Paul Kirk, a media relations professional with more than 20 years experience in the sports business industry, including 13 years with the Denver Broncos of the National Football League, has been named Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations at Drake, athletic director Sandy Hatfield Clubb announced on Monday, Feb. 14.
Kirk will begin his duties guiding the Bulldogs' Athletic Media Relations efforts on Feb. 28 after serving the past three years as a partner with Denver-based ProLink Sports.
Kirk will serve as the primary media contact for the sports of Men's Basketball and Football as well as serving as the media coordinator for the Drake Relays.
"I'm very excited to join the athletics team at Drake and to be a part of such a dynamic university family," Kirk said. "With such a rich tradition of academic and athletic excellence, Drake represents the best of the student-athlete experience."
"It is an honor for me to join this outstanding group of people whose mission it is to advance the experience of students in intercollegiate athletics, and share the message about what makes Drake special. My family and I are thrilled to begin this new experience, and very thankful for the opportunity."
"Paul Kirk is a perfect fit for our newly created role of Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations," Hatfield Clubb said. "We sought to find an individual that would bring an energy and passion to promoting the student-athlete experience and the many individual and team successes that our outstanding student-athletes and coaches demonstrate every day. Paul is highly respected by his peers for his integrity and high character. It quickly became apparent in our search process that he is an individual that embraces the Drake Way and is a perfect fit to help tell our story. We can't be more excited for his arrival and look forward to his leadership at Drake."
Kirk co-founded ProLink Sports in 2008 after a 13-year career directing media relations for the NFL's Denver Broncos. ProLink Sports is a full-service sports public relations and sports marketing firm that specializes in connecting professional athletes and organizations with meaningful community and charitable opportunities, as well as image management, public relations, fan communication, speaking opportunities and appearances.
ProLink's clients have included Denver Broncos players Brian Dawkins and Lonie Paxton, former Broncos Ed McCaffrey, Rod Smith, Jake Plummer and John Lynch, the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse and the United Football League.
In his 13 years with the Broncos, Kirk was involved in directing the media operations of the back-to-back World Champion teams of 1997 and 1998, and worked with Pro Football Hall of Fame members John Elway, Shannon Sharpe and Gary Zimmerman.
Kirk joined the Broncos in 1995 as a media relations assistant, was media relations manager from 1999-2002 and director of media relations from 2002-08. He was involved in all aspects of the team's public relations operation and produced the team's media guide the majority of his time with the club.
Kirk began his career as an undergraduate at the University of Washington, working as a student assistant for Husky athletics in the sports information office.
There his opportunities included game support for men's basketball, football and variety of other sports, as well as day-to-day media relations operations for the Huskies' men's and women's tennis and softball teams.
Upon graduating from Washington, Kirk accepted a graduate assistant position at Arizona State University. Between 1993-95 he handled the sports information duties for the Sun Devils' men's and women's track and field, men's and women's cross-country, baseball, wrestling, volleyball and softball teams as a graduate assistant.
His experience included handling of media relations for the annual Sun Angel Track and Field Classic, which featured notable Olympic athletes and the top collegiate talent from across the nation.
Kirk also served internships with the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals and provided game-day assistance to the Seattle Sonics and Phoenix Suns.
A Seattle native, Paul and his wife Michelle have three children, Samuel, Wilson and Grace.