Exploring Opportunities: Sport Administration Alumnus, Calvin Barnaby, Achieves Ultimate Career

Calvin Barnaby

Calvin Barnaby of Newport News, VA is the operations supervisor at Fanatics Inc., an online retailer of licensed sportswear, equipment, and merchandise. Along with his Associates Degree in Science from Thomas Nelson Community College, in Hampton, VA, Barnaby graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Administration in spring 2018.

Dr. Tim Winter, professor and chair of the kinesiology/health science department at LSU Shreveport and Dr. Dee Jacobsen, associate professor of professional practice, at LSU work with students, one-on-one as part of a joint program between the campuses. Calvin began his studies in Shreveport and graduated in Baton Rouge as a participant in this unique partnership.


Elements of LSU

LSU has definitely instilled in me a stronger sense of confidence and determination. While studying, I took a step in to the sports media industry and established a syndicated sports podcast (Off the Strip Sports Podcast) that is now heard all over the world. Creating this podcast gave me the opportunity to sharpen my creative and communication skills by producing and launching a new episode each week. We recently eclipsed one year and I constantly think of new, innovative ways to expand my reach and become more culturally adept.

Although I was an LSU student, I am also a military veteran and spouse. While matriculating at LSU, I lived in Bossier City, Southern New Jersey, and now Las Vegas. Living in different parts of the country exposed me to numerous cultures and further advanced my connection with LSU.


Fanatics Time

My LSU Experience

Graduating from LSU was a one of a kind journey. The U.S. Navy brought me to the state of Louisiana; a state I never thought I’d be in, surrounded by a southern hospitality-like culture that I never thought I’d experience.

I originally began studying at LSU-Shreveport, where I was a pre-dental biology major. Becoming an orthodontist was a long-time dream and LSU-S was going to help me get there. While studying and serving my country, I began volunteering my time refereeing youth sports and assistant coaching some local grade school kids in basketball. I’ve been around sports all my life, but being able to give back some of my teachings in such a receptive atmosphere was extremely fulfilling.

One semester, I stumbled across an email from Professor Jacobsen regarding the Sport Administration program and
everything it had to offer. After a few conversations with Professor Jacobsen, I knew that working in sports was my

When I received my Associates Degree in 2012, the guest speaker made a statement that has stuck with me ever since; “Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

Since I graduated from LSU, I’ve stopped “working,” and started becoming the best sports professional Louisiana State University has taught me to be.


Calvin Barnaby's family at graduation

The Impact of LSU Faculty

The love and support I’ve received from Professor Dee Jacobsen has been unparalleled. After leaving the military and becoming a military spouse, I relocated three times while attending LSU. With each relocation, Professor Jacobsen was there to assist with class registration, advisement, guidance, and opportunities for post-graduation. She recognized early on how much this degree meant to me and made sure I was in the best position possible to be successful.

I cannot thank Professor Jacobsen enough. Every so often, I reach out to her just to give her an update on the fruits of her commitment to me.


Achieving an Ideal Career

Less than a month after graduating, I received a job offer from Fanatics Inc., a sports retailer of licensed sportswear, sports equipment, and merchandise. I am a supervisor at our Las Vegas warehouse, servicing fans every day. The environment is unique, innovative, and fast-paced. All of which LSU has taught me to embrace when it comes to the sports industry.

Louisiana State University

I did not choose LSU, LSU chose me. All my experiences leading up to my acceptance letter is what prompted me to apply. To be an alumni of a state school enriched with a unique homegrown culture is exactly why LSU was the place for me.