Sport & Entertainment Management
From the Director
Dear Vinik Sport and Entertainment Management Family and Friends:
For those I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Michelle Harrolle and I am honored and humbled to be the director of the Vinik Sport and Entertainment Management Program beginning this fall. Stemming from Bill Sutton’s leadership, I am inspired to continue the momentum and growth of our industry-leading program and would love to share my experience and vision with you to continue a collaborative partnership.
I joined the program in 2013 and since then have been dedicated to achieving several core program goals: 100 percent student fellowship placement with our Tampa Bay partners, providing educational experiences for our students in the classroom and on the field/pitch/stage/court, conducting industry research and building relationships and partnerships with our national industry partners to help reach 100 percent job placement. Prior to joining the University of South Florida, I worked at several notable universities across the United States, was one of three head female collegiate coaches of both men’s and women’s NCAA D1 athletics, and conducted research for numerous professional sports teams and leagues. My career journey began in Gainesville, where I was a NCAA D1 student-athlete swimmer, earning my bachelor's, master's and PhD in sport management at the University of Florida.
The culmination of my experience begins now with this next chapter and I am energized by the immense opportunity to lead the next generation of Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program students. I have a bold vision for the program. To build upon our legacy, I am focused on growing our reach domestically and internationally among recruits and alumni, empowering minority students within the sport and entertainment industry, along with pioneering the esports business educational space. We will continue to be innovative and lead the path towards other macro industry trends shaping the next evolution of sport and entertainment. In close partnership with the best faculty (Janelle Wells and Mike Mondello), students and partners around the world, it is my goal to have the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program reach the No. 1 ranking as the best sports program in the United States and on the planet.
All of this would not be possible without Bill Sutton! He not only founded the program, but also championed our success with unparalleled leadership, strong community ties and a relentless dedication to our students. We are currently ranked third in the United States and fourth in the world (SportsBusiness International) due to his leadership and foresight to create our unique program structure. I am grateful to have worked with Bill for so many years, and I truly thank him for his continued guidance and mentorship.
It is with great privilege that I begin this next term as director, and I am eager to get started. No one succeeds alone, and as I embark on this new era, I look forward to working with Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program family and friends to bring this program to new heights of success.
Michelle Harrolle, PhD
Director of Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program