Feature Story

Major League Talent

alum working at philadelphia union soccer

Casey Cardillo has been helping to market the Philadelphia Union since the team debuted.

As head athletic trainer for the Cleveland Indians, James Quinlan gets injured players back in the game. Joe Rauch does the same for Philadelphia Phillies up-and-comers.

Daniel Armenti Jr. produces online video content for the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. And Barry Hanrahan manages contract negotiations for the Philadelphia Flyers.

These five Widener alumni are among the graduates who have scored winning careers in professional sports. While their roles vary, each attributes their success largely to their Widener experience.

A Perfect Union

“If it wasn’t for Widener, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Casey Cardillo ’10, who played soccer for the Pride and turned her love of the game, a concentration in sport management, and an internship with the Union, into a full-time job post-graduation.

Today, she works with the Union's corporate sponsors as director of partnership marketing.

Widener gave me the tools, prepared me mentally, and gave me access to do four different internships. — Casey Cardillo '10

The university’s proximity to and close relationship with Philadelphia-area teams and venues has opened the door to internship and career opportunities for students interested in the business of sports. Students also learn from industry experts, as a number of Widener instructors have pro organization ties, bringing practical experience and networking possibilities into the classroom.

Back in the Game

Whether helping a pitcher recover from Tommy John surgery, or working on exercise regimens to prevent injuries, James Quinlan and Joe Rauch work with some of baseball’s elite athletes.

Graduates of Widener’s physical therapy doctoral program, Quinlan and Rauch credit their successes, in large part, to clinical rotations while at Widener, and to the education and mentorship of faculty and staff, including physical therapy professor Dawn Gulick. A sports medicine expert, Gulick also serves as an athletic trainer for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.

“Dawn steered me in the right direction, and Widener gave me the opportunities,” said Rauch, the Phillies minor league athletic training and rehabilitation coordinator.

Likewise, Quinlan calls Widener head athletic trainer A.J. Duffy a “big mentor to me going through the game, learning about sports and the care of athletes, and how to treat people.”

Both Quinlan and Rauch pay their successes forward. They have stayed in contact with Widener faculty, which has helped keep the door open for current physical therapy students to conduct clinical rotations at their respective team’s spring training facilities. 

Dream Come True

By day, Daniel Armenti Jr. ’13 creates videos for Dow Chemical. By night and on weekends during football season, the communication studies alumnus serves as technical director for the Eagles’ online content, producing pre- and post-game shows.

“I’m switching cameras, bringing on graphics. The whole show runs through my fingertips,” he said.

And on Super Bowl Sunday, Armenti was right in the mix, creating content for the Birds big win. “It was amazing. Here I am, this kid from Widener, sitting in the control room running the show for the Super Bowl.”

Armenti discovered his love of sports broadcasting while producing highlight reels for Pride football. He credits his success to encouragement from faculty, internships, and hands-on experience with campus equipment.

“This is a dream come true,” he said.

Home Ice Advantage

When Barry Hanrahan was promoted within the Flyers organization, his new duties included player contract research. Hanrahan realized a law degree would help him thrive, and turned to Widener’s Delaware Law School.

With its campus not far from the Flyers home ice, Hanrahan could pursue his degree part-time. In Delaware, he took classes on contract, entertainment, and immigration law – all beneficial for working in a league with players from around the world.

Today, Hanrahan is the Flyers assistant general manager, and handles salary caps, arbitrations, contract negotiations, and more.

“Widener was a terrific fit,” said Hanrahan. “It really prepared me for the new challenges of my job description.”

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