(October 15, 2013) Kevin Lehman will be spending the days before Thanksgiving in a beautiful island paradise. An STAA client, Lehman has been chosen to serve as color analyst for college basketball’s Paradise Jam, a four-day tournament in late November on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.
Six games will air on CBS Sports Network. Teams include Maryland, Vanderbilt, Providence, La Salle, Loyola Marymount, the University of Northern Iowa, Marist and Morgan State.
“The Paradise Jam presents an unparalleled opportunity to develop my analysis skills and style in a tournament format while calling multiple games each day,” says Lehman.
Lehman brings an extensive coaching background to the microphone. After nine seasons as an assistant at the University of Northern Iowa, he spent six years as the head coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
When Lehman emailed STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik to share the news, the opening line of the message was, “You coached me up again!”
“Jon and STAA have been terrific,” says Lehman. “His system is SUPER! What I most value about Jon and his service is this: when I email Jon to discuss a strategy or an idea, Jon has never failed to call me the same day and usually within the hour. STAA has been invaluable to the advancement of my career. With Jon and STAA, you know you are members of the same team!”
“Coach is coachable,” Chelesnik says with a smile. “Without fail, when he’s asked for job market advice over the years, he’s executed the game plans we have developed together to perfection. Coach is always proactive on is own behalf.”
Lehman has been an STAA client since 2011 when he asked STAA to build his TV demo and do some talent coaching. At the time, Lehman was already an analyst on select Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball broadcasts. Since joining STAA, he has added Missouri Valley Conference telecasts to his resume, ESPN/Big 12 Network, and Big 10 Digital Network games, and the NAIA Division II national title game last spring for CBS Sports. Earlier this year, he started serving as a Missouri Valley Conference and NCAA Tournament expert on Midwest several radio stations.
The Paradise Jam opportunity came about through Lehman’s signature networking. Once he got himself into the final four candidates, he called Chelesnik for advice. “We spoke for 10 minutes and by the time we hung up we had drafted a game plan for Coach to get himself over the top,” says Chelesnik. “Three days later he emailed to say he got the gig.”
“[The employers] were impressed by the STAA Talent page and demo DVD,” says Lehman.
“The balancing act is to be persistent but not a pest,” advises Lehman. “I keep a file on each pursuit and try to reach out to the contact every two to three weeks in some way. I approach these job pursuits similar to when I was recruiting a student-athlete. Find out who the decision maker is, keep your name in front of them and make it hard for them to tell you ‘no.’”
With two games to prepare for each day during the four day tournament, Lehman will be working almost non-stop. After the final buzzer sounds, though, he plans to enjoy the beauty of the island. “I do anticipate staying an extra day after the championship game to check scuba diving off of my bucket list and possibly take in some snorkeling,” he says. “I will embrace every opportunity to take in the beauty and culture of this exotic paradise.”
(Visit Kevin’s STAA Talent Page).