There's little question Bucky Bockhorn, who has followed a legendary playing career with decades as a radio analyst, has witnessed more Dayton Flyers men's basketball games in person than anyone in history.
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The question of who ranks second on that list is a little tougher, but it’s an easy guess for anyone close to the program. Tom Frericks promoted 26-year-old Doug Hauschild from assistant sports information director to the head sports information director in August 1983, and Hauschild has held the same position since, though his official title is now director of athletic communications.
Hauschild rarely misses a game. He has seen more than 1,100. Hauschild’s slightly ahead of the longtime voice of the Flyers, Larry Hansgen, who debuted in the 1982-83 season, because Hauschild also attended games during his years as a UD student and Hansgen missed one full season (1999-2000).
Hauschild has travelled to the Maui Invitational four times. He has seen the Flyers play in the NCAA tournament 11 times. The job, while often demanding, has also allowed him time to raise a family with his wife Patty in Beavercreek.
“It’s a lifestyle because you’re always on call,” Hauschild said, “but at the same time, you can be flexible. I missed very few things with kids, and I luckily have had bosses who were understanding. They don’t say, ‘You have to punch the clock.’ It’s more, ‘Get the work done.’ That way if the kids had a field trip, I could arrange my schedule so I would either work early in the morning or late in the office when I had to be in the office. Now with a computer, I can do it anytime anywhere. For me, it is a dream job. It wouldn’t be a dream job for everybody. But it is for me.”
A people person
Over 37 seasons, Hauschild has handled media relations for men’s basketball, football and other sports, running press conferences for everyone from Don Donoher to Anthony Grant, asking players from Roosevelt Chapman to Obi Toppin to talk to reporters and written press releases on Dayton winning the Division III national football championship in 1989 and tight end Adam Trautman being drafted in 2020. He also plays a large role every year in updating the men’s basketball and football media guides, the history books of the programs.
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Last weekend, Hauschild would have been inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame during the national convention in Las Vegas, but the ceremony was moved to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, it's a crowning achievement for one of the most respected SIDs in the country.
“It could be the biggest TV personality or the smallest intern from a random school coming into the arena for a non-conference game, and he treats them the same,” said Kyler Ludlow, an assistant director of communications for volleyball and baseball at the University of Michigan worked in Hauschild’s department from 2015-17. “He’s extremely interested and invested in their conversation whether it’s short or long. … At the end of the day, it’s a people business, and he’s the best people person I’ve worked with.”
Hauschild, who for many years has also handled media relations at the First Four and other NCAA tournament games at UD Arena, has worked with famous coaches and athletes from around the country and also saw his son Mike, a former Dayton pitcher, make it to the big leagues in 2017.
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Mike and his brother Rob and sister Kim grew up around UD sports. At various points, all have worked games at UD Arena with Doug and his wife Patty. Mike has dealt with both sides of the sports information world and has a good perspective on what has made his dad so successful. He remembers his dad asking him to check on sports writers late at night at the arena to see if they might need something to eat.
“I feel like it’s very easy for him to put himself in other people’s shoes,” Mike said, “and make sure they have what they need or what they might want to have.”
Adding to our @CoSIDAnews Special Awards salute today by recognizing 2020 CoSIDA Hall of Fame inductee @DaytonFlyers' Director of Athletics Communication Doug Hauschild. It's about relationships and mentorships for Doug- congrats on yr well-deserved honor! https://t.co/QI0w64k3JJ— CoSIDA (@CoSIDAnews) May 26, 2020
Making an impact
Hauschild, a 1974 Miamisburg High School graduate, was on academic path that would have led to career in broadcast or newspaper journalism when he by chance moved into the sports information world. He was dating a player on the UD women’s basketball team when he noticed the team’s stats were often wrong after games. He brought up the issue with the coach, Elaine Dreidame.
“She’s like, ‘Do you think you can do better?’” Hauschild said. “I said yeah, and she said, ‘OK, prove it.”
Hauschild and some friends started keeping stats for the women’s basketball team in the late 1970s, and then the school’s head sports information director, Gene Schill, needed help with the men’s team and with other sports. Hauschild started working so much for Schill, he became a part-time student. He graduated from UD in 1981 and worked as Schill’s assistant until Schill moved to an associate athletics director position in 1983.
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Hauschild’s first full year on the job as the head of the sports information department was the 1983-84 season when Dayton reached the Elite Eight. That was also the freshman season for Anthony Grant, who is now Dayton’s head coach.
Hauschild didn’t miss may games but remembers missing one “trip from hell” to Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., in 1987.
“All the uniforms and shoes and everything didn’t make it when they flew to Chicago, and I guess the weather was rally bad,” Hauschild said. “They had to borrow shoes, and I think if Bradley didn’t have the right size, someone had to run to a sporting goods store. I think they either wore our practice gear or they wore Bradley’s practice gear to play the game. I completely missed that. It was a great story.”
Throughout his career, Hauschild has documented one of the most popular programs in the country. The men’s basketball team annually ranks in the top 30 in the nation in attendance. That makes the job meaningful. He also gets satisfaction from being on a college campus and being around young people, even though at 63, he’s no longer the young person he was when he started.
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“In our office, we feel we’re part of the educational experience, Hauschild said, “even though we’re not on the faculty. We like to think we have an impact on the kids that we get to know.”
Hauschild has gotten to know hundreds of student-athletes in four decades at UD.
“The kids who are what you see is what you get are the most fun,” he said. “Like Obi. What people think about Obi personality wise, they’re absolutely right. That’s who he is. Devin Oliver is the same way; Tucker Yinger in football. They’re the ones that are the most fun because they just happen to be really good athletes but they’re the same person.”
A big question for Hauschild is how long will he stay on the job.
“Patty laid the prediction on me of five more years, and that was a year ago,” Hauschild said. “We haven’t started a pool yet.”
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