HELENA — Jerek Wolcott’s big year continues.
The Carroll College SID was selected as the Frontier Conference sports information director of the year and is the conference’s nominee for NAIA SID of the year. He placed in the Top 10 in six categories for in the NAIA-SIDA Publication & Media Contest. The Independent Record also recognized Wolcott in its annual 20 Under 40 list.
Perhaps it was inevitable that a new opportunity would arise for the 33-year-old Libby native.
That opportunity cemented on Friday as Carroll College announced Wolcott’s last day as sports information director. Wolcott will leave to become the assistant athletic director for athletics communications at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
“Carroll is always going to be important to us, Helena is going to be important to us,” Wolcott said. “The opportunity at Northern Iowa is exciting for our family, for me. I wasn’t looking to go anywhere, but the opportunity arose and it was one that really appealed to me.”
Wolcott listed Carroll’s student-athletes and coaches as his favorite parts of his time in Helena. Watching students excel on the field and in the classroom inspired him, Wolcott said. He also treasured his friendships with sports information peers around the conference.
"Jerek has been a valuable asset to Carroll athletics for the past four years," Carroll director of athletics Charlie Gross said. "We appreciate his numerous contributions to the department and he will be missed. We congratulate him on this next step in his career and we wish him and his family the best of luck in Iowa.”
Wolcott had mandates when he came to Carroll in 2014.
Serving for a college that mostly competes in the Frontier Conference, Wolcott was a pioneer himself. Prior to Wolcott, Carroll employed one other sports information director, a former employee who held the position for about a year. Prior to that, assistant basketball coaches did a lot of the duties Wolcott came to oversee.
That meant Wolcott helped shape the position into what it’s become over the past four years.
Carroll athletics did not have an independent website, nor much original content creation, two areas Wolcott identified as industry standards at his other stops. Building an attractive website earned Carroll the best website in the NAIA in the 2015 NAIA-SIDA Publication Contest. He also served as a statistician, media relations liaison and public announcer, among many other duties.
Prior to Carroll, Wolcott served as the assistant director of media relations at Idaho State for 14 months. He graduated from the University of Montana with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and then served as an assistant sports information director.
The change will be a big one for the Wolcott clan. Wolcott’s two young boys have mostly known Helena as their home. But for Wolcott, his wife Ashley, and their children, the opportunity at Northern Iowa was too great to pass up.
“I’m not leaving this job and this place to go (just) anywhere,” Wolcott said. “It had to be a place that took athletics seriously and wanted to be great.”