The Department of Athletics welcomed several new staff members over the spring and summer, and they say they’re ready for the challenges ahead.
Jordan Herrod joined the university over the summer as assistant athletic director of communications, coming from Fresno Pacific University, and recent graduate Landon Autrey, the new Director of Football Operations.
Herrod brings more than a decade of experience, including time at Fresno Pacific, a Div. II program. Before that he was at Lynn University and Texas A&M-Commerce.
“Any transition is tough when you have to move across the country,” he said. “I’ve never had to feel like the new kid and I felt very included by the beginning. I think the hardest part of my job is that I put too much pressure on myself.”
Herrod grew up in West Texas, which eases his transition.
“I’m from West Texas, and I’ve wanted to go back home,” Herrod said. “Most of my family is still right down Interstate 20. Being home and going Div. I was a big draw for me.”
Herrod’s new role brings a massive challenge, but he’s working long hours to ensure the growth of athletics at ACU.
“The time demands, being a perfectionist, I want to make sure we’re doing things the right way at a high level,” he said. “Right now it’s a lot of hours ranging from 12- to 14-hour days, but that’s the nature of it during football season. Once we settle into a rhythm, I think it’ll be a little bit easier on all of us, but right now it’s a grind everyday. It can be stressful, but it’s what we signed up for.”
At Fresno Pacific, Herrod worked alongside athletic directors who now work in the Western Athletic Conference, which ACU joined on July 1.
“At one point, the conference I was in at Fresno Pacific had California Baptist, Dixie State and Grand Canyon,” Herrod said. “Coming into this conference, I feel like I have a lot more contacts that I know than any conference I’ve ever gone to. Knowing some people in the conference already is gonna be a huge plus for us.”
Herrod started his new role at ACU in mid-June and said he loves West Texas and ACU.
“West Texas has always been home for me,” Herrod said. “I love our facilities, our staff, and I’m proud to be here. I think we have a lot of really good things going on and a lot of good people who really care what we’re putting out and the development of our student athletes.”
Landon Autrey took over for Becky Brown who left in May for the Administrative Support Coordinator role at Fresno State. Autrey graduated in May after working as a student assistant with football for four years working in logistics and recruiting.
“I’m kinda learning the job as I go,” he said. “The Western Athletic Conference wasn’t really prepared for a football season but we’re both working through the kinks right now.”
Autrey’s been working more on the logistical side of athletics to guarantee that everything’s in place for the season.
“It’ll keep you on your feet,” Autrey said. “Coach Dorrel and I are expecting a great season. We’re excited for it to be somewhat normal after last year which was chaotic.”
Autrey’s position is a relatively new division one role especially at ACU.
“Even in division one sports overall operations have only been around for maybe 20 to 25 years and before that it was just the coach,” he said. “It’s still a new position that we’re all trying to figure out and trying to make the coach’s life easier. Div. I programs require a lot of staff.”