Katherine Daugherty ‘23 wasn’t your average middle school student.
“I started working in sports when I was twelve years old by helping my dad do radio broadcasting for high school football games,” said Daugherty. “We've done that together every year since, and we just finished up my 10th season of high school football. I love it. I’ve done games at Infocision stadium and FirstEnergy stadium, and I’ve connected with a lot of local talent.”
After she took a career aptitude test, Daugherty was first introduced to Malone and subsequently grew to like what Malone had to offer; inside the classroom and out.
“Sports were always something I wanted to do, so I wanted to explore the management side of the industry. I knew Malone’s business programs were strong, so majoring in both sport management and business administration was perfect for me. I also wanted a smaller Christian school, so I did an overnight visit at Malone after doing a regular campus visit to see what the student experience was like, and that visit was what convinced me. Malone felt right in every way.”
Daugherty came to Malone with a position already in place as team manager for the women’s basketball program. Despite not knowing much about basketball, she dove right in.
“During my freshman year the only position that I had within the athletics department was as manager for the women’s basketball team. I went to all the practices, kept stats, worked all the home games on the bench; I really learned a lot,” she said. “The next three years I also worked as the Sports Information intern. I was still at all the team practices, but come game time I was at the table doing official stats. Last year, I started writing the women’s basketball recaps for the athletics webpage, and that’s cool because I know the players and have insight that others might not have which I can include in my pieces. Being a part of that team has been really special, and I was able to travel with the team as they played in the NCAA Regional quarterfinals.”
In the midst of her work in the athletics department, Daugherty has also been hard at work as an honors student, recently presenting a portion of research at the HATH conference hosted by Youngstown State.
“My senior thesis is on the hype, impact, and legacy of the St. Edward and St. Ignatius High School football rivalry. I’ve been interviewing current and former players, media members, and other members of the school community; I’m focused on finding the personal and communal impact and significance that the rivalry has had on the people who have participated in it. To share that research and talk with people I’ve never met before about my work was an amazing experience.”
During her Malone career, Daugherty has been able to make great use of the resources and opportunities available to her. The internships that she’s had have been no different.
“I got an email from Mark Bankert, professor of sport management, in the spring of 2021, about a part-time position with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Professor Bankert also helped me develop my resume, and when I interviewed with the Vice President of Operations and Facilities, he said I was hired based on my resume alone,” she said. “ I ended up in the office doing credentials, and it was a pretty time consuming system to figure out. It took me three straight days to complete almost 2,000 credentials, and through that I showed more of my proficiencies. I started to gain more responsibility through my hard work, and in 2022, I was put in charge of a group of volunteers for the high school football championship.”
Daugherty’s diligence paid off in unforeseen ways, allowing her work in sports to coincide, again, with her family.
“The best part of working those high school football championships was the fact that I had an all-access pass, and my brother was on the St. Edward team that won the championship in 2021 and 2022. My boss was really understanding that once I finished up my responsibilities, I could be there to watch my brother win back-to-back state titles. I’ll be doing the same thing again this year, and I’ll get to watch my brother go for his third championship as an operations assistant at the Hall of Fame.”
In her final semester, Daugherty wasn’t about to slow down, and is taking on another internship; working with the United States Football League’s Pittsburgh Maulers, who also practice and play home games at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
“Starting in mid-March I will be doing equipment management for the team. Learning new aspects of the industry will keep me busy, but I’m excited,” said Daugherty. “It’s going to be cool because my dad is a big fan of the USFL, and I get to stay in my own backyard at the Hall of Fame.”
With so many plates spinning at once, Daugherty is thankful for her time at Malone, for the opportunities it has produced, and the skills she’s gained.
“Malone is the reason I was able to get work with the HOF and with the USFL. While I’ve worked a lot in broadcasting, Malone has been the foundation of helping me launch into other areas of sports and growing my network. I have gained the tools I need to take on so many things at once. I need to meet deadlines for professors, for athletics, and my thesis; the time management skills that I’ve gained here have already proven to be invaluable.”
Once she walks across the commencement stage in May, Daugherty will be right back at it again.
“I am going to stay at Malone for my MBA and serve as a graduate assistant in athletics, so I’ll be here for two more years, and that will allow me to continue these internships that I already have. I would love to end up working in media relations or sports information, at some level, but for now I’m just excited for my continued future in Canton and at Malone.”