| Denise Gideon
Director of Media Relations
University of Tennessee
Denise Gideon came to Western Carolina University in 2007 as the Director of Media Relations after being an Assistant Director at Middle Tennessee State University.
When Gideon first arrived at Western Carolina University she was the primary contact for volleyball, women's basketball and softball. In 2010, she became the contact for women's soccer.
Gideon has take on the role as the Social Media Director, as she began the official Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest sites for Catamount Athletics. She has initiated the campaign to grow the social media presence for Western Carolina University Athletics, coordinating initiatives to engage the fan base through social media endeavors. She was also involved in launching Catamount Athletics YouTube page, CatamountSports.
For two years, prior to Western Carolina Athletics hiring a video coordinator, Gideon facilitated, created and produced videos for catamountsports.com online video page, Catamount All-Access. She put together featurettes, highlight videos of games and also created a segment called "Basketball Spotlight," highlighting a men's and women's basketball player before a home game.
In the summer and fall of 2012, Gideon worked with then senior women's soccer player Samantha Hodge to create and produce a segment called "What's Up with Samantha," giving fans and inside look at Western Carolina women's soccer, from practices, to team activities to game-day rituals. The video was a part of a campaign to highlight the accomplishments of Hodge, in her final year as a Catamount. Hodge was a two-time CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District III selection.
Gideon was instrumental in helping numerous athletes receive accolades at Western Carolina University. In 2008, she assisted women's basketball player Brooke Johnson to be named as a candidate for the Lowe's Senior Class Award, the first player, in any sport at Western Carolina, to be named to this award. Johnson was the first of three players Gideon assisted in getting nominated, including Kristen Feemster from women's basketball and Mollie Fowler from softball.
Gideon helped take Western Carolina University into the national spotlight by serving as the liason between ESPN.com writer Graham Hayes and Catamount softball player Lauren Ross. In July of 2008, Hayes wrote a feature article on Ross which ran in the ESPN U section of ESPN.com, making Ross the first Catamount student-athlete in school history to be featured on ESPN.com.
Gideon again brought the national spotlight to Western Carolina in March 2009 when she alerted Hayes on "the play" that all but secured the Catamount women's basketball team the 2009 Southern Conference Tournament crown. Hayes wrote a blog about the unusual play, for ESPN, that garnered national attention.
Prior to Western Carolina, Gideon was an Assistant Media Relations Director at Middle Tennessee State University. Her primary duties, at the time of her departure, were volleyball, women's basketball, women's tennis and softball.
Gideon was directly responsible for the initial publicity for standout Blue Raider women's basketball Chrissy Givens who ended her storied four-year career at Middle Tennessee as an All-American. Gideon assisted Givens in writing a blog for the NCAA and assisting Givens handling the national attention she garnered.
Also while at Middle Tennessee, Gideon coordinated blog postings by Middle Tennessee student-athletes, most notably Blue Raider softball player Shelby Stiner, who was the first full-time blogger for the NCAA. With the assistance by Gideon, Stiner was also an inaugural nominee for the Lowe's Senior Class Award for softball.
Gideon is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in communications and a B.S. in education with a concentration in sport management. She also received an M.S. degree in sport administration at UT.
From 2008-11 Gideon was the official podcast host for The CW series One Tree Hill, giving reviews on the show and interviewing cast members. From 2009-11, she was the social media director, and podcast host for Southern Gothic Productions, a production company in Wilmington, N.C. co-owned by former One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton. Gideon has also worked closely with Jaki Valencia-Lauper in coordinating an releasing an online web-series called Jaki's Buzz. She was also the music supervisor for the pilot of the web-series produced by Lauper.