I grew up more interested in math and science than in English or writing, although I was always capable of holding my own academically across the board. So, two chance happenings in high school serendipitously prepared me for a vastly different future of designing planes or spaceships: somebody put me on the annual staff my senior year (co-sports editor, go figure) and limited scheduling flexibility forced me to take a year of typing at the same time (instead of the semester crash course I’d intended).

After high school, I promptly went off to college and studied five years to become an aerospace engineer. Beginning what would soon become an obvious pattern of strange occupational leaps, I joined the Navy and became a nuclear-trained officer on a submarine. I was in the Navy for a little more than five years, and on the (now decommissioned) USS Grayling for a little more than three. We did the usual stuff — plus bump into a Russian submarine — before my time in the Navy was up.

I got out, determined to do something related to sports and wound up, in a classic case of who you know being vastly more important than what you know, stumbling into part-time work at The Sun Herald, which lies right on the border between Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss. I got there and remembered what a pica pole was and some basics about layout (gems like “size, placement and content determine a photo’s importance on a page”) and could type fast enough to keep up with what I was thinking (which, not to scare court stenographers out of their stools in fear of awesome typing skills, sheds rather poor light on my cognitive abilities) thanks to those two fortuitous high school experiences. I wound up getting full-time work at The Mississippi Press in Pascagoula before coming back to The Sun Herald. I covered the Mississippi Sea Wolves minor league hockey team for three years, the New Orleans Saints for three years and Ole Miss and Mississippi State for a couple years.

After Hurricane Katrina, for which the Sun Herald won a Pulitzer Prize, I moved to the news-side of the house where I concentrated on transportation issues along with general assignment business and news coverage. About a year later, I became online editor for sunherald.com, a job I held for about two years before becoming a senior page designer/copy editor.

In early 2015, good luck led me to become the sports information and media specialist at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. I’m the SID for our 10 teams, along with other communications responsibilities in the Institutional Advancement department at the school.