Patrick Sullivan is another of a long line of oddball IT guys here at Claris Networks. Sure, his name is as Irish as they come, but hearing this Tennessee boy from Corryton speak leaves no mistakes where he’s from. “My southern drawl is pretty thick, and my wife and I live on 13 acres, but we were never farm people,” Patrick explains. “My Yankee grandmother talks so fast, and I so slow, that we honestly can’t understand each other.”
Spend five minutes with Patrick Sullivan, and he will redefine your definition of the “tech guy.” A common thread among the IT guys here at Claris is that their main passions lie outside technology. Sure, Patrick’s had his hand in network technology for a while. (In fact, he’s even written much of the curriculum for Fountainhead College of Technology’s distance education program). But Patrick says, “IT is interesting, and through IT we can do a lot of cool things. But what I really love is people, fellowship, being a part of a team.”
And Patrick is no stranger to the “team” dynamic. “I’ve always been a sports fan. The things that I’ve learned in sports translate directly to my career. The things you look for in a good football team player, you look for in an employee. I just can’t get sports out of my system. I played football in high school and began to play at Carson Newman.” He played semi-pro football for the Knoxville Knights back in 2006, and has been consistently on the lookout for new opportunities to play. Like the one that came along October 22nd.
“I saw there was a new pro arena football team coming to Knoxville, so I bookmarked the page online. When they announced they were having tryouts for the team, I decided to give it a shot. I don’t have any delusions of being some big-time football star, but I think I can be successful.” (If you’ve met Patrick, you probably don’t think he’s delusional. I for one wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of a tackle from the guy). “Tight end or wide receiver would be my ideal position; I played receiver in the past and really loved it. But I would honestly be happy playing anywhere.”
We should know fairly soon about how Patty’s tryout went and will keep you posted, but I wouldn’t make fun of him if he doesn’t make the cut. Don’t let the genteel southern drawl and charm mislead…he might be tempted to tackle you.