Jake Stone is heading to the Baltimore Orioles organization after graduation. He says this was made possible by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the University of Iowa’s Sport and Recreation Management Program and his work with the Hawkeye baseball team.
Lee Hermiston
Tim Schoon
David Scrivner
Jake Stone

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Sport and Recreational Management

Hometown: Ames, Iowa

Plans after graduation: Stone will intern with the Baltimore Orioles’ Short-Season Class A affiliate, the Aberdeen IronBirds.

If Dan Matheson drew up a blueprint of how to get the most out of the University of Iowa’s Sport and Recreation Management Program, that blueprint would probably look a lot like Jake Stone’s career at Iowa.

Through the program, which Matheson directs, Stone traveled to Des Moines, Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Minneapolis to meet with professionals in sports business and participated in summer practicums where he worked on projects for the Cedar Rapids Kernels and the Chicago Blackhawks. Stone also followed Matheson’s advice and got involved with the University of Iowa baseball team, climbing the ranks to head student manager.

“Jake has just done an exceptional job—day in and day out, year after year—of getting the most out of his college experience,” Matheson says. 

That dedication has paid off. After graduating this spring, Stone will intern with the Baltimore Orioles’ Short-Season Class A affiliate, the Aberdeen IronBirds. Stone credits his time at the University of Iowa with making this a possibility.

“I wouldn’t trade my experience at the University of Iowa for anything,” he says. “My time with the baseball team, as well as my experience inside and out of the classroom with the Sport and Recreation Management Program, has been life-changing.”

“It’s been an incredible experience and the University of Iowa has really given me the tools I need to succeed.”

Jake Stone

Though he graduated from high school in Ames, Stone says he’s been a lifelong Hawkeye fan. His parents and grandparents attended the University of Iowa; in 2015, he followed in their footsteps. Originally planning to pursue a business degree, Stone changed his plans when he met Matheson and learned about the Sport and Recreation Management Program.

As early as his first year, Stone started attending field trips to meet with sports executives in various cities, gaining real-world experience in how to interact with those professionals and develop his networking skills. 

“You get to see exactly what these sports professionals do day to day, how they got there, and how that might fit with what you’re trying to do with your career,” Stone says

Stone participated in the Fans First practicum, where he learned about the customer service side of University of Iowa athletic events. He also took part in the Sport and Recreation Management Program’s Chicago Blackhawks practicum during the summer term after his sophomore year. The Blackhawks practicum also includes work with the Cedar Rapids Kernels baseball team—the students spend the first two weeks proposing, researching, and developing theme-night recommendations for the Minnesota Twins affiliate. Students then travel to Chicago for two weeks to learn about different topics related to running the Chicago hockey organization, ranging from sales and marketing to social media.

Stone was invited back to participate in the Blackhawks practicum a second summer and serve as a supervisor and mentor to the first-time students.

“It’s just a great experience to get out of your comfort zone and take what you’ve learned in the classroom into the real world,” he says.

In addition to his academic work, Stone joined the Iowa baseball team as a manager his first year. Stone’s responsibilities to the team include attending practices and games, helping with drills, setting up and taking down equipment, recording games, and tracking statistics. 

Jake Stone, a senior from Ames in the University of Iowa's Sport and Recreation Management Program, participates in practice with the UI baseball team. Stone joined the team as a student manager his freshman year and worked his way up to head student manager. After graduating, he'll intern with the Aberdeen IronBirds, the Short-Season Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

Stone was named head student manager his junior year. That year, he traveled with the team to Taipei, Taiwan, for the World University Games. He’s also traveled to Hawaii, Florida, and Las Vegas with the team.

“My role with the Hawkeyes has taken me to many parts of the world,” Stone says. “My family and friends have to remind me that not every college student gets to do the things I’ve done here. It’s been an incredible experience and the University of Iowa has really given me the tools I need to succeed.”

Stone put his classroom and baseball experiences to work for him in December 2018 when he traveled to Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings—attended by approximately 3,000 baseball executives from more than 200 professional teams—in Las Vegas. Stone met with team executives and spoke about his skills, goals, and availability. He left the meetings with two job offers and took the opportunity offered by the Baltimore Orioles. 

“The University of Iowa’s programs helped me develop my own character and the skills necessary to network, meet people, and sell myself,” he says. “Through my experience with the baseball team, I’m doing things a lot of people in professional baseball don’t know how to do yet, which has been eye-opening to me. What I’m learning here is directly applicable to what I’ll be doing after graduation.”

Matheson, who worked in baseball operations for the New York Yankees from 1996 to 2001, describes Stone as someone with a strong work ethic, who is coachable, self-motivated, mature, and professional. Matheson says those traits, combined with Stone’s experiences at the University of Iowa, should help him break into baseball operations full time.

“The sky is the limit,” Matheson says.

Get all the details about the University of Iowa’s spring 2019 commencement ceremonies.