In this year’s Associated Press (A.P) “Virginias” awards, alumni Nick Verzolini was among a group of students who won four A.P awards for his broadcasting for Marshall University sports radio.
In “The Virginia’s”, Marshall competes against other colleges and professional sports broadcast teams in the cities of Huntington and Charleston of West Virginia; Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Norfolk of Virginia; and Washington D.C.
The awards that Verzolini was a part of were first and second place in Best Sports Play-by-Play, second place in Best Newscast. Additionally, he was a part of the station’s win for Best Sports Operations.
In addition to all of these accomplishments, Verzolini earned the position of Sports Director in the spring and will maintain this position in the fall semester.
“It was a great accomplishment. I’m most proud of the Sports Operations award because we won that as a staff and beat a professional radio station. I think the award shows the great work we do here at WMUL (the radio station), and now that I’m taking over as Sports Director, it gives me the challenge of trying to lead us to four straight awards in the Play-by-Play category,” Verzolini said.
Markedly, in those awards, Verzolini was the play-by-play commentator in one of the award winning broadcasts and the color commentator in the other. In the award winning newscast, Verzolini was the sports anchor.
Verzolini noted that working with other people makes winning more awarding. “It takes a lot of people to have a successful broadcast. Everyone on the staff works really hard so it’s nice to see us all get recognized. We’ve won a lot of awards over the years here at WMUL, and I think that’s because the students all take it seriously and are passionate about the work they do,” Verzolini said.
While the award winning broadcasts that Verzolini was involved in were covering men’s basketball and football, Verzolini and the WMUL radio station cover many more sports.
Verzolini said, “We cover all Varsity sports at Marshall. We broadcast games for football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, baseball, and softball. I’ve personally had the opportunity to cover all of those sports. We also have two shows that feature the other sports that we don’t broadcast, which are men’s and women’s golf, track and field, swimming, diving, cross country, and women’s tennis.”
He said that it can be difficult to cover multiple sports, but on the other hand, he finds it beneficial. One reason Verzolini finds covering multiple sports beneficial is that he has been able to expand his knowledge on sports he didn’t know much about.
He also noted that having so much knowledge about so many different sports will help him get a job, because “being able to cover multiple sports gives me the advantage.”
He said that is would be amazing to work somewhere like ESPN. “That is the top of the sports journalism industry. Not many people get the opportunity so I don’t know how realistic that is. Obviously, that’s a goal of mine, but I think something realistic would be hosting my own sports radio talk show or becoming the lead play-by-play for a professional sports team,” he said.
“If something came up covering Marshall [sports] I would not be against working there. It really just depends on what becomes available,” Verzolini said about career plans after college.
His love of sports started when he was a child, but his passion for sports journalism began here when he took journalism in high school. “I realized I wanted to be a sports journalist when I started high school. Taking journalism for four years was a great starting point and coming to Marshall allowed me to confirm that this is what I wanted to do,” he said.