Craig Shaman lives and breathes sports. Currently working as the Athletic Director at Michigan City Area Schools, Shaman has over 25 years of college and high school coaching and athletic administration experience. Shaman knows well that the heart of sports is people and the relationships they create and foster.
Born and raised in Chicago, Shaman’s career has always coincided with his two biggest passions in life: basketball and helping people.
“When I was younger, I loved sports, specifically basketball, and I strived to have a career revolving around it,” Shaman said. “And then when I started coaching, I quickly learned that it isn’t just about the sport but about meeting and helping others become the best they can be. When I got into athletic administration, the mentoring and connecting aspect of sports really became a big part of my life.”
Shaman stated that the motivational drive behind his work as Athletic Director is the students and their potential for success.
“In every job I’ve had during my career, it has always revolved around helping and guiding students toward a bright future,” Shaman said. “I get up every day trying to be a vital part of that process. I don’t think there is anything I wouldn’t do for the students here.”
Shaman went into detail about what it means to be part of the team and why he always considered himself a team-oriented person.
“A team is two things: a circle that shouldn’t be broken and a family,” Shaman said. “A team is a group of people that comes together to work towards a common goal. Even when there are disagreements, these people are committed and loyal to the success of the team. In order for a team to operate successfully, teammates must be supportive of each other. And personally, I absolutely enjoy that aspect of my job.”
Shaman described the mechanical aspect of team sports, which reinforced the idea that sports are just as much a mental and emotional exercise as it is a physical one.
“Sports teaches people things like self-discipline, time management skills, how to be a good winner and loser, and so on. All of these lessons are valuable not just for the short-term, but will carry you throughout your entire life,” Shaman said. “For instance, training your jump shot requires honing your physical being and muscle memory skills. Being involved in sports really strengthens you to become the best version of yourself.”
Shaman stated that some of the most valuable lessons he has learned in his career is that life lessons are more important than winning and losing and that sportsmanship will take you incredibly far. He admitted that in hindsight, the students have taught him more about himself and about life than he has taught them.
“Getting to where I am today makes me feel satisfied,” Shaman said. “While I do consider myself a more forward-thinking guy. When I do take a moment to reflect on my life, I realize that I have some phenomenal relationships in my life. Both Michigan City and Chicago hold a very special place in my heart and having the opportunity to meet and work with so many talented people over the years makes me so happy.”