Desean Bullock’s effort to bring a spotlight to Point athletics

Published 11:02 am Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Point’s athletic program has seen continual improvement over the past few years. Many names have been involved with the program’s improvement, but few have done as much in as little time as Point’s Sports Information Director Desean Bullock. 

Bullock took over as Point’s SID in 2022 after graduating from Faulkner University. Since taking over in 2022, Bullock has revamped the program’s information department to add live broadcasts of games and grow the student workers. 

Bullock has seen the sports information department grow in participation as the photography and broadcasting sides have taken off over the last two years. Although, some of the groundwork for the improvement had begun before his tenure at Point. 

Email newsletter signup

“When I did my Zoom call with Cassie Butcher, the previous SID, there was this quote that she said that still sticks with me today. She said, ‘Carry the baby,’’’ Bullock said. “I had the best advantage because there were so many improvements that had to be made that were already going to be made while she was there. I was able to just take it on.” 

Still, there were a lot of disadvantages that Bullock had to overcome in year one. Bullock came into a program with nearly 30 student workers, but most of the workers had never run a broadcast before. 

At just 23, Bullock had to teach a group of students around his age how to cover sports, do photography and produce a broadcast. 

“It was really full circle,” Bullock said. “My alma mater was Faulkner University, and I was one of them. I was a student worker who came and tried to learn what sports information was and how a game day was really run. Flipping that around and being in charge of everything, it was a tough adjustment at first. I remember the first game I worked, they were like ‘Who’s in charge here?’ I was looking around like ‘Oh, snap, it’s me.”’

Bullock was able to relate to his student workers because he was just one of them a few months prior. He was also able to relate to the athletes because he was an athlete himself as a defensive back at Faulkner. 

Bullock used that relatability to help the athletes, coaches and student workers understand how serious college athletics was while still making it fun. The sports information department struggled with buy-in at first as the coaches and athletes were not used to the coverage and publicity. 

Being at an NAIA school can make outsiders think less of a program, but it made athletes and coaches believe that they did not have the same responsibilities from the broadcasting side as major college programs do. 

“Giving them the professional side,” Bullock said. “This is what a college athlete goes through. I don’t care if we’re NAIA. We’re still collegiate athletics.” 

The revamping of the program created a bandwagon within the sports information department, and Bullock saw his staff grow from 28 to 40 in less than six months. Bullock still had to act as a mentor to student workers and athletes.
Bullock helped the workers create resumes and rebranded the program’s broadcast to Skyhawks Sports Network so that it looked professional on their resumes. After a time, the buy-in from the athletes, coaches and workers came as the program saw new heights. 

“The growth and the buy-in are the biggest things I’m proud of,” Bullock said. “I’ve always said the toughest thing is to come after someone who is really great. Cassie was so great at what she did, and it was really tough to come in and tell everyone ‘This is my style, this is what we’re going to do.”’

For the past two years, Bullock has mentored athletes and students nearly his age, but he also had a fair share of mentors along the way. Jaunelle White, Point’s Vice President of Intercollegiate athletics, has acted as his mentor over the past two years and helped him with the growth of the program. 

Bullock found his way into the sports information industry due to a pair of mentors at Faulkner University. Jeremy Smith and Carter Moles helped Bullock become a member of Faulkner’s sports information department after he took a visit to the university. 

“First two people that come to mind are Jeremy Smith and Carter Moles,” Bullock said. “Those are the two people that started my career in this. I was a 20-year-old coming from a small town in Mississippi and knew nothing about this. They were the ones who took me in and gave me a scholarship. They were the reason I got to Point University. I even consider Cassie Butcher as a mentor just because of the way she trusted a new guy to come in after her.” 

Even after taking over the sports information department at Point, Bullock has found mentors to help him through the journey. Scottie Rodgers, VP of Communications for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, helped Bullock overcome some early struggles. 

“Last year, I had an identity crisis because I was a young guy and I didn’t know if there were too many people like me who were young trying to figure this out,” Bullock said. “He just let me know that I wasn’t by myself.” 

Broadcasting has always been a dream of Bullock’s but he did not exactly know what he wanted to do after high school. Bullock mulled over a career in physical therapy but quickly realized it was not for him. On the visit to Faulkner, Bullock finally realized which career path he wanted to take. 

“I’ve always wanted to be a broadcaster as a kid or just work in sports,” Bullock said. “I used to get on my dad’s old Windows computer and look up stats. I didn’t think it would amount to anything, I just liked to do it. I had a small TV show … We would record a TV show. I would come out to the Monday Night Football theme and read my script.

“I thought I wanted to do physical therapy, but realized I didn’t like physical therapy as much as I thought I did. I was on a football visit to Faulkner and they introduced me to Jeremy… I told him that same story and for some reason, he thought it was a very interesting cycle. Six years later, I’m doing stuff that I was imagining as a kid.” 

Now, heading into year three, Bullock still has so much pride in what he does each day. Telling the stories of Point’s athletes has never been more important to him as it is today. 

Bullock hopes to continue bringing coverage to new sports like women’s flag football because he believes that the work that the sports information department does can show how competitive the NAIA is. 

“It’s important to bring that notoriety because we have to emphasize that it’s tough to play college sports, and it’s tougher for smaller schools because you have to focus on being a student,” Bullock said. 

Bullock has stressed the importance of enjoying your time in college to the athletes and student workers he spends time with because the moments are fleeting. He knows that one day you graduate college and the work experience comes with more responsibilities. 

Bullock still has his sights set on improving the program in year three, with his main goal being to bring an even larger spotlight to Point athletics.

“I just want to continue highlighting our student-athletes, highlighting our programs and just start to give them even more exposure,” Bullock said. “The biggest goal I have is to try to get more TV stations to highlight our teams. We’ve started to really see the exposure and what it means to them.” 

“We’re a big aspect of recruiting,” Bullock added. “We can be a reason someone comes to our school because we broadcast their games versus a school that doesn’t broadcast the games.”