As the sports media industry continues to be rocked by intervals of upheaval, some lifers have found a different home: academia. Most prominently, J.A. Adande abdicated his remaining ESPN duties in August to focus on his role as director of the sports media program at Northwestern’s Medill School.
Now, another longtime ESPN host and anchor is returning to college.
Jay Crawford hosted a wide variety of ESPN programming, including SportsCenter, Cold Pizza, First Take, and the Little League World Series, among plenty more. His career at ESPN ended as part of the network’s mass layoffs in April, five months ago now. Crawford graduated from Bowling Green (that’s the Bowling Green in Ohio, to save you a Google) in 1987, and he’ll serve in what sounds like a hands-on, non-teaching role at the school.
Longtime sports broadcaster and Bowling Green State University alumnus Jay Crawford will join the University as an executive in residence later this fall.
“Jay has left his mark on the sports and communications industry and we are so pleased that he has agreed to share his wealth of knowledge with our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends,” said BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey.
As an executive in residence, Crawford will share his expertise with students and faculty in the School of Media and Communication, in the Department of Sport Management and with student-athletes.
“When students ask about colleges, I always push BGSU,” Crawford said. “My experience here was a springboard to my career. Being asked to come back to the place where I learned so much, and met my wife Tracy, is an honor.
“I am excited about the future of Bowling Green State University and eager to give back to students pursuing careers in media, communication and sport management.”
The executive-in-residence program will feature mentorship opportunities, classroom lectures and special event appearances.
That release is commendable for not making a joke about college and cold pizza.
This seems like a nice role for Crawford as he either bides his time waiting to return to the industry, waits out ESPN’s non-compete clause, and/or contemplates a wholesale career change. And it’s also a beneficial resource for the students in the program; having access to someone freshly out of the highest levels of sports media can be a tremendous asset, and Crawford can certainly speak to the highs and the lows of a career in the sports media industry.