Taking a glimpse at Michael McNally’s resume of incredible achievements, it’s no wonder Scottsdale Community College hired him in August as the new Athletic Director of their 10-team department.
Since he received his bachelor’s degree in communication at ASU and a master’s degree in leadership at Grand Canyon University, he has logged 10 years in the Phoenix sports market, both at the collegiate and professional level.
“He comes to us with a strong foundation in athletics at every level,” says Donna Young, SCC’s dean of students. “We’re very excited to have him. He’s got a lot to offer.”
With his fair share of glory days, McNally encourages students to sit down and discuss with him when and if they need advice about their futures. With that in mind, College Times picked the brain of the 43-year-old for advice he would give any college student, regardless of their interests and majors.
College Times: What would you say to a college student who feels overloaded by school, work and extracurricular activities right now?
McNally: It is a time in your life when a lot of things are colliding. Right now you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but when it does come, persevere and work through it, drive through it…. embrace the challenges that you will also face later in your working career.
When trying to reach your future goals, do you think that is dependent on who you know or what you know?
Both. It’s important to have the skill set to do the job you are asked to do. I always tell people I work with to never go into an interview and say you could do something you can’t. Who you know is extremely important… and when you are promotable these people can say [to their other networks]“Hey, I know this guy”…. Even [with]what I do, I have adopted from those around me. I am fortunate to have surrounded myself with really great people who are doing things the right way.
If a student has a lot occurring in their life, what is your advice in how to handle the fast approaching negative and positive changes?
It is in our nature to rush. In our fast-paced society, we watch crime TV shows that happen within an hour…. My career took steps to get to where I am now and they were not the most glorious steps. So continue having your dreams. Continue to work towards them, and if something happens in the time frame you didn’t want, continue to push forward. A to B is not always a straight line. It might be a zig-zag. So continue to get to B…. It is all about attitude and effort…. I ask my own employees that if you can show up every day and give 100 percent of your effort you will win far more than you will lose.
What is one piece of advice you wish you could have told your younger self in college?
Make sure to appreciate the moments that come along. Athletics is my whole career and I have been around a lot of remarkable stories, people and outcomes that happened on the field. When you are so busy you don’t stop and realize how great that moment was. Take time to really enjoy those moments because they go by quick and you don’t get the opportunity to get those again.