The Williams alumni network is an amazing thing. Just ask Will Kuntz ’06. Kuntz, an avid sports fan, spent all three summers during college working for the New York Yankees. After graduation he joined the Yankees full-time, working his way up to the title of Director of Pro Scouting – or ‘Yankees whiz kid’ as the New York media called him. Last spring he left baseball to become the Director of Player Relations for Major League Soccer. From the league’s offices in New York, Kuntz helps teams across the country negotiate contracts, comply with league regulations, and attract top players. For a sports fan with a legal background, it is, more or less, a dream job.
For Kuntz, the journey into professional sports all began with a simple letter. During the late fall of his freshman year Kuntz learned that New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was a Williams alum. A New York native who grew up during the Yankees’ late-90s glory years, Kuntz figured he had nothing to lose and decided to reach out to Steinbrenner. “I wrote him this long, cheesy letter where I talked about the leaves changing colors in Williamstown and what a great time of year it was. I lied and said I was a Yankees fan. (I grew up a hardcore Mets fan.) I asked for an internship or whatever he could do.”
The next day, Kuntz realized he had a problem: he didn’t have an address to send his letter to. Without any prior introduction, Kuntz emailed then-Williams President Morty Schapiro to explain the situation and ask for Mr. Steinbrenner’s address. “Within a couple of hours Morty wrote back to me. He said, ‘this sounds like a great idea – I’d love to help you out. I know George myself. Why don’t you bring the letter to my office, and I’ll send him a letter with your letter and make sure it gets to him.’”
A week later, the Yankees called. They wanted to bring Kuntz in for a few interviews. “I ended up going down the first week of spring break… I spoke with a few people and toured the stadium. At the end of the day, I met with the COO who said, ‘Mr. Steinbrenner’s already signed off on your internship. Where would you like to work?’”