By India Pilgrim
Since graduating from Reinhardt University as a sport studies major and business minor, Kraig Doremus ’16 has utilized his degree to gain experience – and also live out his dreams.
Less than a year after graduation, Doremus received the opportunity to work for NASCAR, a dream that came true through two positions. In January 2017, he began as Lead Motorsports Reporter for Front Office Sports (FOS), where he wrote breaking news and major stories, and came face-to-face with some of the biggest names in NASCAR along the way.
“I came face-to-face with some of the biggest names in the sport, but the story that I tell most is about my last piece for FOS,” said Doremus. “Prior to the 2019 Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest race, I published a piece on Busch Beer’s Car 2 Can campaign, and it generated 4,000 views in just three days.”
The second position Doremus held involving NASCAR was an internship in public relations at Talladega Superspeedway. His boss, Russell Branham, provided Doremus with meaningful tasks that he will always be proud of; one of these being a program for a racing legend.
“He held me to the same high standard that I hold myself and truly took the time to help me grow, not only as a professional but also as a person,” Doremus said of his former boss. “I actually wrote the majority of the souvenir program for the fall 2017 race, which was racing legend Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final time taking to the 2.66-mile Superspeedway. I am proud to say that the program was made available to the 192,000 people who stepped on property over race weekend, and it sold out.”
During the last week of his internship, Doremus received a job offer to work as a graduate assistant in sports information at Gardner-Webb University, where he pursued a master’s degree in Sport Education. Doremus has been working in higher education since moving back to Georgia, serving as Mercer University’s Assistant Director of Media Relations.
“I get to promote the teams and student-athletes at Mercer all while watching them give their best on the playing surface each and every day.”
Doremus was an involved student at Reinhardt, spending his extracurricular time on the Judicial Council, Athletic Council and as a student assistant for women’s basketball. He remains involved with his alma mater, now as an adjunct professor for Reinhardt’s sport studies program.
“It has been a blast and a learning experience transitioning into the role of professor. One of my goals down the road is to create a Sport Studies course from scratch. Being able to come up with the content and assignments for Sport History has been something that I’ve truly enjoyed and creating a course from scratch would allow me to take things a step further and develop more as a professor.”
Several faculty played a crucial part in setting Doremus up for success. Dr. Bobby Epling, former head of the sport studies program, became like a father figure, truly investing in his students, including challenging Doremus to become the second sport studies student in the program to earn a 4.0 GPA, which he accomplished.
“I knew that I could go into his office and bounce ideas off him, get advice or just shoot the breeze. I found myself in his office nearly every day as a senior - I’m sure he dreaded that some days. I live two hours from Reinhardt now and miss spending time with him.”
Other notable faculty in Doremus’ college career include sport studies program coordinator Dr. Joe Mullins and sport studies instructor Kelly Horton.
“Professor Mullins challenged me. He made me step outside of my comfort zone and learn new things. Kelly Horton is so full of energy. To quote Mullins, ‘she gets up and drinks sunshine.’ She quickly became one of my favorite people, and I stay in touch with her to this day.”
Stepping outside his comfort zone was one of the many aspects Doremus that prepared him for the “job world.”
“Not everything is easy once you step into a job – regardless of whether it’s an internship, graduate assistantship or full-time role. You’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone, problem solve, meet deadlines and produce high quality work. The sport studies program prepared me for the job world. I hate the term ‘real world’ being associated with life after college because college is not an imaginary, fake world by any means.”
Throughout his time in his field, Doremus has learned a lot from his mentors. Like any career, his job comes with challenges, but his overall love for what he does makes it all worth it.
“It is not glamorous. It is fun, lots of fun, but be prepared for long nights and giving up your weekends. If you love what you do, they say it doesn’t feel like work, and I can honestly say that’s true.”