Tyler Koonce joined UMKC Athletics in June 2016 as the Director of Strategic Communications. He serves as the lead spokesperson for the athletics department and is the primary contact for the Roos men's basketball, men's soccer and men's and women's golf and tennis programs.
In his first year leading the Strategic Communications department, Koonce increased exposure exponentially in television, print, social and digital media coverage on the local and national level. During his first nine months on the job, he doubled the UMKC men's basketball Twitter (@UMKCmbb) following, increasing followers by 101% during a record-breaking season that included a College Basketball Invitational (CBI) victory where Koonce devised and executed a #SellOutSwinney campaign. He also earned national coverage on multiple occasions from College Insider (271,000-plus followers), College Basketball Talk (NBC Sports) and Mid-Major Madness, in addition to coverage on many occassions from five Kansas City television stations and multiple newspaper outlets in the area with focus on pitching human interest stories that appeal to the local community.
Shortly after beginning his position, Koonce implemented a new, consistent social media strategy for all UMKC sports programs, featuring the #TeamKC hashtag. The campaign connected with the Kansas City community on multiple levels, drawing support for the Roos from some of the most influential companies and individuals throughout the area, including Mayor Sly James, Kansas City Royals ace pitcher Danny Duffy and Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro linebacker Derrick Johnson. Koonce was also instrumental in forming and growing partnerships with Visit KC and the KC Streetcar to increase exposure for UMKC Athletics.
Koonce returned to Kansas City after working at Mizzou Athletics as an Assistant Director of Strategic Communications. He served as the primary media contact for the women's basketball and women's golf programs and as a secondary contact for the football team. He contributed to internal and external communication, social media outreach, statistical generation and dealings with the media for each respective program, with all spending considerable time in national top 25 polls in 2015-16.
As the primary contact for Mizzou Women's Basketball in 2015-16, Koonce successfully promoted the first SEC Freshman of the Year in program history. Additionally, Sophie Cunningham also became the first player in SEC history to earn six Freshman of the Week awards and was one of eight national finalists for USBWA National Freshman of the Year. He publicized a women's basketball program that saw a 300% increase in new season ticket sales and ranked 26th nationally in attendance, an improvement from 78th the previous year. Mizzou led all of NCAA Division I Women's Basketball (349 teams) in most improved attendance in 2015-16 with an increase of 2,193 fans per home game compared to the previous season. Koonce created and implemented the #OurTownOurTeam social media campaign.
Koonce joined Mizzou after spending the 2014-15 academic year at Southeast Missouri, his alma mater. With the Redhawks, he was the primary media contact for the women's basketball, women's soccer, gymnastics and outdoor track and field teams and was a secondary contact for the football program. He also served as the men's basketball contact for multiple contests and was an official scorer at select softball games.
At Southeast Missouri, Koonce promoted soccer goalkeeper Kindra Lierz, who became the first Ohio Valley Conference player to ever win Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in the same season.
Prior to joining SEMO, Koonce held a Communications Specialist role with Seaboard Foods (2012-14) in the Kansas City area, where he developed internal and external communications plans for the second-largest pork producer in the United States and leading division of Seaboard Corporation, which ranked No. 386 on the Forbes Fortune 500 list.
Koonce was a full-time Communications Assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs for two seasons (2011-12), where he generated statistical information and created the weekly game release, coordinated interviews for players and assistant coaches and served as the managing editor of the team yearbook. He also handled sideline-to-press level communication during games, where he provided injury reports from field level and connected players with assistants in the coaching box. Following the 2011 season, Koonce volunteered for the National Football League public relations staff at Super Bowl XLVI.
Prior to joining the Chiefs, Koonce completed seasonal media and public relations internships with the Kansas City Royals (2011) and Baltimore Ravens (2010). Following the 2010 season, the Ravens were honored with the prestigious Pete Rozelle Award from the Pro Football Writers of America, which is presented to the top public relations staff in the National Football League. He also completed two summer public relations internships with the Chiefs (2008, 2009) as an undergraduate.
During his tenure as an undergraduate student, Koonce worked in Sports Information at SEMO from 2006-09 as a student assistant. He served as the primary contact for the baseball (2008-09) and women's tennis (2007) teams and was a secondary football (2007-09) and men's basketball (2008-09) contact.
Koonce received his bachelor's degree from Southeast Missouri in December 2009. As a student, he was an officer in the Sport Management Society and a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and Student Activities Council. He is an active member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and is active in the Greater Kansas City chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).