SAAC Spotlight: Maddie Irelan

Get to know the KU Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) representatives each week through our SAAC Spotlight series. This week’s spotlight is Maddie Irelan, a sophomore rower from Dublin, Ohio. SAAC is composed of appointed representatives from each of KU’s 18 varsity teams and helps promote communication between faculty, administrators, coaches and student-athletes. SAAC members meet monthly to discuss ideas and issues pertinent to KU Athletics, the Big 12 and the NCAA.

SAAC Spotlight: Maddie Irelan
SAAC Position: Community Outreach Chair, and SAAC Student Senate Representative
Class: Sophomore
Major: Journalism: News & Info
Minor: Religious Studies
Team: Rowing
Hometown: Dublin, Ohio

Why did you choose KU?
From the first time I visited campus and met the team, I could see myself here and knew this is where I belong.

How did you choose your major?
I became really involved with the Broadcast program at my high school and fell in love with reporting and sharing the news my sophomore year. I never looked back.

What’s your favorite class you’ve taken at KU and why?
Journalism: Stand and Deliver, because it was all based on being able to present a certain topic without any notes and I know that will be useful in my profession. 

Where is the best place to sit for lectures?
First or second row, in the middle.

What advice would you give to incoming KU freshmen?
Get involved on campus. There is something for everyone and it is important to make connections with people outside of your normal circle.

What do you think is the prettiest place on campus?
The view from the stacks in Watson.

Most underrated place to study on campus?
First floor of the Union.

What leadership skills have you learned while being a student-athlete at KU?
How to get a diverse group of people to merge ideas and work towards a common goal.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from balancing the demands of being a Division I student-athlete and academics?
Write everything down in a planner, prioritize tasks, and don’t forget to take a break every once in a while!

Popular Culture
Favorite TV show…

The Amazing Race

Favorite movie…
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Favorite book and/or magazine…
Second Glance, by Jodi Picoult

Favorite singer or musical group…
Twenty One Pilots

Favorite pro sports team…
Cincinnati Bengals

Favorite athlete…
Evan Turner

The athlete I would most like to compete against…
My sister and her team (Rutgers)

Favorite athletic memory…
Winning gold at the Head of the Oklahoma in my first race as a Jayhawk.

Team you’re most looking forward to competing against…
K State.

Pre-game/match superstition/Pre-game/match ritual…
Always fist bump from stern to bow. Always take a deep breath, turn around and look down our lane towards the finish line before the race.

In 10 years, I would like to be…
Working my way up through the ranks in the top ten media market, eventually to an anchoring position.

Most prized possession…
A collection of all the letters my loved ones have written me.

I would like to trade places for a day with…
A coxswain (on an erg test day).

Best piece of advice you’ve received…
Do something that’s “totally not Maddie” and don’t worry about defining yourself.

If you could have dinner with any 3 people (alive or dead), who would they be?
Giuliana Rancic, Al Roker, Brian Williams.

Dream event (non-sport or sport-related) you would like to attend…
The Olympics, specifically the rowing

Who tweets too much on your team?
Daisy Tackett (using her rowing-related alias)

Pop or Soda?

Cats or Dogs?

Early Bird or Night Owl? 
Early Bird! You can never watch too many sunrises.