Sports

Eagle leaves for Razorbacks

Every year that Simeon Hinsey, the Assistant Athletics’ Director for Media Relations, has worked at John Brown University there has been a transition within the Athletic Department.

This year though Hinsey will be the one transitioning to a new position as a graduate assistant position at the University of Arkansas.

“I feel for Robyn [Daugherty] because she hasn’t had a break,” said Hinsey about JBU’s Athletic Director.

When Daugherty became the Athletic Director six years ago, Hinsey was her first hire.

“It’s been fun to work along side each other,” said Daugherty. Together the two of them developed the Athletic Department as it is today.

“She has allowed the position to grow around my skill set,” said Hinsey about Daugherty, “I am going to miss working with her.”

Before working at JBU, Hinsey had finished his master’s degree in sports management while working at a local television station.

While he was well qualified for the position, Hinsey knew some people might have thought he was hired solely because he had played basketball at JBU.

“When I took the job, I said I would work my tail off to win them over,” said Hinsey.

Hinsey has always worked hard to prove himself, first as a fourteen-year-old high school freshman when he left his home in Nassau, Bahamas, to continue his education at Fayetteville Christian High School.

At 16, he became a freshman walk-on at JBU. By the next year he had earned an athletic scholarship and in 2002 he graduated with a double major in digital media and broadcasting.

“This is crazy, how life works out,” said Hinsey.

Hinsey’s main goal as JBU’s Sports Information Director was to make sure people knew about the University’s student-athletes. As a former Golden Eagle, Hinsey remembered his frustration with press releases that would not come out until a few days after a game and not having access to his own stats.

Daugherty said because of the solid foundation Hinsey has set his replacement will have a much easier job.

“Many times you take a job and have to fix things that were broken and we are not in that situation,” said Daugherty.

Hinsey said the most enjoyable part of his time at JBU developing relationships with student-athletes, students he has worked with and students he has taught.

Hinsey recounted meeting different student-athletes on their visit days and watching students who worked with him walk across the stage at graduation.

“That is the most memorable part of this job and that most sad part of giving it up,” said Hinsey.

One of those students, freshman Serenity Domenico, a Sports Information work-study student, said she is very excited for Hinsey, though she will miss seeing him around campus.

Abel Galliguez, a redshirt junior on the men’s basketball team, said he was surprised when he first heard Hinsey was leaving but was excited for Hinsey when he heard about the position at UA.

Galliguez said Hinsey is warm-hearted and makes those around him feel very relaxed.

“He makes you feel like you already know him,” said Galliguez reflecting on his visit day when he first met Hinsey.

Domenico described Hinsey as self-less and a good communicator.

“Sim has this openness about him that athletes have the ability to walk and be like ‘Hey, I’m having a hard time’,” said Domenico.

Daugherty said often Hinsey could have done things faster but instead he chose to work with students so that they would leave school with a wider skill set.

“He’s invested so much time into these students and this school, I feel it’s time for him to work on his goals,” said Domenico.

Hinsey’s new position will allow him to complete his graduate degree much quicker and his schooling will be paid for by the UA.

As a graduate assistant for Student Athletic Development at UA, he will continue mentoring student athletes.

Because of the high profile of Razorback athletes, there is a Student Development office designed specifically for them.

“It’s weird because my office is part of the football stadium,” said Hinsey.

When Hinsey first read the description of the position at the UA, he was surprised by how closely it fit what he was already doing at JBU.

“Simeon just had many skills in a variety of areas and that is what is going to make him valuable in athletic administration down the road,” said Daugherty.

Daugherty said when Hinsey told her he was taking a position at the UA, she was not surprised in part because she had written a recommendation letter for Hinsey and she had not expected Hinsey to stay at JBU for a long amount of time.

“When you hire a SID you know it’s not a life-time position,” said Daugherty.

Hinsey’s long-term goal is to return to the Bahamas to create a wellness center to teach kids about personal development through education and athletics.

“Here you see four kids having to leave home to pursue their dreams,” said Hinsey about four other former student-athletes from the Bahamas with similar stories to his, “What about kids who don’t have that opportunity?”