For Jim Greenidge, native Cantabrigian and sports enthusiast, his new postion as Harvard Sports Information Director is like a dream come true Greenidge, whose responsibility is to inform the media about all news concerning Harvard athletics, has been a Crimson sports fan since childhood and has waited years for this job.
Greenidge had served as sports information director at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) for 10 years. There he acquired a reputation as the nation's leading authority on college hockey. Over the past two years, he turned down offers for the same post at Yale, Princeton and Clark University.
"I used to walk through Harvard Yard twice a day, on my way to and from high school. I used to sneak into Harvard Yale football games. This place has meaning to me," Greenidge says. His dream came true this June, when he began his duties at Harvard. "I knew this was big time when I was up in that new press box in the Stadium this September," he adds.
The 34-year-old Greenidge is no stranger to local sports. He was a star pitcher for Cambridge High School and was recruited by both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. "I considered these offers seriously," he says. "But I was a curve ball pitcher, and I took a step back and said to myself that I just didn't have the fast ball needed in the big leagues."
Greenidge went on to play baseball for Northeastern--though he was plagued by a bad arm--received his degree in education in 1969.
After college, Greenidge worked as the first Black reporter for the Boston Herald American. In the early 1970s, the paper had him covering student protests and campus takeovers, but when he asked to cover sports, the paper wouldn't let him.
Greenidge left the Herald American in 1972 and went to RPI. In addition to being sports information director there. Greenidge was also the assistant baseball coach. "I have what you call a live arm. I threw batting practice every day," he said, adding that he'd like to help out with Harvard baseball in the spring.
Greenidge's ambitions don't end with Harvard though. He says he hopes one day to take on a similar sports information job with a Big Ten squad like Michigan, or with a professional football team.
Since being at Harvard, Greenidge says he has been impressed with the out-standing quality of women's athletics and the enthusiasm students display toward all sports. "At RPI it was hockey all year 'round. Here people are serious about everything," he says.
Greenidge says his main objective in the job is to insure maximum media coverage of all sports at Harvard. He has already made noticeable changes: The football guide for home games is now larger and includes two player profiles instead of one. In addition, the sports information office has for the first time printed up posters publicizing home games. Greenidge and assistant Ed Markey have also compiled a new weekly football statistics sheet that is distributed to the media after each game.
Greenidge stresses involvement with the coaches and players as key to his job. He tries to attend hockey practice every week and has dinner with the coaches often.
As for his opinion on the really important issues: The Crimson gridders are "going to win the rest of the way," he says. "I can't believe anyone's going to score against our defense, and I have all the faith in the world in Donnie Allard."