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Barry Hanrahan Florida Southern College Philadelphia Flyers NHL Tampa Bay Lightning

Breaking the Ice

Jul 10, 2023

Florida Southern College helped give Barry Hanrahan ’90 a chance to break into the world of sports management.

Now, 33 years later, Hanrahan is a key figure in the front office for one of the National Hockey League’s most storied franchises, the Philadelphia Flyers.

Hanrahan is currently a Vice President and Assistant General Manager with the Flyers.

Hanrahan’s path is unique in that he was in on the ground floor for the expansion Orlando Magic and Tampa Bay Lightning, and it all began because of an internship he acquired thanks to his studies at Florida Southern.

From Gloucester to Lakeland

An interest in sports management first took root with Hanrahan when he was growing up in Gloucester, Mass.

His Little League baseball coach was working with the Boston Celtics and Hanrahan remembered thinking how cool that would be to do for a living.

Barry Hanrahan '90

The idea stayed with him and when he graduated from Gloucester High School, he started looking for schools that offered a degree in sports management.

Pouring over the materials he had available, before the internet, he discovered that Florida Southern College offered such a degree.

Before he would make his journey to Lakeland, Hanrahan first spent time working for his hometown newspaper as a freelance sportswriter while attending North Shore Community College. Two years later Hanrahan had an Associate of Arts degree and a desire to finish his sport management degree.

He applied, was accepted, and enrolled at Florida Southern in the fall of 1988.

“It was the right fit for me,” Hanrahan recalled. “I’ve learned with my own children, and having them navigate the college process, at the end of day it has to be right fit in environment. You’re going to thrive where you’re comfortable. You have to give yourself a chance to be the best you can be. It was a very welcoming campus. The people from the student body to the professors to the administrators, they got to know you.”

Hanrahan said that comfort level made it much easier to uproot his life and move 1,500 miles south.


The Next Step

With Florida Southern’s emphasis on experiential learning Hanrahan was able to land an internship with the Orlando Magic during the team’s first year in existence.

The lessons he learned cutting his teeth on a soon-to-be burgeoning sports market proved fruitful.

After graduating from FSC with a Sports Marketing degree, Hanrahan read that there was an effort to bring a NHL team to Tampa. He saw an opportunity to get his foot in the door with the Phil Esposito-led group.

It started with volunteer work over the summer of 1990, and by the time the NHL accepted the bid for what turned out to be the Tampa Bay Lightning, Hanrahan found himself as the Director of Media & Team Services.

Hanrahan’s experience at Florida Southern helped him in his first job after college.

“Promoting hockey in Florida was a unique experience,” he said. “It was a lot of fun growing the market. The genuine people at Florida Southern allowed me to come out of my shell, to engage, and integrate a new sport to a new region. FSC allowed me to see the importance of connecting with people.”