UC SPAD Alumni Spotlight | Chloe Mayfield Brown, RAA

University of Cincinnati (UC) Program Director David Kelley, recently sat down with UC alum Chloe Mayfield Brown, RAA. Chloe is a recent master’s graduate from the UC SPAD program, and is currently the Director of Athletics at Western Hills High school located here in Cincinnati, Ohio.

David:  Can you explain what you were like in high school and what sports did you participate in?

Chloe:  “I attended Thurgood Marshall High School in Dayton Ohio and I played Varsity Basketball for three years, it would have been four if I didn’t tear my ACL my Sophomore year.  I tried out for track and field, softball and then I quickly realized that I really didn’t enjoy those things as much as I did basketball, so I kind of stuck with basketball.  But I was the kind of kid that was always involved with athletics. My friends played a lot of sports, so I was always in and around sports.”

David:  Here at the University of Cincinnati, during graduate school, you multitasked as both a graduate student and a graduate assistant with Archbishop Moeller High School. What was that like in terms of having to balance those demands of being both a master’s level student and a grad assistant? What were some of the things that you learned about yourself in that process?

Chloe:  “It was difficult to manage. I will say time management was the most difficult thing. Just trying to keep up with my studies and keep with the multiple readings that we would do in grad school. And also, doing those game time things like selling tickets and making sure everybody else is in place at Moeller a just making sure the event ran smooth. So definitely the time management piece was something because those events went on until 9 to 10-0’clock and then you have this reading to do for the next day. So just trying to balance all of that out. Overall, I quickly learned by myself how organized as well as how disorganized I actually am. So that’s a still a lot of been working on that for myself for quite a time now, but I’ve vastly improved and that just kind of showed me how disorganized I really was and how organization can actually improve my life.”


Chloe Mayfield Brown, RAA, Director of Athletics at Western Hills High School Cincinnati, Ohio

David:  Your rise in education based athletics has been very noteworthy, and a game-changing move happened the fall of 2023 as you took over as the Director of Athletics at Western Hills High School. With that being said, what were your immediate short-term goals that you set and what are some longer term goals as you have as you lead this program?

Chloe: “As far as short term goals as you know, I transitioned into this role was to keep building those relationships that I recently have developed. So coming in 2 years ago as the Assistant AD, that was my main goal was to build relationships. Cincinnati was a brand new city to me, so I knew I had to come in and really form those bonds with relationships in order to get people to trust me. So that’s what I’m continuing to do in the short term as AD, but on a different level with different stakeholders. So as assistant AD, it might be the coaches and it might be the kids in growing those bonds. But as the director of athletics. It to the bigger stakeholders, it’s to the West High alumni group is to the booster group, to the different principals around the area getting in front of their faces and making sure they know you and trust you as well as you go to different events, things like that. So those upper level relationships are some I’ve been focusing on as I transition into this role. Long term, I would probably say sponsorship and fundraising is going to be a big focus of mine because as assistant AD, it involved making sure coaches were doing what they needed to doo compliance wise and things like that, but thinking bigger picture for my entire program is what I’ll be focusing on. One of my goals is to have at least 3 sponsorships within the next year, because there’s so much opportunity and we have beautiful facilities over at Western Hills High School. And, I think there’s a lot of opportunities to grow that and for people to be a part of it.”

David:  Within this realm of education based athletics, who have been your role models?

Chloe:  “I would definitely probably say, Phil O’Neil, who I worked under for 2 years. He really kind of brought me in as a master student and I really knew nothing about being in a school environment and so I came fresh from grad school so I didn’t have a whole lot of experience. I was at Moeller High School for a couple months, but really he (Phil) took a chance on somebody who was fresh out of school. It turned out that we worked extremely well together so he’s taught me a lot about being an athletic director.   Another would be Paul Brownfield over at Aiken High School, I’ve been leaning on him heavily throughout this whole transition and he’s been great to me about sharing different ways to go about things and recently he just helped me with a bunch of transfers for OHSAA, so I have a great network. Then I would say Shay Steele over a Walnut Hills High School has been tremendous. We graduated the same time at the University of Cincinnati. We were in all those group project together and she’s been somebody who I have leaned on, not just like as an athletic director, just being a  black woman in sport, somebody who I can vent to just about different things or barriers I may face in this role. And then finally another role model I would probably say is Josh Hardin and he has been tremendous. I think Josh handles his business very well, honestly. He does a fantastic job coordinating everything and he’s been a shoulder that I can lean on as well”.

David:   Please share how you and your coaches act as role models for your student athletes.

Chloe: “We just try to do the right thing, each day. We just model our behavior by making sure we’re doing stand-up things in front of them, just so they can sort of follow that role, from talking to people in general with respect as well as respecting officials. Specifically, one thing I’ve been teaching my kids and teaching my coaches is to always say ‘hello’. I think sometimes, especially with COVID we’ve gotten into the habit of kind of just looking down at our screens and stuff like that. So I’ve been trying to implement this thing where I’m always saying hello to everybody in front of me. And, I want my kids to model that behavior as well.  Everyone went through that COVID time where they were primarily on their screens and by themselves and isolated. So they’re kind of getting, getting back into the idea of interpersonal interaction once again. So. Just always saying hello, being friendly, making small talk and all of those things can go a long way when we’re talking about athletics. All of our game officials really appreciated it when we had kids saying ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’ or ask ‘is there anything I can do to help’?   So I, along with my coaches try to create that culture of camaraderie and saying hello and being pleasant and being a good host always is something you’ll get when you’re attending a Western Hills game.”

David:  What are some initiatives that you have for Western Hills athletics in terms of either renovating or possibly constructing new sports facilities?

Chloe:  “One big thing that is on my mind right now, is turfing our based on softball field. I remember a long time before me, they said that Western Hills was the host for a lot of OHSAA tournament games and I want to get back to that, because not a lot of schools over in our area on the west side have a nice baseball stadium. So I want to be able to turf our entire field and with the help of the Reds Community Fund, Charlie Frank and Cincinnati Public Schools with Josh Hardin, just that collaborative group work also working with Activities Beyond the Classroom, to get that field turf and as a result, possibly bring in a lot of revenue. Currently, a lot of teams, a lot of semi-professional teams want to use it. Other high schools want to use it and so I think that could be a great revenue builder for us.”

David:  What advice would you offer to graduate students as they matriculate through the sport administration program here at UC?

Chloe:  I would say networking, networking, networking, it’s probably something that everybody has heard before, but it’s super important. Another, I would say is remain genuine.  I would say that high school sports really requires genuine people who care about kids.  So if you’re looking to get into education based athletics, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. There’s not a ton of money in high school athletics or notoriety and so you’re always the person behind the curtain who makes it happen. So, just make sure you have that passion and drive to help and be impactful for high school athletics.”

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