The transformation from NBA team mascot to a distinguished University Professor is not an expected character arc, but it is something that Jim Tennison derives huge amounts of passion from. The former mascot for the Dallas Mavericks and now Professor of Sport Management at Dallas Baptist University tells his students that passion and good communication are integral components to a successful career in sport, in any role. “It doesn’t matter what you want to do, whatever you choose, do it with passion. If you do it with passion, you will gain the respect of others who will look to you and follow you.”

For a man who has spent much of his career communicating only through gestures, he highlights the importance of effective communication in a world that is becoming increasingly dependent on interaction through the online hemisphere.

“Social media and the way of the world today is a trend that we must live with but good old face-to-face, truly listening and interacting with people is our greatest ability. Social media is fine, we can’t stop that wave, but we must teach them to maintain the skill of communicating and reading people and then knowing how to motivate them, or that skill will just get lost.”

Professor Tennison has been using Athlete Assessments’ Sports ManagerDISC Profiles and finding its uses to be multifaceted.

“I am finding so many great uses for DISC in communication, motivation and all things ‘people’. From leadership, communication skills, helping with students’ researching, planning career paths, to even marriage counseling at our church!”

Jim Tennison
Program Director
Dallas Baptist University

His passion for sport encompasses all roles from being an athlete, officiating, broadcasting, coaching, lecturing, researching and cheering. With an outstanding academic and professional career, his students benefit from his extraordinary experience and exceptional ability to communicate.
  • Undergraduate degree in Marketing, Management and Theatre from East Texas Baptist University
  • Sport Management Master’s from Mississippi State University
  • 16 years as a professional mascot including Carolina Mudcats, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers and Dallas Mavericks
  • NBA Championship Team 2011

Dallas Baptist University Program
Master of Arts in Sport Management

  • Strong leadership development focus
  • Broad spectrum of industry in recreational, interscholastic, collegiate and professional sport
  • Specializing in athletic events
  • Faith. Leadership. Service.

This article was featured in People+Sport Magazine: Education & Professional Development Edition. 

jim tennison

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