Phillip DeTonnancourt: Alumni Highlight

Phillip DeTonnancourt MA ‘18 earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science with a Physical Education emphasis at California State University in Sacramento. He originally wanted to pursue a career as a physical education teacher, but saw that many programs were being eliminated so he decided to look into a career in recreational sports.

Phillip started the Graduate Kinesiology program in the Summer of 2016 as he realized he needed to complete a master’s degree in order to become more specialized in sport management to make himself marketable. While in the program, Phillip highlights that being in the Bay Area provided him with a variety of different experiences that he would not have been able to get elsewhere. For example, he visited Levi’s Stadium, the Oakland Coliseum, and had a behind the scenes tour of the Cal Football Stadium when they were playing the University of Washington.  He was also able to meet a variety of sports executives from different parts of the industry.  These opportunities came about as part of various courses, and one of his favorites was Dr. Nagel’s Administration of Kinesiology class. Phillip states, “The content that you learn in that class is some of the most applicable material in life. Irrespective of which area of sports one dives into, it is a business!”

Phillip started his professional career as the Assistant Director of Recreation Programs for Saint Mary’s College in the Fall of 2014. Some of his duties included assisting in the management and administration of club sports, intramural sports, and camp programs, and hiring and managing staff for each of the respective programs. In the Spring of 2018, Phillip was promoted to the Director of Recreation Programs where he is in charge of scheduling and coordinating all related recreational and athletic facilities including practices, competitions, special events, camps, and facility services; budget supervision and management of all club sports including expenses, revenues, donations, and fundraising; and providing leadership development training and risk management.

One of Phillip’s career highlights and most challenging experiences has been managing the operations and logistics for the World Rugby Sevens, which took place in July 2018 and was hosted at Oracle Park. Saint Mary’s was the host site for training and practices which kept Phillip busy and needing to assist all of the visiting teams. Through this experience, Phillip was able to further develop the necessary skill set of being adaptive in a demanding industry.

Phillip is grateful for his experience working at SMC, being a graduate of the Graduate Kinesiology program, and the opportunity to continue to be a part of the Saint Mary’s community. He states: "The Grad Kines program checked off both personal and professional goals for me that I am forever thankful for. With the knowledge taken from the program, my mentors from the program, as well as my six plus years working for the College, I know that I am set up substantially for whatever the future brings. GO GAELS!” He is excited about future opportunities with recreational programs as well as expanding his professional and personal skill set to better serve the SMC community.