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Carolyn Derksen joins MYAS as Assistant Director, focusing on Officiating & Administration

Minneapolis, MN (September 15, 2021) Minnesota Youth Athletic Services, Inc. (MYAS) is pleased to announce the addition of Carolyn Derksen to our team.  

Derksen will be an awesome influence for new and beginning officials based on her energy and passion for officiating. Officiating has meant so much to her and she is very excited to pass this along to the next generation of youth officials. The end goal is to increase the pool of officials, while equipping them with the tools necessary to provide a safe, positive, and productive experience for all participants. Carolyn grew up participating in MYAS programming and has translated her love for sports into her passion for officiating in basketball and football. 

“The MYAS is delighted to add Carolyn to our family. Her competency, knowledge of advancement, and passion/enthusiasm for officiating will quickly become a wonderful asset for all youth officials. It is very clear that all of us involved in youth sports have a big challenge ahead of us, due to the massive shortage of game officials across all sports. Our mission at the MYAS is to enhance the delivery of youth sports services, and Carolyn is 100% committed to assisting our mission by actively recruiting, educating, and retaining officials on an ongoing and consistent basis and keeping them engaged and excited through their officiating journey,” said Dawson Blanck, Executive Director of MYAS.  Blanck continued, “We also believe Carolyn’s expertise from her expansion of skills in Organizational Leadership will strengthen the administrative side of our organization.” 

Get to Know Her - Carolyn Derksen 

Hello! My name is Carolyn Derksen. I was born and raised in Maple Grove, MN. I graduated from Maple Grove Senior High and the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Studies. I received my Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and being an aunt to my niece Elle and my nephews Wendell and Brooks. I am a huge sports fan, especially basketball and football.  

My officiating journey began when I was a junior in college working in the intramural program at UW-River Falls. I have always loved the game of basketball and I knew I wanted to be around the game in some way after my playing days were over. During my senior year of college, I served as a student manager for the women’s basketball team. My intention for serving in the role of student manager was to help me ease into coaching. After I graduated from college, a family friend who was an official informed me of a shortage of officials and encouraged me to consider giving it a try.  I planned to officiate for one year and then move into coaching. After completing my first year of officiating, I was hooked and have never looked back. I am currently officiating high school and women’s college basketball, and high school football. 

I am so excited and ready to get to work as the MYAS Assistant Director of Officiating/ Administration.  I feel that my enthusiasm and passion for officiating will benefit me in this role. I want to get people excited about becoming an official and learn the rewarding benefits that come along with it. Many people do not consider officiating for a variety of reasons. But without officials, there are no games. I want to change people's negative perceptions of becoming an official and relay the fun and good friendships that can be built along the way. 

The MYAS intends to establish relationships with the different youth athletic associations in Minnesota by providing the best services that we can for youth sports officials. I am extremely passionate about guiding youth officials on their journey, which will look different for just about anyone that enters this avocation. Every official will have different goals and aspirations in their officiating career. We want to lay the foundation by providing our officials with the proper training and education. 

Those training and continuing education opportunities include developing communication skills, rules of the game, and proper mechanics, that will get officials prepared to hit the courts and the fields. The MYAS Director of Officiating and I want to be able to provide continuous education to new and current officials as a way for them to improve their craft.  Our training will include in-person/virtual/online formats as a resource for officials to utilize. Our main goal is to provide the tools for excellence along with a rewarding and enjoyable experience. 

Main Duties and Responsibilities at MYAS: 

  • Develop relationships with youth athletic associations/organizations to: 
  • Recruit new officials through correspondence, campaigns, events on a consistent basis 
  • Retain existing officials through use of relationship management efforts, continuing education, engagement and generating and responding to ongoing feedback 
  • Scheduling, delivery, and evaluation of training programs developed for officials 
  • Ensure ongoing compliance with education/training requirements for officials 
  • Develop and deliver continuing education for officials through use of actual feedback, game film or any other appropriate channel 
  • Develop a public relations and reputation management plan for officials to engage associations and the general public in supporting our officials 
  • Become a catalyst in the elimination of poor treatment of officials by players, coaches, fans and organizations 
  • Participate in field marketing and promotion 
  • General support and back-up for Tony Schrepfer, Director of Officiating 

Other Responsibilities in Assisting MYAS Administration 

  • Organization/Program management including, but not limited to: 
  • Developing and maintaining a list of all active projects/initiatives 
  • Ensuring that active projects/initiatives have deadlines that coincide with the availability of all resources and alignment with organizational priorities as defined by the Executive Director or other members of the Senior Leadership team. 
  • Collaborate with other MYAS staff on programs/services as needed  
  • Perform other duties and responsibilities as organizationally required to achieve the organization’s goals 
  • Collaborate with other MYAS staff on programs/services as needed  

 

Youth Sports Done Right