By: Director of Athletic Communications and Public Relations Kevin Ruple
BEREA, OHIO -- When David Painter '98 was an All-Ohio Athletic Conference and Academic All-OAC second baseman for the Baldwin Wallace University baseball team, he was known as a smooth fielder, a solid hitter and an instinctive baserunner.
Today, Painter utilizes all of his experiences both on and off the field as a mover-and-shaker in the Atlanta Hawks organization in the National Basketball Association and with the City of Atlanta Planning Commission as he organized the construction and unveiling of the Hawks new practice facility earlier this fall.
"It was an believable state-of-the-art facility and Paint [Painter's nickname) did a great job and had a great deal to do with its construction and how the facility is utilized on a day-to-day basis," said Dr. Charles Campisi, from BW's Sport Management Program. Campisi and a number of BW sport management students toured the facility the week they traveled to Atlanta to work the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in January.
"David is did a fantastic job at the CAVS and the Hawks recognized that talent," continued Campisi, who is currently in Minneapolis, Minn. with a group of BW students to work/ volunteer at this year's Super Bowl. "He is well-respected by the Hawks' upper management and in the City of Atlanta."
Painter, who grew up in Shaker Heights, came to BW and had a successful four years in Berea and then took his talents to then Jacobs Field to work for the Cleveland Indians. The Yellow Jacket baseball standout also was quite familiar with the sport of basketball. In fact, his older brother, Chris Painter '92, played for legendary BW Coach Steve Bankson, and was an influence in the younger Painter's arrival in Berea two years later.
It was with the Tribe that he gained his first taste of professional sports. After a shot stint in the BW Admission Office and a longer one as the Assistant Director of the Lou Higgins Center on the BW campus, he gained business management and facility management experience that caught the eye of the Cleveland Cavalier organization.
When the Cavs opened their new practice facility in Independence, Painter was tabbed to run the facility. Following an eight-year career with the Cavaliers (2007-2015), he accepted his current position with the Hawks a year and a half ago and he hasn't looked back. The experience he gained in Cleveland is now paying huge benefits in Atlanta.
"I love working with the Hawks," said Painter, who is more than willing to speak with aspiring BW sport management graduates regarding internship opportunities. "It is great to sit in a board room with the President, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), General Manager (GM) and other key Hawn officials and be able to speak from experience about what will help lead our organization to a future NBA title.
"The new facility is already making a big difference for our organization," said Painter, who majored in sport management and business administration and received his Masters degree in Sport Administration at Kent State University. "The lessons I learned in Cleveland have helped me when I am in the room of the City of Atlanta Planning Commission when I am explaining our thoughts about the new facility.
"The education I had at BW in the classroom, in athletics, in the Admission Office and at the Higgins Center helped to prepare me for this opportunity," said Painter. "I am eternally grateful and hope to give back to BW in any way I am able."