Exclusive Interview: Rob Mason
Andrew Iams sits down with the New Assistant Athletic Director, Rob Mason.
LM SPORTSANDREW IAMS
At the beginning of the school year, the Little Miami Athletic Department posted the opening for Assistant Athletic Director. Seeing the opening, Teacher, and Football Coach Rob Mason decided to apply for the position. Mr. Mason’s application was accepted and he became the new Assistant Athletic Director. Mr. Mason has already made a huge impact on Little Miami Athletics, one example being the starting of the “Panther Bites” show, which includes Mr. Mason interviewing Little Miami Student-Athletes. The Little Miami Tribune’s Sports Reporter Andrew Iams sat down with Mr. Mason and talked to him about LM Athletics.
Andrew Iams: What is your athletic background either as a player or coach?
Mr. Mason: I played most sports as a kid, wrestling, baseball, and basketball, but in high school, I played football at Massillon Perry up in Stark County. I've been an assistant coach within the Middle School track program and also coached basketball at LMMS as well as 7th and 8th-grade football at the Middle School. At the High School, I've been an assistant coach on the varsity softball staff as well as the running backs coach and have been the Freshman and JV head coach.
Andrew Iams: How did you get the job of Assistant Athletic Director? What was the process like?
Mr. Mason: I interviewed for the first time back in 2019, I was not hired at that time. When the position opened again this past spring, I wasn't sure I was going to apply; I didn't want to face the chance of disappointment again. I talked to my wife and close friends and they said what is the worst thing they can say… "No"? I applied and was given an interview with the group and was offered the position a few days later.
Andrew Iams: Coming into your first year as the Assistant Athletic Director, what were you most excited about?
Mr. Mason: Good question, I think I was just excited to be able to be part of the process to help elevate LM in our athletic programs and see our athletes reach personal goals and achievements.
Andrew Iams: What is your favorite and least favorite part of being the Assistant Athletic Director?
Mr. Mason: That's a loaded question; my favorite part is the free chicken sandwiches I get from basketball concessions. Really, it's the sense of pride I get when I see our LM athletes take the field/court, the band playing the National Anthem, and our community cheering that makes my eyes water every time. My least favorite is mean people.
Andrew Iams: With you starting the show “Panther Bites”, what was your inspiration and goal behind the series?
Mr. Mason: “My inspiration for doing Panther Bites are those videos you watch at like 3 AM when you can't sleep, my go-to's are binging with Babish, Good Mythical Morning, Between Two Ferns, Hot Ones, Markiplier clips like that. My hope was to give a fun little outlet for our student-athletes to talk about what they love doing. “
Andrew Iams: What has been your favorite LM Sports moment so far this season?
Mr. Mason: “Whew, there were so many this year. You had Jake Wittenauer with Golf, Leland Woeste for Swim, Savvy Jocobenson being our first female state finalist for wrestling, Brentan Simmerman going to state for wrestling, Conner Petrey Milton reaching 30,000 pins for his HS bowling career, football knocking off undefeated Xenia in the playoffs to the athletes who made their first start, tackle, points, pin or first winning season, We've been fortunate to have some great moments so far this year. “
Andrew Iams: What are your opinions on the new changes to the Basketball Court?
Mr. Mason: “I think the gym looks drippy. It was time for the gym to get a facelift and update. Look for more little touches to the gym and other facilities in the future.”
Andrew Iams: What are some goals you have for the future?
Mr. Mason: “I'd like to improve our social media presence, I'm working on a campaign that will launch in the next few weeks. I'd like to see us having our own streaming play-by-play done by LMHS students, creating a leadership program for our athletes to learn what it means to lead. To move our Panther Bites "studio" out of a custodian closet to its own space and work with our community to continue to establish relationships that are mutually beneficial.”
Andrew Iams: If you had to describe what LM Athletics are all about, what would you say?
Mr. Mason: “I feel LM athletics are about conquering fear, hard work, being able to see adversity and flourish, and realizing that we are in a community and not alone in the journey that our athletes are walking through. Being proud to wear Little Miami on our chest, as athletes move towards future goals as community leaders and making positive change.”
Andrew Iams: If you had to give words of advice to future and current LM Athletes, what would that be?
Mr. Mason: “Don't give up. If you experience disappointment, learn from it—use that knowledge to help you move forward in chasing your dreams.”
Working alongside Mr. Mason is Athletic Director Matt Louis, with whom I had an opportunity to talk about Mr. Mason and his first year as Assistant Athletic Director.
Andrew Iams: If you had to describe Mr. Mason, what would you say?
Mr. Louis: “Coach Mason has been an awesome addition to the Athletic Department and we're lucky to have him," said Little Miami Athletic Director Matt Louis. "He has a passion for athletics and a tireless work ethic, too. Little Miami student-athletes and our coaching staff are truly the beneficiaries of his other-centered focus.”
Andrew Iams: How do you think Mr. Mason is doing in his first year as Assitant Athletic Director?
Mr. Louis: “Coach Mason's professional skill set is exactly the addition our team needed this year," Louis continued. "He shows up every day excited to display his talents while leading in areas such as sports logistics, game management, and athletic facility care. However, our favorite item that he covers is his "Panther Bites" series because we learn so many cool things about our athletes and coaches through his unique approach to video journalism. The Crumbl Cookie partnership for "Panther Bites" he orchestrated, is a great perk too.”
Mr. Mason is a great addition to the Little Miami Athletics Department. He has students, fans, athletes, coaches, teachers, and viewers excited to see what is next for Little Miami Athletics. Mr. Mason has created lots of hype and turned Little Miami’s Athletic Department into more active within the school.
As more articles, interviews, reports, and news arise from the Little Miami Tribune’s Sports Reporter and Writer Andrew Iams, has created a social media account to assist with his work on LM Sports. The Instagram Account handle is listed below, with other ways to contact Andrew.
Instagram: @OfficalAndrewIams Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quotes came from Assistant Athletic Director Rob Mason, Athletic Director Matt Louis, and from https://littlemiamipanthers.com/staff-directory/rob-mason/43
Pictures were provided from Rob Mason and from https://littlemiamipanthers.com
Mr. Mason was born in Northeast Ohio and was a student-athlete at Massillon Perry High School, graduating in 1989. Mr. Mason joined Little Miami Schools in 2017, starting at the High School as a paraprofessional. Mr. Mason’s Panther Coaching experience started in 2012, starting as the assistant Middle School track coach. He also coached Men’s Basketball at the LMHS, as well as becoming the running back’s coach for the High School Football team and later becoming the JV Football Head Coach. Mr. Mason’s love for Panther Athletics is very evident, with Mr. Mason saying “My two daughters graduated here. We live here. This is a dream job for me!”