KNOXVILLE—A group of students and staff from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville,
will head to Glendale, Arizona, at the end of the month to work behind the scenes at
Super Bowl XLIX, one of the largest one-day sporting events in the world.
This year’s game will be Sunday, Feb. 1, between the New England Patriots and Seattle
Seahawks. The UT team will be on site Jan. 28 to Feb. 2.
This is the ninth year a UT team has worked at the Super Bowl.
Debbie Mackey, a senior lecturer and director of the Human Resource Management
master’s program, will lead the team along with Brian Russell, associate director of the
Thornton Athletics Student Life Center.
The trip is a valuable experience for students and will assist them in learning about all
aspects of business, Mackey said.
Students will work as volunteers with Mgroup and NFL on Location at special events
before and during the Super Bowl. They will have the opportunity to meet professional
team members as well as a UT alumnus who works with the NFL network. During the
game, they will host guests in various venues and possibly take guests to the field. They
also will meet with ESPN professionals and learn about how to get started in the
The team used Volstarter, the university’s crowdfunding site, to raise money for travel,
Mackey said. They also have a partnership with UT Athletics through which they
This year’s team includes four UT student-athletes—Justin Worley, Matt Darr and Jacob
Carter from football, and Allie Sirna from soccer.
Team members are
Molly Gronotte, a senior in recreation and sports management from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Alexandria Hunt, a senior in advertising from Morristown, Tennessee.
Brittany Davis, a junior in recreation and sports management from Knoxville.
Justin Worley, a graduate student in recreation and sports management from Rock Hill,
Ani Williams, a senior in recreation and sports management from Memphis.
Matt Darr, a graduate student in human resource management from Bakersville,
Rae Benton, a senior in hotel, restaurant and tourism management from Yadkinville,
Jacob Carter, a graduate student in human resource management from Nashville.
Kayla Godfrey, a junior in recreation and sports management from Suffolk, Virginia.
Allie Sirna, a senior in business management from Cleveland, Ohio.
Will Crockett, a graduate student in recreation and sports management from Lebanon,