Lucas moves on


All good things somehow find a way of coming to an end.

Vacations, weekends, winning streaks and Matt Lucas.

ired back on July 1 of last year as Director of Athletic Sales, the 29-year-old Lucas has found a new home.

“I’m going to go work for a company called Fitness Pro Athletics,” informed the University of Kentucky grad. “It’s based out of Lexington, Kentucky, and (it’s) expanding the Savannah, Georgia/Hilton Head Island area.”

Lucas will become the Director of Commercial Sales for the east coast ranging from northern North Carolina to northern Florida.

“It’s a very growing industry,” Lucas pointed out. “The fitness industry has now become a plus simply because medical insurance has become so high now. So many of your corporations, your universities and your insurance companies have to institute a corporate fitness program in order to lower those medical insurance premiums.”

“To do that, that’s where we come in. We set up the corporate fitness program. We give them the equipment to do it. And we either do the consulting ourselves or we refer them to a consultant within their area.”

Lucas’ previous helm was at Kent State University where he was the Promotions and Marketing Assistant. Interestingly, his arrival to NIU wasn’t part of his intended plan.

He explains, “I wasn’t looking for a job, they found me. Sometimes, when an opportunity like this rears its head, you have to snatch at it … A window of opportunity really only comes along once or twice in a lifetime.”

Lucas knows his tenure in DeKalb was meaningful, but he marvels at the entire system.

“I’ve never been associated with an athletic department which does so much with so little. The type of support and spirit are the type of people Gerald O’Dell hires. If you don’t do any better and if you’re not striving to get better, he wouldn’t have hired you in the first place. Athletics is like that.”

“It’s not a personal thing where you’re here and you want to get out and you want to leave. That’s not the way it is. If you’re not looking to better yourself, you better get into another area.”

The applied skills necessary to work for Fitness Pro Athletics will be comparable to his former NIU position and will give him a chance to work with the physical equipment (i.e. treadmills, lifecycles) while representing coordinating companies (i.e. Bally Fitness Equipment, Paramount). His new calling will also put him in contact with health clubs, spas, hotels and doctor’s offices among other types of business.

“It’s been a great stay,” Lucas concluded.

‘Assistant Athletic Director of Promotions and Marketing John Penny heads the search for candidates for the void Lucas has left behind.