When #womanboss Allison Waymyers calls, you answer! Team Fyen is beyond honored and humbled to feature Allison Waymyers from Clemson Tigers Football. If you don’t know Clemson Football slowly back away and ask Siri, and if you don’t know Allison we are blessing you with her virtual presence; so you can bask in her wisdom.
Allison Waymyers is the Career and Professional Development Director for Clemson Football. She leads The P.A.W. Journey (Passionate About Winning) program dubbed the 5th quarter where student athletes plan for life in-and-beyond football. With more than 10 years of experience working with the big leagues such as the NFL, the NBA and the Augusta National Golf Club she knows what it takes to make it to that level. As an expert and change agent, she works to prepare her students to plan and embrace the successes and challenges, both mentally and emotionally of winning in life.
We asked to share her story.
1. Tell us your story. When did your love for football(sports) start?
The first time my parents took me to a Dallas Cowboys game when I was six. I was enamored with how football drew people together. I was raised in Texas, and loved the Friday night lights. When I saw how athletes struggled to grasp the qualifications for college, I knew I could be part of the solution to empower young men.
2. We know Clemson Football is your favorite football team EVER, but Who is your favorite NFL team?
I will always have love for the Cowboys, but the Texans are my team. I tend to follow teams that have guys I know on the roster, and I love the owner Mr. McNair. I’m from Beaumont, TX – so they’re my home team!
3. What was your first sports related job, and how did you score it?
I worked for Lou Holtz while I was a student at the University of South Carolina as a student assistant. I was paid minimum wage to handle charitable items. I called his office everyday relentlessly, and told them I was not above mundane duties – I just needed my foot in the door. I loved going to practice and learning more about the players as people.
4. What’s your best, most entertaining story from your career thus far?
I remember a mother of a recruit describing their experiences at different schools. They felt coaches weren’t genuine, and women were only used to seduce players. But when I told her I’d treat her son as I hope someone would treat my brother – and I told her my major, she said I was the only one who can talk to her son. They committed, and her son now has two Super Bowl rings. To this day, he is now a mentor for my brother and other athletes.
5. Today, you’re the Director, Career and Professional Development for Clemson Football. Let’s break that down. What does that mean, exactly?
It is a mouthful, but essentially, I’m the connector to players’ dreams. I am a change agent who reminds them to utilize their resources. If thousands of people can watch you on Saturday and ask for your picture –learn how to ask them to be a resource to you. If you’re an athlete, you have transferrable skills to help you excel in the marketplace. All they need is the opportunity to apply their leadership. I encourage them to be leaders now, and take advantage of their current platform. Excel. Empower. Encourage. Repeat.
6. The P.A.W. Journey (Passionate About Winning) is an awesome program for Clemson players and connects their love for the sport to personal growth and life skills off the field, what is the one thing you want each player or program participant to walk away with?
I want them to walk away understanding they can be Jeff Davis. For a former player such as Jeff, to create a program for current players to excel – is amazing. How rare is it for a D – 1 Coach to focus on players’ goals seven to ten years down the road? Each player should know they’re enough, and success should be their expectation…starting now!
7. In a field that is thought of as being predominantly male, have you encountered any related obstacles in advancing your career? If so, how did you handle them?
I definitely have. But those struggles were not unique to sports; it has been throughout all sectors I have worked in. I am always the youngest, the only female, and the only African-American in the decision-making process. But I am very confident in myself and God-given abilities. I realize the hardest part of my journey is vertical movement and acknowledgement. I focus on persevering because if I give up, plenty of people would be happy to replace me with someone more familiar. Life isn’t easy when you try to do right and promote change.
8. What’s your best career advice every woman needs to know?
The dream in your heart is there for a reason. Your dream is not for everyone to understand, so look forward. Upgrade your reality to your vision; don’t downgrade your vision to reality.
9. What are you looking forward to as you start your second year with Clemson Football?
I’m excited that our incoming freshmen will have access to P.A.W. Journey throughout their entire collegiate career and beyond. Each season is another chance to promote greatness!
10. Best thing about your journey thus far?
My answer is two-fold. One, my players tell me how much I’ve changed their perspective and impacted their lives. Nothing is better than when their families say I’m an angel that they prayed for. But now that I’m a wife and mother, there’s nothing better than experiencing this success with my family.
THE OSOW FAST THREE!
1. What is your favorite song at the moment?
2. If you could have lunch with any person, who would it be and why?
Oprah Winfrey because I want to learn how to replicate successes for the masses and encourage young people to be wealthy.
3. What’s your overarching vision for Women and Football(sports)?
My goal is for women to be seen as an asset to football/sports, and not a liability. Diversity and inclusion are not about numbers, but instead about having perspective at the table AND impact. When your image is absent in an environment, it’s extremely difficult to value your presence.