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

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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