Turn your passion for sports into a career!

If you've dreamed of having fun while working, major in Sport Management at Madonna.  Starting with your introductory courses, you can expect hands-on and challenging assignments that expose you to the inner workings of the industry.  As a graduate, you will have had the necessary coursework, experiential opportunities and networking to start in this dynamic industry.  Small class sizes ensure that professors know you by name and can help direct your path. 

Combining Sport Management with another minor will make you more marketable upon graduation.  Madonna's Sport Management program prepares you for an exciting career or to pursue graduate school.

Degrees Offered


Student Success

Cali Crawford

Cali Crawford , 2008

Crawford is the Assistant Director of Athletics at Schoolcraft College and President for the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA). After playing basketball for and graduating from Madonna, she earned her Master of Science degree in sport management at EMU while serving as the Eagles’ director of basketball operations. Crawford credits Madonna professors with helping her establish goal, and her degree as the “cornerstone” of her career that helped her find her passion in life.



Post-Bachelor Certificate of Achievement

Learn the key aspects of the industry while making yourself more marketable. The specialization may speed up your ability to advance your career or allow you to change industries. You’ll gain the skills and fresh knowledge in the sports industry to allow you to make an immediate impact.

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Sport Media and Communication Minor

Supplement your major with additional instruction in digital layout, television production, media relations writing, and more, merging your passion for sports with a career in business, public relations, or a similar field.

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Faculty Bios

Michele Lewis WattsAssistant Professor

B.S. North Carolina A&T State

M.S.A. Ohio University


734-432-5649, 2228C

Michele Lewis Watts

Michele Lewis Watts has 25 years of experience in sports and event management, starting her career at the Detroit Pistons followed by stints at several area non-profits in guest services, youth development, operations, and business development. She also served as Vice President of Events for the 2006 Super Bowl XL Host Committee and Vice President of Events and Community Outreach for the 2009 Final Four Organizing Committee. She is nearing completion of her Ph.D. in Exercise and Sport Science at Wayne State University, researching the impact of gender stereotypes on the gender and athletic identities of African American girl athletes. A former collegiate volleyball player, Michele coaches club volleyball and helped launch the Detroit Volleyball Coaches Association. She joined the board of Detroit PAL in 2011 and currently serves as Board Vice Chair and chair of the Women’s Committee.

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Kathryn StellemaAssistant Professor

B.S. Bethel University

M.S. Wayne State University

M.A. Eastern Michigan University


734-432-5807, 2228E

Kathryn Stellema

Kathryn received her undergraduate degree from Bethel University in Physical Education. She holds a Master’s Degree from Wayne State University in Sports Administration and a Master’s Degree from Eastern Michigan in Elementary Education. Before joining Madonna University, Kathryn taught in the K-12 setting for 27 years. Her passion is to prepare teachers and others to promote fitness and health to all ages. Kathryn is currently an Assistant Professor and Director of the Physical Education and Exercise and Sport Sciences Programs where she has taught for the past 10 years. She has served on several committees at the State and local levels, and has participated in the writing of current physical education and health standards for the State of Michigan.

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James AchoAdjunct Professor

B.A. University of St. Francis

J.D. Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School


James Acho

Jim Acho, a nationally respected sports law attorney and adjunct professor of sports law at Madonna University, has been representing retired MLB and current and retired NFL players in pension and medical benefits issues for nearly 20 years. He appears frequently on national and local sports radio shows to discuss sports law issues and has appeared on WJR’s award-winning The Frank Beckmann Show more than 40 times. In 2010, The Sporting News named Acho one of the 5 most influential sports attorneys in America. In 2015, a prominent group of respected NFL retirees nominated Mr. Acho to run for the position of National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Executive Director. In 2017, he made national news when he settled legendary pro football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers’ concussion lawsuit. Acho has also carved out a reputation for representing municipalities, specifically in police litigation. 

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Brad EbbenAdjunct Professor

B.A. University of Notre Dame


Brad Ebben

Brad P. Ebben is a senior level sales and marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in sports in Metro Detroit.  He currently serves as an account executive in advertising sales at FOX Sports Detroit where he is responsible for local sales and retention of on-air advertisers on the exclusive Regional Sports Network for the Detroit Pistons (NBA), Detroit Red Wings (NHL) and Detroit Tigers (MLB).  Prior to FOX Sports Detroit, Ebben was sales and marketing director for the Ford Senior Players Championship and director of membership sales and marketing at TPC Michigan. Ebben’s professional sports experience also includes marketing and sales roles at Palace Sports and Entertainment (Detroit Pistons, Shock, Vipers and Fury) and Olympia Entertainment (Detroit Red Wings, Rockers, Drive and Turbo). Ebben began his sports career in ticket sales at the New Jersey Devils after completing his Bachelor of Business Administration at University of Notre Dame.

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Tom MurphyAdjunct Professor

B.A. University of Minnesota – Duluth


Tom Murphy

Murphy is a 35 year professional in sports, parks and recreation with expertise in facility management and construction, fiscal management and community development. He is the Facility Manager for Livonia Community Recreation Center overseeing the operation of the 130,000 square foot facility with 17,000 members and previously coordinating the $30 million renovation of the building. Prior to Livonia, Murphy was the business manager for Farmington Hills Ice Arena, program manager for Downriver Community Conference, and held parks and recreation management positions for Royal Oak and Melvindale. He began his career working at YMCAs after completing his degree in Recreation Management with a business emphasis. Murphy is a National Recreation and Park Association Certified Parks and Recreation Professional.

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