The pandemic left Baylen Hite feeling burned out on sportscasting. It was 2021; he was a junior at Ball State. Just over a year later, Hite is re-energized and starting his new job as sports director at the Western Kansas Broadcast Broadcast Center in Garden City, KS.
“Covid changed the structure of sports and the way they are covered,” Hite recalls. “Don’t get me wrong, I love covering sports, but in the spring of 2021 when almost all sports were pushed to a span of four months at the college level, things were very challenging for me.”
Hite overcame the mental fatigue by looking at the big picture. “Just taking a step back and looking at the career as a whole and looking at what I loved the most about it. This helped reignite my passion for broadcasting and helped me get where I am today.”
Where Hite is today is covering sports in the Jayhawk Conference, arguably the nation’s top community college conference. “This is a great opportunity for me based on the freedom of the position to really grow as a broadcaster. Also, the opportunity to cover a large high school in Garden City and one of the best junior colleges in all of the NJCAA in Garden City Community College. This was something I just couldn’t pass up.”
Hite is a native for Fort Wayne, IN and a 2022 graduate of Ball State. He joined STAA in April. “The opportunities to connect with other broadcasters and get help from those working in the industry to further my career were the biggest reasons I joined.”
Two weeks after joining, Hite applied for the Kansas opportunity after it was published in an STAA Job Leads email. “After about a week they contacted me about the position,” he smiles.
Despite being a recent college grad, Hite brings considerable experience to western Kansas. “Something that really helped me in this [application] process was my experience working in high school for Summit City Sports, and then in college being able to cover Ball State at such an extensive level with Ball State Sports Link. I feel like these experiences were invaluable to me leading up to looking for a job. These opportunities prepared me for a wide range of things in the job market.”
With Covid fatigue in the past, Hite is ready to hit the ground running.
“I feel like this is a perfect launching point for me in my career,” he grins.