Dennis Van Milligen
Dennis Van Milligen has worked in business media for 15 years, the majority of that time spent as the editor in chief of a chemical engineering magazine. Since joining AB in 2013, Dennis helped launch Gameday Security, the official magazine of the the NCS4 focusing on protecting athletic and recreation events. A native of Wheaton, Ill., Dennis is a former All-State long distance runner who now uses whatever speed he has left to leg out doubles in recreational softball leagues. Dennis is a graduate of Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., and resides in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and two young daughters who are repeatedly told how much Dennis is going to hate every one of their boyfriends.
  • Monday, April, 20, 2015
    How the NYC Marathon Manages Crowd and Runner Safety

    For thousands of runners pushing the limits of their physical endurance, the finish line at the TCS New York City Marathon represented the achievement of a lifetime. For those responsible for safety, however, the very same finish line presented challenges. Tall trees that line the curvy roads and pathways in Central Park do not provide a clear line of sight, and often runners are hidden from the view of medical and safety personnel responsible for responding to emergencies.


  • Monday, April, 20, 2015
    Blog: Living in the Wild, Wild ISC West

    Being a first-time ISC West attendee, I had been warned to prepare for a “monster.” Boasting more than 1,000 exhibitors and close to 30,000 attendees, ISC West is the largest security tradeshow in the United States, and last week, I went toe-to-toe with the “monster” in Las Vegas. Yes, in a town built on gambling and taking risks, I was going to a show built on mitigating or eliminating risk. 


  • Monday, April, 06, 2015
    How to Protect Against Rioting at Your College

    Joe Monroe, chief of police at the University of Kentucky, has gotten used to protecting the streets of Lexington from rioting fans. He's had to do so frequently over the past few years as the school's men's basketball team, led by head coach John Calipari, has made four Final Four appearances the past five years. Last Saturday night, after the previously undefeated Wildcats were eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Wisconsin, fans took to the streets of Lexington (yet again). Monroe and his campus police team (yet again) had to protect the community and keep the peace in collaboration with city police. Monroe, who teaches special-event planning for NCS4 and Texas A&M, shares his experiences while providing advice to other campus safety professionals in this Gameday Security exclusive interview:


  • Monday, April, 06, 2015
    Blog: Madison Prepares for the Best, and Worst, Tonight

    There was never any doubt that chaos would reign supreme across the streets of Lexington, but those that bleed Kentucky blue (and many that don't) expected that chaos to come tonight after Kentucky completed its perfect season with a victory over Duke. Instead, that time frame was accelerated to Saturday night when John Calipari's McDonald's All-Americans fell to Bo Ryan's Wisconsin team 71-64 in the NCAA men's basketball national semifinal.


  • Friday, March, 27, 2015
    Blog: Destroying the Student-Athlete — A Cautionary Tale

    For far too many college athletic programs, acting in the best interests of the student-athlete is pure fiction. From academic fraud to sexual assaults, colleges and universities have frequently failed their student-athletes by putting their best interests ahead of the student-athlete's. These failures extend beyond what is making national headlines, and can happen at the most unlikely of institutions — in my case, a Catholic university.


  • Friday, February, 27, 2015
    Poll: Handling Sexual Assault Incidents

    In the wake of numerous stories on sexual assaults by athletes at all levels AB is investigating the topic for a story in an upcoming issue. We'd like your opinion. Please weigh in below.


  • Monday, February, 23, 2015
    Blog: Misfiring on Active-Shooter Preparation

    Two years ago, while picking up my oldest daughter from school, I was overwhelmed with anxiety, fear and one all-consuming thought: Get her home.


  • Monday, February, 23, 2015
    Developing Better Evacuation Plans Through Simulation Modeling

    Penn State University's football home opener on Sept. 6 provided little in-game drama last year — the Nittany Lions comfortably beat Akron, 21-3 — but plenty of pregame drama. The weather forecast called for potential lightning storms that day, creating a headache for athletic officials concerned about the safety of spectators both in the tailgate areas and Beaver Stadium. In preparation for the coming storm, Penn State shared with the public its evacuation plan, which included designated shelter areas and evacuation routes, to ensure everyone understood instructions in advance.


