Organizing a major college sports event is tough enough, so imagine the task at hand when Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Director of Championships Breon Hagans suddenly had to relocate eight of them on short notice.
Hagans, an alumnus of Winston-Salem State, has been recognized as a "Sports Event Planner to Watch" in 2017 by SportsEvents Magazine.
In March 2016, when North Carolina’s legislature enacted HB2 and then-Governor Pat McCrory signed it declaring that individuals must use restrooms according to what gender is on their birth certificate, the CIAA decided to act.
Eight of the 12 schools in the conference are located in North Carolina and many of the conference championships were scheduled there. Suddenly, Hagans had to relocate eight championships.
“It was a real challenge especially when you are only about four weeks away from the first one you have to relocate,” Hagans said. “I wanted to find the appropriate venues and be able to put on the same championship.
We’ve done four championships so far this year, all but one relocated. All have been great.” Time, however, wasn’t on Hagans side.
“We were maybe four weeks if not shorter away from cross country when I got the official go-ahead to move championships. I had to seek the sites and time was the biggest challenge I faced. Once I found a cross-country site, I had to prepare for cross-country while looking for a football site. I did most of my preparing for the first championship on the road.” Hagans put out bid specs for most of the championships but the main thing he focused on was the host facility having expertise in hosting events.
Hagans runs 17 championship events each year, including the CIAA basketball tournament that is considered the third-largest tournament in the nation.
Now that the championships have been set in locations, Hagans plans to keep most at their current sites for a three-year rotation.
That allows him to get back to what he does best.
“Once I get a site set, that’s when I start working on my creativity,” he said. “I have to transform that venue to what I want. I put more pressure on myself. You know it will be good but you want it to be great.”
~ SportsEvents Media Group