Three things we’re grateful for

Is it a bit on the nose to devote this week’s blog post to a few things the STAA team is thankful for? Probably, but we’ll keep it quick.

Photo credit: rustiqueart via photopin cc
Photo credit: rustiqueart via photopin cc

1. Our Members
We love having a front-row seat to watch your sportscasting careers progress. Our passion is for helping people, every victory for you is a win for us. We’re grateful for your support and the opportunity to work with you!

2. An STAA University Secret
There is a major development for STAA University, about which an announcement is forthcoming. I wish I could share all the details right now, but alas, it must remain Top Secret for now. Suffice it to say we’re so excited about it, we couldn’t resist teasing you a little!

3. Family
Whether your family is the one that you were born into, the ones you chose, or a mix of both, people are what matters most in life. At STAA, we’re grateful that each of us have awesome, supportive people in our lives. We hope you have the same.

What are you grateful for this year? Tell us in the comments below!

Be a better sportscaster with the updated STAA University


We’ve made some changes to STAA University to make it even better.

One-click participation

We’re not using Google Hangouts anymore. There were too many steps to get a class participant into the event.

Now we’re using a video conference set-up where all you have to do is click a link that I send to you in order to participate. No plug-ins, no downloads, no special accounts.

Nothing else, except a webcam and microphone.
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How I started working at STAA

This is the only known photo of me at NSSA weekend.
This is the only known photo of me at NSSA weekend.
Last week I had the pleasure of matching faces to the names of STAA clients I’ve corresponded with for years. Because my communication with clients is overwhelmingly conducted via email, it’s particularly fun for me to connect with you in person. Several of you asked me a question that I’m rarely posed: how did you start working for STAA?

Most people don’t know this, but once upon a time, I thought I might want to be a sports broadcaster. I was an intern and producer for the international radio show Inside Soccer, while also a student at Palomar College in San Diego. After encouragement from a couple of PC friends, I signed up for the new sports broadcasting class taught by Jon Chelesnik.
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ODT14, an experience for everyone

Chelesnik and Bob Costas at ODT12
Chelesnik and Bob Costas at ODT12

Think back to one of those times you were at a really special sporting event. Maybe it was watching an underdog football team pull through to win a high school championship. Or maybe it was the first time you attended a playoff game with your home town team on the field. You know that electric atmosphere? The way the crowd around you fairly crackled with excitement and energy? If the result was to your liking, you probably left feeling energized and alive. That’s what it’s like to attend the One Day Ticket to Sportscasting Seminar — even for me, and I’m not even a sportscaster.

The ODT seminar experience is so unique and valuable, we wanted to give more sportscasters the opportunity to participate. In previous years, ODT registration was limited to STAA clients only. However, this year we are opening up registration to include all sports broadcasters, whether you’re one of our clients or not.

If you read some of the reactions from previous ODT attendees on Twitter, you’ll get the broadcasters perspective on what it’s like to be in the room. If you decide to take the plunge and join us in June, I can tell you that you’ll leave with the info you need to keep improving your career, and the motivation to get cracking.

I hope that we’ll see you in Salisbury!

2014 Jim Nantz Award Watch List features 12 names

The nation’s best collegiate sports broadcasters. At STAA, that’s what we’re looking for each spring when we conduct our annual Jim Nantz Award and All-America program.

Below is our Watch List for 2014. It features the early favorites for this year’s Jim Nantz Award and STAA All-America program and consists of 12 names. The list is comprised primarily, but not exclusively, of student sportscasters who earned Top 20 or Honorable Mention recognition in last year’s rankings. Emerson College’s Ross Lippman won the award last season.

Be clear — there is no guarantee the 2014 Jim Nantz Award winner is included on this list.
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Top 30 Sportscasters Under 30

When we first tweeted about putting together the Top 30 Sportscasters Under 30, we thought we might get a handful of responses to consider for one list. A week later, you had generated more than 2,000 tweets, and a nominee list with more than 100 names. Therefore, we compiled two lists. The first list is compiled by STAA. The second is compiled by our Twitter followers.

We never could have anticipated the overwhelming reply, but we sure enjoyed the ride. It was nice to watch the sportscasting community come together for something fun like this. We all need a little encouragement that our hard work has been noticed. Hopefully the 30 Under 30 provided you with such a compliment, even if you didn’t make the final lists.

I am the first to admit the list is highly subjective. Also, we did our best to confirm that everyone on the list is indeed under 30 years old, but we can’t guarantee it is 100% accurate. Honorees are listed alphabetically by last name, except for the first name on List One. In my humble opinion, Ryan Ruocco is clearly the top person on this list.

Now, on to the lists!

STAA’s 30 Under 30

Ryan-RuoccoRyan Ruocco
There was never any question that Ruocco was going to be No.1 on this list. Does everything from hosting daily on 98.7 ESPN Radio New York, to play-by-play of NBA, NFL, WNBA, college football and even a TV show. When Ruocco was coming out of Fordham in 2008, he was the best collegiate sports broadcaster we had ever heard. Still is. In fact, hearing his work prompted the idea for STAA’s annual Jim Nantz Award and All-America program honoring the nation’s top collegiate sports broadcasters. We wondered how many other collegians are out there who are similarly talented to Ryan. He’s still our all-time best.

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STAA’s 30 Under 30

We’re so glad that everyone is enjoying the Top 30 Sportscasters Under 30! We thought it would be helpful to have the rules and some additional info in one spot for everyone to reference.

A few points of clarification. We will be publishing two lists, one will be selected by Jon, and one will be selected by the people – your colleagues, fans, friends, etc. This is all for fun, no prizes or plaques are involved (sorry).

The Rules

  1. Nomination tweets must include the #30Under30STAA hashtag.
  2. You can’t nominate yourself.


  • What if I’m exactly 30 right now?
    Sure, we’ll consider you for the list! This isn’t a scientific poll.
  • Can I vote more than once for the same person?
    Only one vote per candidate, please. However, you may vote for more than one candidate.
  • What if my birthday falls during the nomination week?
    Yep, no problem. Again, this is all for fun.

The nominations period ends January 22 at 3pm ET. Both Top 30 lists will be announced January 29.

Questions? Tweet them to @STAAtalent or leave them in the comments below. I’ll update this post if necessary.

Top 20 sports broadcasting schools

(Editor’s note: Since the original publication of this post, a premier alternative to four-year schools has emerged — STAA University. If you want a sports broadcasting education that will rival any in the country but don’t have the time or money for a four year school, STAA U is worth a look.)

Three of the toughest choices you’ll make in life are your spouse, your first round fantasy football pick and where you will attend college to pursue your sports broadcasting career. I can’t help you with the first two, but I certainly can with the third.

Two things to look for when choosing where to pursue your sports broadcasting career:

  • A broadcasting curriculum – even better if there is a sports broadcasting emphasis.
  • A campus radio and/or TV station. You need a place to hone your skills.

waer-syracuseThere is no arguing that Syracuse University is the crème de la crème for sports broadcasting. Just ask them! (Just kidding. The program really is that good.)

In my experience with STAA, I have seen the following schools also turn out sports broadcasters who are unusually well prepared for the job market (They are in no particular order, so don’t yell at me if your school isn’t near the top of the list.) With that in mind, here’s my list.
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