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Hughes Tackled MBA While Coaching Football

Hughes Tackled MBA While Coaching Football
Hughes journeyed to Lincoln for commencement activities in December 2016.
Tyler Hughes ’16 of Salt Lake City, coached collegiate football nearly 10 years due to his love of the game and passion for working with athletes. However, the goal of earning his MBA stayed in the back of his mind. When he landed the job as head football coach at Minot State University in North Dakota, he decided he would also tackle his MBA at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

“I wanted to get aggressive and finish my MBA,” said Hughes, who took a couple MBA classes at another school before moving to North Dakota. “After looking at online MBA options nationwide, I felt the best path for me was through the University of Nebraska. Nebraska ranked high in U.S. News and World Report and anytime I mentioned it to friends and colleagues I got positive feedback.”

The Nebraska MBA program also seemed like a good fit for Hughes due to the class schedule. He believed he could complete the graduate coursework more effectively in eight-week courses.

“The University of Nebraska schedules MBA courses in eight-week blocks which was extremely helpful. Coaching football and completing courses meant I had to compartmentalize activities into shorter time frames. The professors would lay out the schedule from the first day of class to the last so I knew everything expected of me for the term. That was a huge help for planning my overall schedule,” he said.

Hughes began his online studies at Nebraska in the fall of 2015. As he progressed through classes, he connected what he was learning in class with practical applications as a coach.

Tyler Hughes outside East Memorial Stadium.
Tyler Hughes outside East Memorial Stadium.
“When coaching football, you deal with a highly diverse group of 18-22 year old young men from different backgrounds,” said Hughes. “The management classes provided valuable insight into principles related to communication styles in fellow coaches, players and members of the athletic administration. I kept hearing reward behaviors you want through motivation and incentives. That became a theme in my classes and I applied it to my job.”

Hughes received another confirmation Nebraska was the right choice his first year at Minot State. A serious injury occurred to one of his players at a Saturday afternoon road game and the player ended up in the hospital.

“I had two big assignments due the following Sunday and Monday. I reached out to my professors to let them know my responsibilities to that injured player. Both professors were extremely supportive and understanding. It reinforced I made the right choice coming to Nebraska,” he said.

Hughes earned his MBA in December 2016 and then opted for a new career path. He accepted a job at Rain for Rent, a company based out of California, that provides water handling solutions for the construction, mining, agricultural and oil and gas industries. Hughes believes he is better prepared to manage the company’s Salt Lake City office after earning his MBA.

“The collaborative nature of the MBA classes in an online setting made the process of getting my degree at Nebraska all the more valuable. Most classes have a group component and everyone performs their responsibilities in a professional manner. It better prepared me for any environment I might work in and speaks to the quality of students at Nebraska,” said Hughes.

To learn more about the MBA program at Nebraska, visit:
Published: May 23, 2017