Final Pizza with the Pros hosts Tim McDermott

Tim McDermott speaks to students at Pizza with the Pros. - Photo via RowanSportsCAM on X

Monday, April 15, marked the final “Pizza With The Pros” of the spring, concluding the semester with guest speaker Tim McDermott. McDermott is the President of the Philadelphia Union and Union Sports & Entertainment.

McDermott has served as the Union President since 2019. He previously spent time as the Chief Marketing Officer for the Philadelphia 76ers from 2013 to 2016 and the Philadelphia Eagles from 2010 to 2012. McDermott earned his MBA from Harvard and bachelor’s degree from Cornell, where he was a three-year letter winner in football.

All throughout college, McDermott was never that sure of what he wanted to do for a career. At the start of college, he wanted to be an engineer, but after only two weeks he realized that it wasn’t for him. Six months later, he transferred into business.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but if I had a business degree I thought it would give me some flexibility,” McDermott said.

At the end of his senior year, McDermott had a few job opportunities, but none of them truly excited him. McDermott soon realized that his passion was in sports.

Growing up, McDermott was always around sports. This was mainly due to the fact that his dad was a football coach for West Chester University, a Division II school. To help his son pursue his passion, he encouraged McDermott to write a letter to Michael Huyghue, who at the time was the VP of Football Operations for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Huyghue, just like McDermott, also played football at Cornell University. Having this connection played a role in Huyghue offering him an internship with the team. However, McDermott now had a tough choice to make.

“I could take an internship for $300 a week, move to Jacksonville, no health insurance, never been to Jacksonville before, no family living there or I could take one of these full-time jobs,” McDermott said.

McDermott decided to take the risk, his reasoning being, “If this sports thing didn’t work out, other corporate opportunities would hopefully be there.”

Only being paid $300 a week for the next six months, the team wanted to see if McDermott was really dedicated to his new dream. The team placed him in football operations, which is the side that signs the players and manages the salary cap. For those six months, McDermott was up at five in the morning, going to sleep at one in the morning. 

This hard work paid off, as after the six months were over, McDermott was offered a full-time job in football operations. This was just the start of McDermott and in 2019, he was named the President of the Philadelphia Union, combining his degree in business with his passion for sports.

“Pizza With The Pros” will resume in the fall for a new semester of outstanding guest speakers.

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