Ashton Church: Sports Dreaming

Photo of Ashton

Sports have been central in Ashton Church’s life ever since he started playing t-ball at age 3. As he grew, he progressed to playing other sports and became a fan of ESPN’s Sportscenter.

Today, Ashton aspires to a career in the sports industry as a head equipment manager for a college or professional team. He’s taking the first step toward his dream at Ohio Northern University, where he is majoring in sport management in the Dicke College of Business.

Ashton’s interest in the business side of sports started with a part-time job with the Johnson City Cardinals (Tennessee), the rookie-affiliate for the St. Louis Cardinals. Johnson City’s general manager encouraged him to consider a sport management degree.

After checking out ONU’s program, Ashton felt drawn to the family-like atmosphere. 

Ashton Church on a bench

“I come from a small town, and ONU just feels like home,” he said. “And ONU’s sport management program is a rapidly growing space that offers so many opportunities to get your foot in the door.”

Ashton also plays football at ONU. Some of his favorite college memories—and toughest challenges—he’s found on the gridiron. “College football at any level is not easy,” he said. “I lean on my faith in God and speaking to my family often because they push me to my fullest potential.”

As a Polar Bear, Ashton had the opportunity to work in the football’s equipment room, which solidified his interest in equipment management. Additionally, he’s engaged in two internships in the sports industry: stadiums operations intern for the Johnson City Doughboys and a box office/merchandising intern for the Toledo Walleye/Mud Hens sports organizations.

Ashton is also one of a few select students to serve on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Business. He is also a Bear Ambassador and Good News Bear, helping with orientation, Welcome Weekend and tours for prospective students.

“ONU allows students to grow beyond bounds. I do not feel limited to what I can do; I am encouraged by my peers, professors, and the overall environment at ONU and Ada to become the greatest version of myself,” he said. “That’s why I am proud to be a Polar Bear.”