Dan Patrick has built a hall of fame sports broadcasting career. As easy as it would be to rest on his laurels and appreciate his own success, the nationally syndicated radio host and NBC Sunday Night Football television anchor is interested in giving back to the next wave of broadcasters.
John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reports that Patrick has formed a partnership with Full Sail University to launch The Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting. The revenue-sharing partnership will see the Winter Park, Fla.-based for-profit university create a sportscasting degree with instruction offered from Patrick and many of his industry colleagues.
The program is expected to launch January 29th with Gus Ramsey serving as program director. Ramsey, spent 23-years at ESPN as one of its top producers but was part of the mass layoffs in 2015. He had remained active the past two years as a talent coach and as a contributor to the WWE Network.
In addition to adding Ramsey’s expertise, Patrick has received commitments from high profile sports media members including Bill Simmons, Jeremy Schaap and Jay Harris. He’s also talking to former ESPN President George Bodenheimer about participating as well.
“There’s no better person who can be on the ground every single day teaching these kids what they need to do to get ready for local or national, ESPN, in front of the camera, behind the camera — he was that essential to this program,” said Patrick of Ramsey. “Firsthand knowledge is essential to this program. Gus was vital for that. In his job at ESPN, he would deal with the kids who had just graduated from college. They’d go in there and log highlights. Gus’ job was to work with them.”
Patrick told the SBJ that he first considered developing a program like this 10 to 15 years ago after encountering numerous college graduates who weren’t taught how to pursue work in the sportscasting field. It was an experience that Patrick went thru at the start of his career too.
“I have a communications degree from Dayton,” Patrick told Ourand. “There wasn’t much to the curriculum that helped me get to where I am. In fact, the only class that really helped me was a speech class. The other things didn’t as much.”
To get the ball rolling, Patrick and his agent, Reed Bergman, contacted Full Sail University, an online college that offers 80 programs in entertainment, media production and emerging technology. Talks began in December 2015 with Josh Mora, a former on-air reporter for CSN Chicago who had taken a position as Full Sail’s executive director of strategic planning.
“When Dan and Reed Bergman approached us about what Dan’s interests were, we decided to take another look about whether it made sense,” he said. “We decided these are the right people, this is the right time and this is the right program to launch an on-air degree.”
Although he won’t be physically active at Full Sail on a daily basis, Patrick says he’s doing much more than licensing his name to this project. He plans to lead classes on campus at least four times a year, will be hosting webinars and using his contacts throughout the industry to speak with students and hopefully, place them at the end of their degree.
“I’m in,” Patrick said. “It’s my name. I’m as prideful of this as I am the radio show that bears my name. The best compliment I could get is if networks and local channels are asking if we have someone to fill their jobs. It’s about placement. Everybody wants to be on the air. We want to give them the guidance so that they understand what it is, what the marketplace is like and how it’s changing.”
The sportscasting program will be a mixture of online and on-campus coursework. For more details click here.