Alumnus returns to call Orange football game for ESPN

Three years ago, Drew Carter ’19 sat in the press box at the Carrier Dome calling Syracuse University football games for WAER. On Sept. 24, Carter returned to Syracuse to call the Liberty Flames vs. Syracuse Orange football game for ESPN, where he works as a play-by-play announcer.

As a Newhouse student, Carter spent his time outside the classroom learning how to be a sports broadcaster by doing the job live on the air for campus media outlets like WAER, Z89 and the ACC Network. His hard work paid off when, as a senior, he earned the Jim Nantz Award, presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding collegiate sports broadcaster.

Drew Carter taking a selfie with students.
Carter took time out for a selfie while meeting with students.

“​​Everything I learned about broadcasting, I learned at Newhouse,” Carter says.

Carter worked closely with Newhouse Sports Media Center director Olivia Stomski, who connected him with multiple job opportunities during his last few months as a student. Carter says Stomski and his former professors helped him get where he is today. 

“[Newhouse professors] all know what they’re talking about and they have that credibility because they’ve been in the industry,” Carter says. “They took a serious interest in every student’s learning and their preparation for the real world. I think that’s what makes the faculty here so special, because every person feels like they’re the most important.”

Following graduation, Carter spent two years in Birmingham, Alabama, as a sports reporter at the local CBS affiliate. He joined ESPN as a college sports broadcaster last summer.  He says he wants to help Newhouse students find their own paths. 

Carter advises students calling games to “think about how [they] can teach someone something or put a smile on someone’s face or make someone emotional at the moment they call. Students should never say no to an opportunity, especially at a place like SU, where so many people want to do the same thing [they] do.”

When asked where he hopes to be in five years, Carter says he is happy where he is today. 

“[I will] hopefully pay it forward a little bit to help some students because I was helped by so many people when I was at SU,” Carter says. “I think a big thing is focusing on the present and not thinking about the future. There are still some goals I want to hit in the broadcasting industry, but for right now all I want to do is crush it.”

Benjamin Schiller is a sophomore broadcast and digital journalism major at the Newhouse School.