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Students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business and Thornton Athletics Student Life Center have partnered again for the annual Big Orange Combine, a program that enables 10 UT students to experience what it takes to orchestrate America’s largest sporting event: the Super Bowl.

This year’s Big Orange Combine will take the students to State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, for the Feb. 12 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. While there, the group will meet professionals in business, sports and marketing to see how these industries collaborate during a weekend filled with festivities and traditions, culminating in a sports event watched by millions of viewers worldwide.

Debbie Mackey, Distinguished Lecturer in Management and Entrepreneurship and coordinator of undergraduate human resources management in the Haslam College of Business, has served as faculty adviser for the Big Orange Combine since 2012 and will accompany the students to Super Bowl LVII. Aaron Macer, assistant director of student-athlete development in the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, will also be joining the group.

“The Big Orange Combine has taken students to the biggest sporting event of the year giving them opportunities to work behind the scenes, network with professionals and feel the excitement of all types of businesses working together,” said Mackey. “It is an amazing opportunity.”

Mackey added that this year the students will take part in a panel with other schools, hearing from industry professionals around the host city. The students will depart for Arizona on Feb. 8 and return Feb. 13.

Ten students are participating:

• Eric Barrie of Lewisburg, Tennessee, a senior in management

• Dayne Davis of Bluff City, Tennessee, a junior in supply chain management and a member of the football team

• Lyndsey Huizenga of Windermere, Florida, a senior in supply chain management and a member of the swimming and diving team

• Mallory Redmond of Kingston Springs, Tennessee, a senior in human resources management

• Lawson Renie of Cincinnati, Ohio, a senior in accounting and a member of the soccer team

• Emma Rowan of Knoxville, a senior in human resources management

• Doneiko Slaughter of Roswell, Georgia, a junior in management and a member of the football team

• Jillian Stigler of Louisville, Kentucky, a senior in human resources management

• Jaida Thomas of Dallas, Texas, a master’s degree student in human resources management and a member of the soccer team

• Abigail Williams of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a senior in human resource management


Cindi King (865-974-0937,