MS Sport Administration Alumni Spotlight | Jabreel Moton

UC Alumni Interview

University of Cincinnati alumni Jabreel Moton recently sat down with UC faculty member Dr. David Kelley. Jabreel is the Director of Athletics at Woodward Career Technical High School within Cincinnati Public Schools and graduated with his Master’s in Sport Administration from UC’s online program in 2022. Read the interview below.

Dr. Kelley:  What were you like in High School and what sports did you participate in?

Jabreel Moton:  I was always in that kind of that situation of getting report cards, and the teachers would say, “He is great in class and does this great, but he’s a little bit too talkative”.  During my freshman and sophomore year in high school, I attended a prep school for 2 years at Western Reserve Academy up in Hudson, Ohio. However, I came back to Cincinnati and actually graduated from Dater High School.  When I came back, I was there for 2 years and played basketball with Western Hills High School because the schools were combined. I also played football for one-year, cross country for one year, and I also participated in track and baseball. So those were some of the sports that I tried out and attempted, however, my main sport was basketball.

Dr. Kelley:  Why did you choose to pursue your master’s in sport administration with the University of Cincinnati online program?

Jabreel Moton:  Well, honestly, part of it was my relationship with you Dr. Kelley; getting to know you over the years being an athletic director here at Woodward. Just conversations that we’ve had as well as knowing some of the other athletic directors going the same route and attending the University of Cincinnati online program. Another big part of my choice was my mom. My mom actually got her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati back in the eighties. Also, my baby sister got her undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati, so, we have family ties, and it was cool to be able to graduate and get my master’s degree from UC. So, we all share being Bearcat alumni.

Dr. Kelley:  Any favorite memories, classes, professors or specific activities while attending the University of Cincinnati as an online master’s student?

Jabreel Moton: I literally enjoyed all of the classes and professors. It was an experience that quite honestly being in the field during that period of time working as an athletic director, and at the same time, the class assignments and everything were super applicable. Also, being able to share my perspective and story with some of the individuals who weren’t in the field within the classes and, on top of that, I also enjoyed many of the group activities. One of the activities I enjoyed was completing my capstone, I did it on equity and compensation with the Name Image and Likeness. Overall, I just think that it is huge for current college student athletes to be able to benefit now from their name, image, and likeness. I also thought about myself and how that could have potentially helped me. But, truly understanding just how phenomenal that really is for current student athletes to be able to get paid for their name, image, and likeness, you know, because of all of the work that they put into it throughout high school and throughout their life to get to that level, it’s a huge accomplishment.

Dr. Kelley: Your rise in education-based athletics has been very noteworthy, and a game-changing move happened the fall of 2022 while you were working on your Master’s degree. You were named the OIAAA (Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association) 2022 Athletic Director of the Year at the State Conference in Columbus Ohio. With that being said, what was that like in terms of having to balance those demands of being both a master’s level student and a Director of Athletics? What were some things you learned about yourself in that process?

Jabreel Moton:  Well, to answer the first part quite honestly, the whole balance of it was difficult. Also, to even be nominated as the athletic director of the year during that period of time coming out of the COVID pandemic, I was actually super surprised, because it was very enlightening to know that people were paying attention to the work that I was doing, because a lot of times as an athletic director, it’s a very thankless job. You don’t get a lot of “thank you(s)” very often. So, to know that people outside of our building or even outside of our district for that matter who took note of the things that I was doing and putting in place here at Woodward was nice. My peers were super appreciative and overall, it was a humbling moment and experience for me considering all of the time and dedication that you put into the hours within the office, into ideas, into new programs, into new creative ways to do things and all that comes with it because you’re always constantly evolving.

What I learned about myself is the art of saying no and the value of time management and prioritizing my school work.  Sometimes, not seeing or spending as much time with my family and my sisters and friends, but also still going on vacations with the understanding that while I’m on vacations the mornings are dedicated to class work.  Telling people, “I can’t go do that because I have to get my schoolwork done”. So really, just having that sense of a no is actually a no, and people have to accept that.  It was difficult when, especially when you’re a doer and a giver to tell people no and not feel like I’m letting someone down, but overall, the art of saying no was important.

Dr. Kelley:  What are one or two of your proudest professional or personal accomplishments that occurred after graduating from the University of Cincinnati in which your education played a role?

Jabreel Moton:  One of my proudest moments happened simultaneously with my baby sister. She graduated from Wright State University with her masters, and we actually got to graduate on the same day. So, I graduated from UC in the morning and she graduated from Wright State that same day in the evening.

Dr. Kelley:  What advice would you offer to graduate students as they matriculate through the sport administration program here at UC who are also balancing the demands of being a Director of Athletics?

Jabreel Moton:  I think it’s all about learning to get to know yourself and being realistic with yourself.  So really, being honest and asking yourself, “am I the person that can do one class at a time and take two years to complete the program or am I that person that can complete four classes in a semester and be able to complete the program in one year while understanding what are my other commitments”?

Because, being an athletic director, it’s in most instances, seven days a week. With that being said, you know what you can handle and not handle. Truly being honest with yourself is very important because the only goal is finishing. It’s not about how long it took you to cross the finish line. It’s about getting across the finish line. So, really being responsible in your workload, making a conscious effort to make sure you’re able to give time and pour effort into all parts of your life.

Dr. Kelley:  In what ways do you give back or engage with our University of Cincinnati Sport Administration program?

Jabreel Moton:  I enjoy coming back and speaking to the classes, and giving my perspective. I always try to volunteer and make myself available for those moments. And I’ve actually been fortunate enough to have a couple of UC Sport Administration students intern with me. I now currently have Ethan Bogle and he’s been a great intern. I had him here today doing some competitive balance stuff so really, just trying to teach him everything that I know, and answer his questions.  Because that’s the other part. There’s no specific roadmap or book to say, “This is how every athletic department runs” or “This is how you do it”. Every athletic department and every sports program within every school is going to be a little bit different. So, you provide the “nuts and the bolts” and other tools to manage situations and understand that when you’re in the fire, you might have to make a split-second decision on a situation that you didn’t necessarily plan to occur. But at least now you’ve got the tools on how to deal with it.

To hear more success stories regarding the University of Cincinnati’s 100% online Master of Science in Sport Administration program, check out our testimonial page.

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