After 30 years, alumnus and ESPN sportscaster returns to the University

Seasoned ESPN sportscaster and University alumnus Jay Crawford purposely has returned to campus to impart some of his knowledge on to media and communications students.

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The sportscaster is set to be on campus one week each month until this spring, working with students interested in sports broadcasting and sports management and student athletes. 

Since Crawford is now participating in the executive-in-residence program, which provides mentorship opportunities, classroom lectures and special events for students beyond media and communications or sports management, students might see more of him the rest of the year.

Crawford decided to share some of his knowledge of sports and broadcasting — he worked with ESPN for 14 years — when he met with a small group of journalism students Oct. 11.

He not only recounted his career from after he left the University to his recent return, but he also answered questions and gave advice to students who were looking to land successful journalism careers after graduation.

“You can get there from here,” Crawford assured them. University students still have good work ethics, he said, just as they had when he had been studying here.

However, he said, no matter what, once students graduate they should “work harder than everyone else in (their) office” in order to be valuable to employers.

Digital footprints are also important to pay attention to, because employers use social media and the internet to do background checks for potential employees, the sportscaster said. He also warned against perfectionism, which he admitted was a weakness of his own.

“You’ll never be perfect, but practice gets you close,” he said.