UKMR and Strategic Communication Announce Hirings, Sport Assignments

LEXINGTON, Ky. – With recent hirings now complete, the University of Kentucky Athletics Media Relations and Strategic Communication Offices have finalized personnel and sport assignments for 2015-16.

Jake Most and Chris Shoals, who were on staff already as media relations assistants, have been promoted to full-time roles as assistant media relations directors.  UK also hired two new media relations assistants in Chloe Smith and Steve Sommer. In addition, Tim Letcher has come on board as Internet coordinator. 

Most will continue working as the primary contact for the track and field/cross country programs, men’s soccer and rifle. Most also is maintaining his role in assisting with men’s basketball. Most has spent the previous three years as a media relations assistant at UK. 

In 2015, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named Most the Excellence in Communications Award Winner. He has promoted 59 All-Americans, five Academic All-Americans and multiple conference award winners during his time at UK. He is a 2012 graduate of LSU. Prior to working at UK he spent a summer working with the San Francisco 49ers.

Shoals works with women’s soccer and softball. The 2014 UK graduate has worked at UKMR since 2011, serving four years as a student intern and last year as a media relations assistant. Shoals has worked with several Wildcat sports and is a veteran of multiple NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 runs, including those by the UK men’s tennis team in 2013 and the women’s soccer team in 2014.

Smith (media relations assistant) joins the UKMR office as the primary contact for swimming and diving and women’s tennis. She will serve as the secondary contact for women’s basketball.

Smith, who earned Academic All-America honors as a volleyball player at Central Arkansas, joins the UK staff after a two-year graduate assistantship at Eastern Michigan. She was the primary contact for the men’s and women’s cross country, swimming and diving, and track and field teams and the secondary volleyball contact at EMU. Smith also is a skilled video editor and photographer. She also played three years of professional volleyball in Europe.

Sommer (media relations assistant) has been hired as the primary contact for gymnastics and men’s tennis. He also serves as the No. 2 volleyball contact.

Sommer, a 2014 graduate of Longwood University, has worked in the sports information profession at Wofford and Longwood. He was the primary contact for women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, tennis and track and field/cross country at Wofford. Prior to that he served as Sports Director at WMLU FM radio in Farmville, Va., from 2010-14.

Letcher has joined UK’s Strategic Communications Office as Internet coordinator for UKathletics.com.  Letcher has been in the digital media sports industry for more than 15 years, primarily with XOS Digital, IMG College and Host Communications. Over the years he managed site and content for entities such as NCAA Football.com, SECSports.com and Texassports.com. He began his career as an assistant sports information director at Morehead State.

In addition, to the promotions and hirings, two veteran media relations staffers have undergone assignment changes. Susan Lax, who has split time between women’s basketball and football during her years at UK, is concentrating on football and is the primary contact for that sport. Evan Crane, who has handled multiple sports during his term at UK, is now the primary women’s basketball contact and is maintaining a role with football.  

Media Relations Contact by Sport

Baseball: Brent Ingram 

Cross Country: Jake Most

Football: Susan Lax, Evan Crane, Brent Ingram (Tony Neely for Mark Stoops)

Gymnastics: Steve Sommer

Men’s Basketball: Eric Lindsey, Deb Moore, Jake Most

Men’s Golf: Deb Moore

Men’s Soccer: Jake Most

Men’s Tennis: Steve Sommer

Rifle: Jake Most

Softball: Chris Shoals

Swimming and Diving: Chloe Smith

Track and Field: Jake Most

Volleyball: Deb Moore, Steve Sommer

Women’s Basketball: Evan Crane, Chloe Smith

Women’s Golf: Eric Lindsey

Women’s Soccer: Chris Shoals

Women’s Tennis: Chloe Smith