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WiFi Coaches serve fans, gain experience at McLane Stadium

If you’ve been to a game at McLane Stadium, you might have noticed stadium workers clad in eye-catching fluorescent yellow vests positioned throughout the concourses. Their brightly colored attire is designed to be noticed and to attract fans with questions about McLane Stadium’s immersive gameday technology.

Baylor recognized that McLane Stadium’s free Wi-Fi and the Baylor In-Game app, the only one of its kind in college sports, created a need for experts who could help fans utilize them. The quantam leap in technology provided a unique opportunity—the chance to not only meet fan needs, but to use McLane Stadium for educational purposes as well.

“We wanted everyone who had the opportunity to be able to take advantage of the technology at McLane Stadium,” Becky King, associate vice president for information technology and deputy CIO, said. “Technology is all about customer service these days. Our thought getting started was, ‘who would be good to do this?’”

The answer was already here on campus. Baylor students majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) were hired to provide customer service to fans while gaining real-world experience in the field.

“When we got the opportunity, we jumped on it,” Hope Koch, associate professor in information systems, said. “It gives our students real experience with customer service and the chance to troubleshoot and problem solve. Out of the classroom, solutions aren’t always cut and dry. We trained them extensively on the app, different phones and Wi-Fi so that people can use them.”

Senior MIS major Alec Porter was stationed in section 101 on opening day, thrilled at the chance to get the kind of experience that one might otherwise receive in an internship or part-time job off campus.

“It’s a once-in-a-career type of thing to be a part of this,” Porter said. “Being able to have hands-on experience for the first time in a stadium like this and seeing the end product is great. I helped a lot of people set up their Wi-Fi and taught them how to use the app. We’re also there to communicate issues of connectivity if there are any problems.”

After each game, Wi-Fi coaches reconvene with faculty and Baylor Information Technology Services to discuss issues and solutions, and brainstorm on providing even better customer service.

“We feel Baylor fans enjoy working with the students,” King said. “We are an educational institution, and this is a great way to allow everyone to connect and have a great experience.”