Published Oct 05, 2022
Celebrating 5 Years of the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting
Full Sail University’s Sportscasting bachelor’s program celebrates 5 years of preparing students for careers in sportscasting and broadcast television.
Full Sail University recently celebrated a half-decade of real-world experience, growth in sports media, and graduate success with the fifth anniversary of the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting. Developed in collaboration with sportscasting veteran Dan Patrick, the Sportscasting bachelor's degree gives students hands-on experience in the world of sportscasting and broadcast journalism both on camera and behind the scenes.
“It's the proudest thing I've ever accomplished in this business because it’s changing lives,” says Dan Patrick. “That ability to be able to see somebody start a program, learn from people who've been in the business, understand the highs and lows. The growth that you see, that's rewarding.”
With the support of award-winning faculty and partnerships with some of the biggest names in sportscasting, the program has continued to grow since the first class launched.
Industry partnerships have been integral to the success of the program by providing students with opportunities to gain experience in their field before graduation as well as chances to connect and learn from industry professionals. Full Sail’s partnerships with the likes of Boombah Sports Complex, the United States Tennis Association, Rollins College, Daytona 500, the NFL Pro Bowl, and Fox Sports all unlock unique opportunities for students in the program.
Through the Rollins College partnership, Full Sail students lend their voices to the Rollins athletic department by calling all of the college’s home sporting events, giving them valuable experience casting for a variety of sports including baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, and more.
“These relationships allow our students to get real-world experiences,” says Program Director Gus Ramsey. “For as much time as they spend in the classroom, putting it into practice in environments like they will experience in the industry is equally as valuable.”
Students have also been able to gain insights into their industry through chances to work as runners for Fox Sports NFL games and involvement in the Pop Warner Super Bowl bracket show.
“Having great partners who see what we're doing and giving these students the opportunity, I can't thank them enough,’ says Dan Patrick. “Everybody wants to be on TV, or be a play-by-play voice. Well, we can put you on camera, and we can give you the opportunity to do play-by-play. So you get an opportunity to do those things, and better yourself.”
Faculty & Staff
A part of what elevates learning at Full Sail is the industry experience that faculty and staff bring to the classroom and the Sportscasting bachelor’s program is no exception. “My faculty and I have 300+ years of industry experience,” boasts Gus. “We’ve got people who’ve worked in front of the camera at the national level and local level. The same is true for people with experience behind the scenes. That enables us to tell the students exactly what the industry will demand of them, how to handle those demands, and to coach them in a way that they should have a good understanding of what to expect on a daily basis once they start working.”
In the five years since the program’s launch, Gus and his faculty have been able to engage with their networks to bring incredible guest lectures to students in the program. Pivoting during the pandemic, the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting leaned into these relationships and hosted a series of master classes featuring industry titans including SportsCenter’s Scott Van Pelt, ESPN’s Jay Harris, NBC Sports' Mike Tirico, and more. Through this series, students in the virtual classroom were able to gain insights and pose their questions to some of the industry’s biggest names.
“I think we'll look back on the pandemic and how we handled it, whether it was for online students or on campus, as a pivotal point in the growth of this program,” says Dan Patrick. “Gus Ramsey brought in people from the industry. And you could be watching them talk about the industry but didn't have to be here with them.”
Dan attributes much of the program’s success to the commitment of the faculty, saying, “When I went to college, you're in a big classroom. There was no one-on-one. [At Full Sail] our job is to connect with you. To make you better. To make you understand this business. And having faculty that understands that, that makes us different than everybody else.”
“Dan and I will always be grateful to the first campus and online classes for putting their trust in us,” says Gus. “They knew they were going to be guinea pigs of sorts as we tried to build a program from scratch.” From the first graduating class in the fall of 2019 to the most recent graduates, the initial guinea pig stage was worth it as the program has seen grads go on to accomplish great things in the sportscasting industry.
The first graduate to be hired out of the program, Taylor Schaub, was hired as a news reporter in Bakersfield, California just a week after graduating. He has since gone on to cover the Super Bowl and the MLB All-Star Game. But Taylor is just one graduate making waves in the industry. Fellow Sportscasting graduates have gone on to work with organizations and networks including ESPN, NBC, WWE, and more.
“It’s one thing to say you’re going to build a degree program from scratch and prepare people to succeed in our industry. It’s another to see it happen,” says Gus. “Whether it’s a 20 or 21-year-old grad who came to us right out of high school or people in their 30s and 40s who came to us in hopes of pursuing a dream that began for them a long time ago. Seeing those people get jobs and start to live their dream is incredible.”
The Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting has also unlocked opportunities for students interested in another branch of the industry, casting for esports. In collaboration with Full Sail’s collegiate esports organization, Full Sail Armada, students in the Sportscasting bachelor’s have been able to gain experience in events big and small, casting for Armada collegiate matches as well as partnered events with organizations including the Special Olympics and XP League.
“Casters are the backbone of esports broadcasts and events. When a caster has both in-depth game knowledge as well as polished on-camera training, it really elevates the entire experience,” says Full Sail Director of Esports and Project Development Sari Kitelyn. “Full Sail students have the opportunity to work through the breadth of these esports experiences by casting everything from varsity matches to large-scale client events hosted in the Orlando Health Fortress.”
Graduate success also extends to esports with grads like Landon “LandO” Sanders, a prominent caster for Activision’s Call of Duty League, and Bryan “Bryonic” Flores, who was recently named as a finalist for collegiate caster of the year.
“In esports, every game is its own sport, so there are many opportunities to find a game you are passionate about and go all in and especially with the growth esports has seen over the last few years,” says Full Sail Director of Esports Growth and Development Bennett Newsome. “The industry that supports esports has grown massively as well, providing many jobs and opportunities for students and graduates.”
In just five years, the program has grown to include a rich on-campus and online presence as well as a reputation for delivering graduates who are ready to hit the ground running. “The approach that I take in my job, every single day is the Super Bowl,” says Dan. “That's my motto. And our feeling here on campus, whether dealing with the students here or online, every day is the Super Bowl. Make it great. Make a difference.”
Learn more or request info about Full Sail University’s Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting here.