The University of Kentucky has announced TJ Beisner has been named director of player development for the men’s basketball program, a new position that will oversee the execution of all elements of the student-athlete’s off-court experience, including primary areas of player welfare and player branding.
I’m overwhelmed with emotions today and I appreciate every message I’ve received so far…but I have to shout out the real MVP, @MoniqueBeisner.
What a strange, beautiful journey it’s been!!! pic.twitter.com/OpyOMxbvsu
— TJ Beisner (@tjbeisner) August 10, 2021
Under the direction of head coach John Calipari, Beisner – in concert with Kentucky’s brand and content team and the Kentucky Road initiative – will lead and support the Wildcats’ brand-building strategy in the new Name, Image and Likeness era, monitor all changes in NCAA legislation and trends across college athletics to develop strategies and solutions to keep Kentucky at the forefront of college basketball, organize and manage the program’s community service involvement, provide support to players on non-basketball issues, and develop team-wide events focused on educating student-athletes on personal and career development.
“This position is going to play a major role in the next phase of Kentucky basketball,” Calipari said in a press release. “Our players-first approach remains the foundation of this program, and we wanted to take a concerted and strategic approach to what that means in all facets of our program. From helping our players build their brands, to getting our players into the community, helping us educate them on key issues, offering off-the-court support to both our kids and their parents, to alumni relations, TJ is going to serve as a director for us off the court.
“Kentucky should be the best in the country in branding, player welfare and development. TJ has been a key part of this program for the last few years in his role with JMI and as editor of CoachCal.com, and I know he is ready to take on this responsibility.”
Beisner has worked with the men’s basketball program and UK Athletics since May 2018 as the director of digital media and content development for UK Sports & Campus Marketing. Beisner was responsible for managing the production and development of University of Kentucky and UK Athletics’ assets and worked directly with university and athletics partners to develop creative storytelling and branded media projects while also managing UK’s official radio and television partners. Under Beisner’s leadership, the UK Sports Network transformed the official television partnership and launched a model that gives the University of Kentucky one of the strongest local television presences in the country.
As a part of his role with JMI Sports, Beisner was the editor of CoachCal.com and assisted in the social media and content creation of Calipari’s digital platforms.
“There is no place like the University of Kentucky,” Beisner said in a press release. “As a student, it changed my life. As a parent, I’ve watched the university and UK Athletics do the same for my son. I am thrilled to join Coach Calipari’s staff and have an opportunity to be a supportive and impactful part of the one-of-a-kind college experience you can only receive at the University of Kentucky. I absolutely cannot wait to do my part in keeping UK basketball as the gold standard in this new era of college athletics.”
Prior to arriving at JMI Sports, Beisner served as the host of Kentucky Sports Television and was an editor of the Kentucky Sports Radio website. He will serve as an adjunct instructor in the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information this upcoming academic year.
One of Beisner’s chief responsibilities will be working in coordination with the greater UK Athletics Department to develop a first-class NIL program that maximizes opportunities for student-athletes and aligns within the goals of the University of Kentucky. Monitoring NCAA legislation and operating compliantly with the state’s current NIL rules, Beisner will help develop player-specific branding plans to maximize a student-athlete’s profile.
Player welfare will be at the heart of the director of player development position. Community service opportunities, team-wide events focused on education and personal career development, and student-athlete support will be day-to-day objectives of Beisner.
Beisner will also be responsible for identifying opportunities throughout the Kentucky men’s basketball program for development and improvement and present solutions and strategies that push the program forward, including but not limited to, new media partnerships, summer camps, apparel, creative scheduling ideas and on-campus events.