Undergraduate experience brings SID opportunity

Oldenburg takes on his fifth sport in three years.
Sports Information Director Andy Oldenburg smiles while the Missouri Tigers play against the Georgia Bulldogs on Nov. 13, 2015, at Hearnes Center. This year, he officially became a full-time SID, taking on volleyball and softball.

He sits behind his computer, fingers fumbling and mouth muttering stats to his co-worker beside him as the volleyball game unfolds in front of him. Multitasking simply comes with the territory.

Sports Information Director Andy Oldenburg is a newcomer to the Missouri volleyball team this year, but his familiarity with Mizzou and the sports programs dates back much further.

As a business management student, Oldenburg was a little bit out of place in the Mizzou Athletics Strategic Communications office while working as a student assistant years ago. But his love for sports propelled him past the journalism and communications students who worked the same position.

After three years of making connections and moving up in the office, Oldenburg earned his master's degree from Maryville University, then promptly moved to Nevada for his first major sports gig with the Reno Aces, a triple-A baseball team.

“If I didn’t have that student assistant experience, I think I’d have no chance of getting a job in sports,” Oldenburg said. “I definitely think that’s the reason why I got the job out of college.”

His employment with the Aces was seasonal, so his job hunt began once again. And back to his alma mater he looked.

They remembered him.

With an associate position opening in his old office, Oldenburg went through the application process once again and snagged the job at MU, requiring him to move back almost immediately.

He started as an associate with the gymnastics team in 2013, then moved to wrestling and tennis the following year. At last, this year, he officially became a full-time SID, taking on volleyball and softball.

Before him, Shawn Davis was the volleyball team’s SID for over five years. While Davis takes on a familiarity process as the new football SID, Oldenburg has been doing the same with volleyball. But with an outgoing personality and sense of openness, the transition has been a snappy one.

“Even though we’ve only known him a few months, I feel like he fits right into our volleyball family,” senior hitter Regan Peltier said.

Though he’s been a part of five different programs at Mizzou, he said his day-to-day duties have remained the same: hectic.

As the “conduit of information,” according to coach Wayne Kreklow, Oldenburg is the primary producer of the team’s image. From social media snapshots to live tweeting during games, the coach-SID pair works closely to give off an accurate presentation of Mizzou volleyball.

Outside of this, Oldenburg is in constant communication with the media, student-athletes, coaches and more. He’s responsible for game notes, game day programs and the mounds of people “yanking at (his) strings” with different concerns. With everything happening at once, it can be a little overwhelming.

“I would say the craziest thing about my job is just how many texts and emails I get everyday,” Oldenburg said. “No matter how early or how late — whether it's from my coaching staff, whether it's from my student athletes.”

And such a demanding job truly takes a toll. Thus, it's no mystery why the majority of SIDs are relatively young.

“There’s a reason. The hours and the travel that you put into this almost year round, it gets to you,” Oldenburg said. “It's a young person’s job. It's a rarity to see someone in their 30s or 40s being an SID these days “

Given the strenuous commitment, Oldenburg says he will likely have to move on if a wife and kid are in his future. But for now, he’s just having too much fun.

“I haven’t yet really used my business degree but I think that could come in handy down the road,” Oldenburg said. “I will get out of sports but that's probably not going to be for a long time just because I love it so much right now.”

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