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PACnet 2024 Highlights Women in Sports 
PACnet 2024 Highlights Women in Sports 

PACnet 2024 Highlights Women in Sports 

TFL flew out to Huntington Beach, California to attend Paciolan’s PACnet conference last week to meet with new friends, connect with old ones and learn more about what’s going on in the industry.

One major theme throughout the conference was the importance and impact of women in sports – on and off the court and field.

Over the course of the week, there was one women’s sporting event that stood out among all live events in the past year. During Paciolan’s Star Awards, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln took home the trophy for the Event of the Year after hosting Volleyball Day in Nebraska, which marked the largest women’s global sporting event in history with 92,003 attendees.

But the conference didn’t stop at supporting athletes; it also highlighted women leaders in the college athletics space in a session called “Women Leaders: Breaking Barriers & Building Legacies.” Three panelists, in addition to moderator Kim Damron, gave tips on how to navigate being a woman in the industry.

Jen Cohen, one of the panelists, is the first woman to lead USC’s athletic department as athletic director and one of five women among the 65 who hold the position at Power 5 schools.

“If you say you want to do something, you can do it,” said Cohen. “We don’t spend nearly enough time talking about our mental game. If you want to do anything, then go for it. You can. It’s going to be hard. It’s supposed to be hard. You’re going to have to trade things off.

Be confident in knowing who you are. Align your heart with your goals.”

Candice Storey Lee, another panelist, is the first female athletic director at Vanderbilt University and the first Black woman to head an SEC athletics program.

“There’s all different ways to get to the seat,” said Lee. “Learn as much as you can. Keep doing your job. You’re smart enough to figure it out. Surround yourself with people who fill the gap with you.”

Nina King, the third panelist, is the first woman to serve as an athletic director for Duke and the third Black woman to be an athletic director in a Power 5 conference.

“Sitting in these seats doesn’t mean we know everything,” said King. “I pride myself on being a generalist. Being a student of the industry is really important.”

One thing was clear throughout the week: women are excelling in sports.

“Maybe the world is catching up with what we already know,” said Lee.