Tom Stock overlooking his new facilities at St. John's

Tom Stock’s Rule of 10

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Tom Stock was the director of athletics at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., for 10 years. The list of accomplishments extends further than this page, so, like Stock’s AD tenure at St. John’s, we kept the list to 10. The list consists of excerpts from our interview with Stock three weeks before he left his chair as athletic director to become a Senior Development Officer. He will retain his athletic marketing job, a position he learned all about during his time at NDSU.

Tom Stock pitching for the Bison.


10. NDSU Career

“I was a student-athlete at NDSU, four years in baseball, one year in track and field. I was coached by Jim Peterson and George Ellis, they were my baseball coaches, and Don Larson in track. I was never a great spear chucker. I threw the javelin. I would starve if I had to feed myself with that thing. But it was fun.”

9. NDSU Experience

“I look back on my NDSU time. I had a great college experience. I double majored. I got that sales experience. I was a grad assistantship that paid for grad school. I worked on commission in the summer selling ads. I made great money. I just look back on it, and so much of it that got me where I am today, came from a good solid foundation from NDSU.”

8. NDSU Legacy

“The first thing I took away and the things I find myself talking to my interns about all the time is the way George Ellis talked to me. For George, being the best was the minimum requirement. High expectations, high expectations, and if you don’t want to do the hard work and the heavy lifting to achieve those expectations, then I don’t want you on my team. That was George’s line.”

7. Forming a Career Path

“When I was at NDSU, we won all kind of publication awards. I learned about his stuff, and I learned how to do it, now we’ve carried it on. George worked hard and he was a great mentor and he set a high-bar that was probably the number one takeaway I had. This is just how we do business.”

6. Learning Along the Way

“My dream job was sports information until I got in it and did it. Then I realized I’m more into sales and marketing. And yet, you have to do some of this stuff to know and I tell students that all the time. You don’t really know until you get into it.”

Tom Stock, former NDSU Bison baseball player and St. John's athletic director.

5. Becoming the Athletic Director

“The athletic director job, I really loved. Everybody thinks we have such glamorous jobs. There is not much glamor. It’s a lot of work. You’re dealing with problems from all over. Problems from a budget standpoint, problems with compliance, problems with NCAA reporting, and all the work that’s involved with that, you’re dealing with your league and all that reporting. You got student athletes and parents, and it’s a job with a lot of challenges.”

4. Legends of St. John’s

“Hard work, challenges, and problems and I’m grateful for the opportunity. To be an athletic director at St. John’s as a non-alum, is very rare. Just very rare. John Gagliardi and Jim Smith, the legends that were here, were not alums but they didn’t get there overnight. John worked here for 60 some years, and Jim 50 some years. I was with the most mature coaching staff in the history of the NCAA, right here”

3. What Stock Accomplished

“We just built a brand new, all-turf baseball stadium, Becker Park. We have a brand new soccer facility. It’s, arguably, our baseball facility is number one in all of Division III athletics. Our soccer facility is number one in all of Division III athletics. New outdoor tennis courts are coming down the line this fall. They’ll be beautiful. They’re beyond the left field fence. We just put a plaza in, which is storage, restrooms, and concession area. Lynch Plaza. We’re building Gagliardi Field. We’re going to have a seasonal dome, going up over that.”

2. New Opportunity

“Thank god for 25 years at St. John’s. I’m pretty well connected to these people. I worked in that (development) office before I got into the athletic department. I did marketing out of the development office. I know what I’m walking into. It’ll be exciting and you know I look at this whole change, Bob Alpers has been here for 30 years, he’s going to take the reigns. He’s so excited to take over. He’s been an assistant AD for eight years.”

1. Why 10 Years

“I wanted to pour my heart and soul into it (athletic director). I wanted to give it everything I had, and I did. And I’m glad I did. If I’m proud of one thing, it’s the effort I put into it. … We’ve had a full succession plan for the department. A lot of work got done here in the last 10 years. And it’s not just me, collectively a large group of people, but it’s tangible. Why 10 years? That’s why. Ten years is long enough and I’m ready to move into something else.”

Tom Stock’s Rule of 10
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