Nick Inzerello, Northwest Missouri State ’98, started his career while an undergraduate in the Sports Information Director’s office. “I was flipping through media guides, and I came across the Chicago Bears, which is my team. I was looking at the Bears media guide, and I see ‘Front Office’ and I’m seeing a marketing job, a PR job, etc., and I realize that’s something I want to do,” Inzerello said.
Fast forward 15 years, Inzerello is the senior director of football development for USA Football in Indianapolis. “USA Football serves as the national governing body of youth and amateur football. We are endowed by the NFL to make sure that the game is stronger at the youth and high school levels,” he said.
Inzerello has played a crucial role in Heads Up Football, a program aimed at 3 million contact and 1.1 million high school student athletes. The program focuses on coaching certification, concussion awareness, proper equipment, and correct tackling form, he explained.
“We want to make sure kids have a great experience. They learn a few things not just about the sport but the attributes [kids] get through teamwork: character development and responsibility. That carries over into everyday life.”
Inzerello got his start from a six-month internship with the U.S. Olympic Committee which he turned into full-time employment. In 2003, he found his home at USA Football.
Inzerello also looks back fondly on his time in SigEp. “I don’t think I would have done nearly as well on the field or in the classroom without the Fraternity,” Inzerello commented. “I wouldn’t have had a sense of purpose.”
To get into the sports industry, Inzerello advised, “If you want to work in sports, know what you want to do first and foremost. Second, talk to people. Write letters of interest. Ask them for informational interviews. Ask, ‘What do you do?,’ ‘Why do you do it?,’ ‘If I’m setting up for my career in sports, what advice would you give me?’ I sent out letters to every NFL team.” Inzerello also commented that he would start at www.teamworkonline.com, a site dedicated to job placement and internships in sports.
Inzerello played receiver for Northwest Missouri State’s football team, and he was part of a group, led by newly hired coach Mel Tjeerdsma, that turned the football program around. He said, “We went from 0-11 to 6-5, to 11-2, to 13-1. And my junior and senior year we went to the NCAA Elite 8. Now you see Northwest Missouri State in Division II football as a power house. We’re always a top-five program.” Inzerello and his teammates were inducted last year into the university’s hall of fame.
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