John (’46) Kaufmann, is the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Relations at the University of Illinois-Champaign. Growing up Marty was no stranger to Routt, having had his father, his siblings, uncles, and several cousins attending Routt. Marty currently lives in Champaign with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children, Nate and Emma, who attend St. Matthew Elementary. After graduating from Routt in 1989, Marty attended school at the University of Illinois. He received a degree in Business Administration and Marketing in 1993 and, except for a few months after his college graduation, he’s really been there ever since.
His career has been rather unique in that, except for the occasional summer job throughout his academic career, Marty has always worked for the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. “I started as a student volunteer in the Sports Information Office helping with media relations and statistics/archives and gradually worked my way into the business and revenue-generation side of things until I reached my current role”, says Marty. “I have told many students not to expect to be in one place for your career, I’ve just been very, very fortunate to have had the opportunity to grow my career and have had different responsibilities along the way.” While it is fun and extremely rewarding, working in athletics at the collegiate level is no easy task. “We work hard and put in a lot of weekend and evening hours. Particularly the first several years of working in athletics, you aren’t paid well in comparison to other jobs.” There are benefits, however. Marty recalls playing roles on Illinois’ trips to the Final Four, Rose Bowl, and many other amazing events. These are the moments when he and his staff remember just how fortunate they are to work in a field that they love so much.
In Marty’s current position as Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Relations, he oversees a lot of the departments who are working day-to-day with their fans and the general public. Some of the items that he is overseeing include “marketing, communications, public relations, video, ticketing, and game operations units,” says Marty. “I’m lucky to have some very experienced and talented managers in each of those areas and I mainly help make sure we communicate between departments and work together to promote our student-athletes and events and host the best game day events as possible.” Marty also works with some of the key corporate sponsors, including State Farm, Nike, Coca-Cola, and Gatorade.
When asked about his time at Routt Catholic, Marty has a hard time picking one favorite memory. “Honestly, there are so many stories that my friends and I still laugh about every now and again.” His brother, Pat, was a senior when Marty was a freshman, so playing on the same football and baseball team was very special to him. “I was close with a lot of Pat’s classmates and still am great friends with them today – along with people from my class, as well as the ones ahead and behind me. I’m still awesome friends with many of those people. I just have great memories and feel a shared set of values with many of those people. I can run into Routt graduates in random places throughout the country and we can always find some common connection to relate to each other.”
In terms of how Routt prepared Marty for the “real world”, Marty really gives credit to the solid education that he received. “My core study skills and knowledge of math, writing, and English/grammar were really good. I didn’t really know how good they were until I was at the U of I…I realized that my basic knowledge and ability to write and communicate in class was better than most.” In addition to the education, he credits Routt with teaching him a good sense of right and wrong, and treating people how he wants to be treated. “It sounds simple but I’ve come to realize that not everybody has had that upbringing. My parents were certainly a huge part of that, but the education we all received at Routt was really influential as well.”
If you know of a Routt graduate who you would like to nominate as a future Alumnus of the Month, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.