Peter Chung talks new position, time at Rice
After hearing Peter Chung (Baker ’22), fawn over Rice football highlights or discuss his hometown Dallas Cowboys’ chances at winning a Super Bowl, it becomes obvious that his life’s passion is football.
However, unlike others who find football as a hobby, Chung is building a career in the sport.
The Rice alum recently made headlines as the youngest director of player personnel after being hired by Houston Christian University, formerly Houston Baptist, at just 21 years old.
Early on, Chung said he found sports more exhilarating than other professions, motivating his interest in the field.
“It’s just something different with sports,” Chung said. “It’s the competitiveness, the adrenaline you get. It’s just so much fun. I’ve tried other internships and [they’ve] been good, but I think just working in that team environment is very fun.”
Perusing the academic offerings at Rice prior to his matriculation in 2019, Chung said he found the Sports Management program as a means to connect his personal interests with his academic pursuits.
Chung says that Rice’s Sports Management program helped him find internships that provided him with many learning opportunities.
“[The] professors do a good job of getting you internships, [so] you can figure out what you want to do,” Chung said. “[Rice is] a Division I program, but you still get to do a lot of work and get exposed to so many things within recruiting [and so] you learn a lot.”
Chung spent four years working with Rice football’s recruiting department. As the current director of player personnel at HCU, Chung says his experience with Rice football taught him many lessons, particularly on how best to recruit players.
“How we go about [recruiting] is [to] focus on building relationships, focus on connecting the players to the coaches, showcasing what HCU is great at and being honest with these recruits about what [we have] to offer.”
As Chung went through the grueling interview process, he said he found comfort in different groups on campus.
“The main [support system I had] would be my church fellowship, and they did a good job of giving me advice [and] helping me stay grounded [through this process],” Chung said. “That was not just for this job experience, but throughout my time in college. They really helped me grow my faith, but also [gave me] that support system.”
Despite being new to the job, Chung says that he’s received plenty of support from the HCU staff.
“The staff [has] been very adaptable and listens, but they’re also willing to be straight with me so that we can figure out a way to recruit that fits all parties.” Chung said.
Chung said he does not let his lack of experience faze him, as his focus is now on the day-to-day work.
“It doesn’t really matter if you’re the youngest or the oldest from this group, you were hired to do a job,” Chung said. “I’m still going to be paid the same as the guy who’s the oldest, so I have to get my job done and recruit.”
Looking ahead, Chung says he wants to prioritize his present work at HCU.
“I’ve been focused on doing a great job here. Let’s do everything I need to get done here. And we’ll see where God takes me after that,” Chung said.
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