Gates Seeks To Seize Opportunities And Pioneer In New Role


The State of Ohio has announced that former Boston College Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Athletics Administrator Jocelyn Gates will take the reigns as the next Senior Associate Director of Athletics at the ‘Ohio State. Credit: Courtesy of the Ohio State Department of Athletics

Ohio State announced Monday that former Boston College Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Administrator Jocelyn Gates has been hired as senior associate sports director.

Arriving in Columbus with years of experience at the University of South Florida, Boston College and Duke University, Gates is one of the few women to oversee a Power Five football program. With particular attention to his historic hiring, Gates recognized the importance of his rise in sports administration.

“The fact that the state of Ohio is hiring an outside woman to fill this position is a big problem. So I’m delighted to be part of this small group of women who will be overseeing football, ”said Gates. “It’s important for me, as a woman and as a black woman, to show those who come after me that they can dream big, they can have opportunities like this and they can work hard and excel. . ”

During his four-year tenure at the University of South Florida, Jocelyn Gates called on Ohio State Assistant Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond in an effort to schedule a home series with the Buckeyes. .

Although she contacted Jarmond once a month for three years, she was never able to achieve this goal. Still, Gates learned the difficulties of the schedule at the college level.

Now Gates finds himself on the other side of the planning conversation.

“The programming at the University of South Florida and the State of Ohio will be very different, as one institution is a Power Five, while the other institution is not a Power Five,” Gates said. “Being in South Florida taught me how to grind. It taught me to ask and not to be afraid of the “No” answer and to keep moving forward. ”

Prior to his arrival in Columbus, Gates spent nearly four years at Boston College.

In Boston, Gates worked closely with Jarmond – who was in the midst of a three-year tenure as athletic director – and was instrumental in poaching the former Ohio defensive co-coordinator. State Jeff Hafley to become the Eagles’ next head coach in 2019.

“Martin has been an amazing mentor and an amazing friend and he has taught me so much about the people in the business, taking care of people, being really student-athlete and coaching focused,” said Gates. “We stole Jeff Hafley, we took him to Boston College, and Martin put me in that process.”

Throughout the interview process with the state of Ohio, Gates said she fell in love with the idea of ​​working with athletic director Gene Smith and senior assistant athletic director Janine Oman, as well as culture within the Ohio State Sports Department.

“The opportunity to work with Gene Smith and Janine Oman, two amazing people in the industry, is an opportunity you cannot pass up,” said Gates. “Who doesn’t want to work in an institution like this, which deals with academics and the student-athlete experience? ”

Gates added that she was drawn to the work by the family nature of the program, which, as a pregnant mother of two, is very important to her.

Along with the new career opportunities resulting from the move, Gates will also be getting closer to his family.

Her husband, Dennis Gates, has been the head coach of men’s basketball at Cleveland State since 2019, and with his move to Columbus, it’s now much easier for the pair to see each other on a regular basis.

Before the pandemic, Gates said she would see her husband every two to three weeks. Now that she will be based in Columbus, Gates said she was thrilled to have the opportunity for her family to be together more often.

“Now the arrangement is that we can see each other when we need to,” Gates said. “We are lucky, we have family, we have help. We make it work.

As Gates makes the transition to a new college and a new position as she waits for her third child “every day,” she said she wanted to be an example for women to break down barriers, no matter what. circumstances.

“I want women to know that you can be mothers and that you can be in this business,” Gates said. “I do not take lightly the fact that I am a woman in this profession who has great opportunities. And a black woman in this business, you don’t see her often, to supervise football, and that’s so important to me.

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