Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik has always been a people person


Mark Dominik was a freshman, or maybe a sophomore, at the University of Kansas, waiting tables part time at an Applebee's in Lawrence, when he came home one day and told his mother about a revelation.

"He said, 'You know what, Mom? I'm not going to burn any bridges, I'm not going to be too busy to visit with people, I'm not going be afraid of talking to them' " Sharon Dominik recalled Saturday. "He just felt it was important to get to know people, and that's kind of where he started doing that."

From that day on, Dominik would work the room, checking in on not just his tables but others, letting them know he cared, and he would do whatever was necessary. It was a trait that served him well then and that he carried forth as he worked his way through college, an impressive internship with the Kansas City Chiefs and, after 14 years in the Bucs organization, to the general manager's office.

As much as he is a football person and a businessperson, Dominik, 37, is more than anything a people person.

"Mark has a unique ability to interact with people," said Dennis Hickey, a classmate at Lawrence High School and an employee as the Bucs' director of college scouting.

"Mark is a personable guy. He works with everybody. Everyone is Mark's friend. I talk to everyone and they all say, 'Mark Dominik, oh yeah, he's a friend of mine.' He has that type of personality, and it works well for him. He works well with agents. He works well with players. He works well with other teams."

Dominik, who had been director of pro personnel the past eight seasons handling scouting, recruiting and some contract negotiations, said after Saturday's announcement that he will run the team the same way.

"My leadership style," he said, "is really going to be about open communications."

There won't be any doubt about the quantity, said Amy, his wife of nearly 12 years. Typically, before this latest promotion, he would usually be up at 5, out the door at 5:30 and at the office until 9 or 10 at night. And when he gets back to their Hyde Park home, he's usually still talking or tapping on his Blackberry. "Even when I see him, he's always focused," Amy said. "He never sits still, even at our house."

He's "extremely competitive" at everything, especially family card games that include his two older brothers that have been known to last all night. "So," Amy said, "we don't like to play against each other."

But he's also the considerate husband and father to their nearly 2-year-old adopted son, Davis. He remembers their wedding anniversary ("He gets it right; I forget," she said), keeps a journal of the adoption process and starts the coffee before he leaves in the mornings. And he's a good son, too, taking his mom to the Super Bowl when the Bucs went in 2003.

Dominik grew up playing all sports as the family moved from St. Paul, Minn., to Memphis, to Albemarle, N.C., to Sioux Falls, S.D., before settling in Lawrence for his sophomore year of high school. He gave up playing football after that season — "He was very small … and I think he was afraid of getting hurt, so he gave up and joined the diving team," Sharon said — but kept his interest and passion.

He wanted to work in sports, and his determination was obvious as he worked toward a sports management degree at KU and a prime reason he was chosen for the school's first internship with the Chiefs.

"He was one of those guys that was willing to get out and volunteer and do things to help build his resume," KU professor Jim LaPoint said. "He was just incredible."

Dominik kept moving — and moving up. "He was a guy who worked his way up by working really hard," former Bucs general manager Rich McKay said. "He was very organized. If you gave Mark an assignment, you could count on him getting it done."

"He's a man," new coach Raheem Morris said, "that's been preparing for this for a long time."

In more ways than one.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Marc Topkin can be reached at

More about Mark Dominik …

. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually black. "He has to have his coffee in the morning," wife Amy said.

. He likes to run, and to relax, Amy said, "he loves to fish and he loves to golf, but he doesn't get to very often." Each year, they go on a vacation with 12 friends.

. His guilty pleasure is a glass of red wine. "He'd choose that over chocolate," Amy said.

. He remains a huge Kansas fan and tries to work a game or two a year into his schedule. "He's been known to fly a KU flag every once in a while on his porch," said his mother, Sharon.

. He and Amy met at Kansas, and she has worked as a district manager for a pharmaceutical company.

. They attend a South Tampa Church, and their adoption of Davis as a newborn was arranged by their pastor.

. He and a friend ran a small sports card business for a few years in Lawrence.

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik has always been a people person 01/17/09 [Last modified: Saturday, January 17, 2009 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 1:10 p.m. Thursday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Blue Jays

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Browns to start rookie QB DeShone Kizer vs. Bucs


    BEREA, Ohio — DeShone Kizer will be next through the Browns' quarterback turnstile.

    He doesn't want it to spin again soon.

    Browns rookie QB DeShone Kizer, left, will start vs. the Bucs on Saturday. He will be Cleveland’s 27th starter since 1999.
  3. Florida Gators' QB situation remains up in the air


    GAINESVILLE — With 10 days remaining until Florida's season opener against Michigan, Gators coach Jim McElwain still hasn't named a starting quarterback.

    Does it bother him?

    "Not at all," he said Wednesday.

  4. Bucs journal: Three key players miss practice as precaution


    TAMPA — Three days before the most important game of the preseason, the Bucs held three key players — WR Mike Evans, LB Kwon Alexander and G J.R. Sweezy — from Wednesday's practice as a precaution.

    LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (58), intercepting a pass thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during practice Saturday ( Aug. 19, 2017), sits out Wednesday's practice with a hamstring injury. .
  5. Bucs talk social issues, protests at team meeting


    TAMPA — Each time Dirk Koetter walks through the door of his office at One Buc Place, he passes by the only jersey framed on his wall.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) wears custom cleats to represent Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as part of the NFL???‚??„?s "My Cause, My Cleats Campaign" before the start of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.