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Arkansas State University

Former Player Kirk Louis Jr. Hopes to Launch Career in Sport Administration


As a linebacker on the Arkansas State University football team for five years, Kirk Louis Jr. helped the Red Wolves win a pair of Sun Belt Conference championships while earning a bachelor’s degree.

Now, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native is tackling the next level of his education in the online Master of Science in Sport Administration program at A-State. He plans to graduate in August 2020.

“I was afforded the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree because I redshirted as a freshman football player, which gave me five years in the program,” Louis Jr. said. “I said, ‘If I can get my bachelor’s degree out of the way, I definitely want to start my master’s degree so I can boost my resume.'”

Although he no longer dons a helmet or shoulder pads, he is still part of the Red Wolves football team as an intern in the personnel, recruiting and operations department. His duties include assisting with depth chart updates, roster management, player evaluations and recruiting for head coach Blake Anderson.

“I love the online program and working at your own pace,” Louis Jr. said. “I like the flexibility with my schedule since I don’t have to worry about being on campus or going to class. The online program has definitely helped me balance the two.”

Louis Jr. went straight into the master’s degree program after he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sport management with a minor in marketing in May 2019.

“When I first got to college, I wasn’t sure if I would like doing classes online,” he said. “I like to see things visually. But I adjusted to it well when I had a couple of online classes during my undergraduate degree program. I spend about six hours per week on the master’s degree program.”

In the Zone

After Louis Jr. was a four-year varsity letterman at McKinley High School, he was also recruited by Tulane, Navy and Yale. Instead, he chose A-State and performed on the field and especially in the classroom.

As an undergraduate, he was a member of the student-athlete advisory committee for a year-and-a-half and made the dean’s list and the Sun Belt Conference Honor Roll each year of his career.

“I loved playing for the Red Wolves,” he said. “It took a year or two of college for me to decide which direction to go with my career. After I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I went straight into the master’s degree program.”

Louis Jr. also completed a brief internship in the A-State athletic department while earning a bachelor’s degree and completed an international sports venues course abroad in Barcelona. He believes his experience and education will help him land a good job after graduation.

“The master’s program is giving me some insight into the administrative side of sports,” he said. “It will definitely open up some opportunities for me. My dream job is to be an NFL general manager. I like that side of football.”

So far, ESPE 6113: Sport Law is Louis Jr.’s favorite course in the online MS in Sport Administration curriculum, although he said he has enjoyed all of the courses.

“There are a lot of legal things in sports you have to deal with like contracts,” he said. “I thought it was pretty cool to learn about them. I want to work in operations on the personnel side of things professionally. I am also getting some good experience doing that right now with the internship.”

Ready for Kickoff

With a few more months left in the master’s degree program, Louis Jr. is eager to graduate and suit up for his professional career. He plans to walk the graduation stage at A-State for the second time in as many years.

“My family and friends are all very excited for me,” he said. “I will be the first person in my family to earn a master’s degree, so it also gives them something to brag about. I have definitely got good value out of the master’s degree program and learned a lot.”

In addition to the knowledge Louis Jr. has gained in the online MS in Sport Administration program, the format has also helped enhance other valuable skills.

“I have been able to use some of the information I have learned with the internship,” he said. “But the biggest thing I’ve learned is understanding how to be diligent with my time and improving my time management.”

Louis Jr., who enjoys fishing in his free time, is glad he is experiencing online learning before he leaves Jonesboro. He believes anybody can thrive in the master’s degree program without sacrificing other activities in their lives.

“I would say go for it,” he said. “I really enjoy the online format. It’s not as difficult or strenuous as I thought it would be. I wouldn’t second guess doing it. It’s a great opportunity to advance yourself and separate yourself from the competition.”

Learn more about the A-State online M.S. in Sport Administration program.

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