Jared Hinrichs is our newly hired Sponsorship Coordinator. Jared joins the Future Legends team after experience most recently with Learfield/IMG College within the University of Kansas Athletic Department and in Athletic Development at Northwestern University.
Q: Where are you from?
I was born in Kansas City, but grew up in Greeley, Colorado.
Q: Could you provide us with a quick summary of your education and career path thus far?/ What is your connection to the sports industry and how you got into your career?
I went to the University of Kansas, graduated in 2020 with a degree in Sport Management. I worked in the [KU] athletic department during my undergrad, had an internship with Northwestern University Athletics [working in Athletic Development], and then I moved here after graduation in May. That’s how I got into the sports industry, and then found my way here.
Q: Do you have a background growing up with sports?
I do. My dad worked for the Kansas City Royals when I was a kid. He worked for University of Kansas Athletics, and was the Athletic Director for University of Northern Colorado, so you could say I grew up in sports, grew up at basketball practices and at baseball practices and just being around. It wasn’t just going home and waiting for dad to come home, it was after school, go see dad at the practice field or at the athletic department so I pretty much grew up around athletics.
Q: Do you have any lasting memories as a kid growing up around the UNC Athletic Department?
I always was able to look up to those college players. They were people I had met personally and people I had relationships with. I had favorite players and people that would always say hi to me when I was a kid, walking around practice. I guess you could call them role models because [as a kid] I thought they were the coolest people ever because they played sports in college. I would stay back and shoot after practice with them or I would rebound for them, or I would just watch practice. [Afterwards] we’d walk up the stairs together because they’d go to study hall and I’d just go back to [my dad’s] office. Just little moments like that I remember. Those everyday experiences I had, stand out to me.
Q: Which sport has had the biggest impact on your life and why?
I would say baseball just because I have met my best friends through baseball when we were kids and we’ve grown up playing together. Obviously growing up with my dad we’ve just bonded going to baseball games, watching baseball, and I grew up playing it as well so just those memories I have are the most impactful, traveling across the state of Colorado [for tournaments]. Baseball for sure.
Q: How did you get involved with Future Legends?
I knew I wanted to be back in Colorado and so I decided to just move out here on a whim and see what I could find. I already knew about the complex, since I’m familiar with the area, so I got in contact with Casey, our Executive Director, and we explored some options and luckily enough they had a position for me and was fortunate enough to get involved. I started as a Graduate Assistant and now am in a full time role.
Q: How have you pivoted your career to help build Future Legends?
I started in college athletics, jumped into pro sports a little bit when I was in undergrad as well, but I definitely had to change my perspective. This is more about catering towards the experience and less about taking care of certain properties or certain entities in the athletic department and so I had to change my perception of sports a little bit and change how I think of the business side of it as well.
[Here] I think about how people are experiencing the complex and less about how it’s going to work. More experiential, less operational.
Q: Why is this project important to you personally?
Personally, just because I grew up in the area. It’s cool to have an impact close to an area where I grew up and have experienced the same experiences these kids are going to be having. It’s super cool to be close to the community and the area that I’m familiar with. From a personal standpoint, I was in these kids shoes, I played on the same fields when I was a kid, so there’s that cool perspective from it as well.
I just remember there were three fields out there when I was a kid and now [there will be] a mega complex. Northern Colorado doesn’t really have anything like this, so I can’t imagine what it would have been like [when I was a kid]. I think it would have been a super cool experience to grow up with this kind of complex so close.
I think the community of Northern Colorado is very sports based, they are very passionate about sports but they have no one to support out here or there’s no headline area to go, to there’s no attraction, so to be able to have a complex that helps support how much people care about sports out here is super cool and just having that headliner, what Northern Colorado could be known for is this complex which is cool to consider.
Q: What was it like growing up in Northern Colorado? What makes it unique?
I think it was a very diverse experience growing up. I realized that not everyone has the same background as me. There are so many different experiences people go through in life and meeting people who don’t look like me, or don’t have the same background, or don’t even speak the same language as me primarily, I think that was highlighted growing up in Greeley.
I learned that I am very fortunate (more privileged) compared to other people that I grew up with.
Q: What excites you most about Future Legends?
The impact it will have on the local community. Like I was talking about earlier, Northern Colorado doesn’t have anything it is known for, maybe the universities, but to have a place that attracts people from across the country is super cool. It’s a growing area and just know that it’s going to keep growing and that it’s not just in the middle of nowhere. This is the place to be right now and this is super exciting to have a project like this.
Q: Who is your sports hero and why?
My sports hero is my dad. Just seeing how hard he works everyday and seeing how much effort he puts into his career and how it pays off and seeing all the cool things he’s done, he’s definitely my sports hero. I think just having that role model consistently in my life. You’d always think to look up to an athlete [as a sports hero], but my dad’s always been there and he’s shown me what it looks like to work hard and what success in sports looks like, so I really can’t think of anyone else to look up to when it comes to a role model in sports.
Q: Northern Colorado recommendations from the local himself?
Downtown Fort Collins is always the go to. Obviously our complex, I have to plug our complex. University of Northern Colorado games, I think going down and watching some basketball or football games is a great experience and you get to see a college campus up close, CSU is close as well. The whole area is a one big community so everyone gets along together.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
I really like the Greeley Chophouse. They have the best steak ever because it came from two blocks away. You can’t go wrong with Alberto’s Burritos, in Greeley too. Roma’s is good too.