  • Sunday, February, 08, 2015
    Back To School for My Collegiate Security Education

    Death Valley is the intimidating home field of LSU football where, on any given Saturday in the fall, the number of tailgating, non-ticket-holding fans can equal the 100,000+ entering the gates to watch their beloved Tigers. It's a security nightmare that requires meticulous planning, flawless execution, and a little help from your friends in the industry.


  • Friday, February, 06, 2015
    How To Prevent Fan Violence at Sporting Events

    The perception surrounding the modern professional football environment is that unruly fan behavior is escalating, forcing families to stay far away from these increasingly unstable atmospheres. Perpetuating that stigma is a steady flow of videos showing fans fighting at football venues across the country. For example, New England Patriots fan Jaclyn Nugent was punched by New York Jets fan Kurt Paschke at MetLife Stadium last fall. A fan videotaped part of the fight, including the infamous punch, on her smartphone and uploaded it to YouTube. Two months later, it had received more than 350,000 views.


  • Tuesday, March, 25, 2014
    Tuesday Takedown: Judgmental Gym Sends Wrong Message

    It has been quite a week for the "Judgment Free Zone" national gym chain known as Planet Fitness, which made national headlines for being the exact opposite. Both Tarainia McDaniel and Tiffany Austin managed to wander outside that aforementioned judgment free zone recently, being told by their respective Planet Fitness gyms how they should dress.


  • Tuesday, March, 18, 2014
    Tuesday Takedown: Lawsuits Over Life Lessons

    There is a disturbing trend that is showing no signs of slowing down: The rise of lawsuits in youth sports. Rather than focus on the important life lessons their children are learning, parents are focusing on who's to blame. Their targets are numerous: It's the referee or official not foreseeing potential player injury risks on the field; the coach that is not playing their child or is making poor decisions that are hurting the team; the league for not providing the type of venue and services expected… The list goes on and on. 


  • Tuesday, March, 11, 2014
    Reflecting On My 2014 as I Turn Forty

    One of the best (and worst) parts of working in the athletics, fitness and recreation industry is personally witnessing how many of my readers have gotten better with age. At the 2014 Athletic Business Conference & Expo, the exhibit hall was packed with veteran single-digit-body-fat attendees testing the latest and greatest in fitness equipment. Even Fast Company cofounder and keynote speaker William Taylor tweeted that it was the fittest audience he'd ever addressed.


  • Thursday, February, 13, 2014
    A Look Inside Prominent Collegiate Sustainability Efforts

    In the December 2013 issue of AB, senior editor Paul Steinbach examined the growing interest in stadium and arena sustainability, citing a groundbreaking new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council in collaboration with the Green Sports Alliance and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The report, “Collegiate Game Changers,” represents the first time that sustainability efforts currently under way at collegiate sports departments have been documented. According to the report, more than 200 college sports programs (including both intercollegiate athletics and campus recreation programs) are prioritizing a greener approach, prompting Alice Henly, coordinator of NRDC’s collegiate sports work and author of the report, to declare in an NRDC press release: “College athletics and recreation programs are leading the sustainability charge.” 


  • Wednesday, January, 22, 2014
    Blog: Prioritizing The Student-Athlete a Must for ADs

    Since I have been a member of the AB team, I have had the fortunate opportunity to chronicle the challenges high school athletic administrators are facing in today's high-pressure, win-at-all-costs environment. We hear about all the steps that are being taken to protect the student-athlete from a physical standpoint, but what about from an emotional and psychological standpoint?


  • Monday, October, 21, 2013
    Diving Into the World Aquatics Health Conference

    Debbie couldn't believe she was in the same position again. Four years ago, her daughter missed making the U.S. Olympic swim team. It had been agonizing then as her daughter, who was favored to make the team, struggled through her swim. Even her children, including her 11-year-old son, were in shock. After the race, it was discovered Debbie's daughter had swam through herniated discs and stress fractures in her back.


  • Friday, October, 11, 2013
    Blog: A Budding Star Resurfaces

    Villains in the world of track and field are rare. Turning fans and/or competitors against you typically requires doing one thing: cheating. But for young Zola Budd at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, there was no cheating. There was no boisterous verbal sparring with her media-created rival, American Mary Decker. All it took was a racing error on Decker's part to turn Budd into one of the most despised athletes in America - at the ripe old age of 18.