SALISBURY, N.C. – National Agents Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Albright was a special guest at the 52nd National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Weekend, joining N.C. State football coach Tom O’Brien for a round of golf Monday prior to the evening’s awards dinner at Catawba College.
The event started Saturday and concluded Monday night, after the enshrinement of Brent Musburger (ESPN/ABC), Bob Ryan (Boston Globe and ESPN) and Bob Uecker (Milwaukee Brewers) into the NSSA Hall of Fame. Mike Tirico (ESPN/ABC) and Peter King (Sports Illustrated/SI.com) were named the 2010 National Sportscaster and Sportswriter of the Year, respectively.
Albright teamed with O’Brien and BB&T’s Cameron Wells and Jon Bass in the Captain’s Choice format. While the Albright-O’Brien team didn’t win the event, the two leaders spent quality time discussing what it takes to lead and build a winning team. O’Brien, who guided the Wolfpack to a successful season and a Champs Sports Bowl win in Orlando, Fla. on Dec. 28, 2010, was a highly-coveted partner in the tournament. Albright’s love of N.C. State was a major factor in the pairing.
“It was an honor to spend time with Coach O’Brien,” Albright said. “I knew he was the right coach for the Wolfpack before and our time together reinforced that thought even more. We had a great time together and I asked him as many quality questions as I could. He’s a special breed of leader that you just do not see very often. I only wish I could have helped our team more on the golf course.”
Albright also had lengthy conversations with Bucky Waters, a former Duke coach, N.C. State standout and accomplished sportscaster; former PGA Tour golfer Curtis Strange, who played golf at Wake Forest; and Florida State play-by-play announcer Gene Deckerhoff, who delivered a replay of his 1993 FSU national championship game call for Albright. Albright also spoke with Tirico, Ryan and Gary Hahn, N.C. State’s play-by-play announcer.
“As we seek to expand NSSA’s reach across the country, it’s great to have another North Carolina company support our mission,” NSSA Executive Director Dave Goren said. “For that, we thank Andy Albright and National Agents Alliance.”
Additionally, 111 sportscasters and sportswriters from across 49 states and the District of Columbia were honored in each medium as their respective state’s top winner.
Hahn (N.C. State Wolfpack) was named North Carolina’s Sportscaster of the Year, while Bob Sutton (Burlington Times-News) earned the Sportswriter of the Year Award.
Musburger, a play-by-play announcing legend, began his career as a print journalist after graduating from Northwestern. He landed a job with CBS in 1973 and was a studio host for CBS’ The NFL Today. He moved on to ABC and ESPN, where he continues to be one of the best in the business. He called the BCS National Championship Game on ABC from Glendale, Arizona earlier this year.
Ryan started at the Boston Globe in 1968 as an intern and never left. Roughly 43 years later, the Boston College graduate has written at least parts of 13 books and appears regularly on ESPN’s Sports Reporters and Around the Horn programs. Ryan won the last three NSSA National Sportswriter of the Year Awards. He is the third straight Boston Globe writer to enter the NSSA Hall of Fame, joining Leigh Montville (2008) and Peter Gammons (2009).
Uecker entered the broadcast booth after a six-year playing career as a catcher with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves. He served as the radio voice of the Brewers in 1971 and has been there since. He also served as a network color commentator on ABC in the 1970s and on NBC during the 1990s. Uecker was fixture on television talk shows and commercials and has appeared in movies as well. He is a member of the Baseball, Radio and Wisconsin Halls of Fame and is in his 56th season in baseball this year.
Tirico got his start as a weekend sports anchor at WTVH in Syracuse, N.Y., while still a student at Syracuse University. He moved onto ESPN and ABC, where he has worked since 1991. He serves as play-by-play announcer on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, as well as ESPN’s and ABC’s NBA and NCAA football coverage. He is also ABC’s lead golf announcer, serves as ESPN studio host for major events and contributes to ESPN Radio. He won a Sports Emmy nomination for his work on Monday Night Football in 2007.
King is an Ohio University graduate, who began his sportswriting career in 1980 at the Cincinnati Inquirer. He moved to New York’s Newsday, where he covered the NFL from 1985-89. He moved over to Sports Illustrated, where he started his popular Monday “Morning Quarterback” columns in 1997. In addition to his SI and SI.com work, King has appeared on HBO’s Inside the NFL, where the show won three Emmys during his tenure. He can be seen on NFC’s Football Night In America studio show and heard on Sirius Radio’s The Opening Drive.
Other notable state award winners were: Vin Scully (Los Angeles Dodgers), Wes Durham (Georgia Tech/Atlanta Falcons), Gene Deckerhoff (Florida State), Mike Lupica (New York Daily News), Rick Telander (Chicago Sun-Times) and Jeff Jacobs (Hartford Courant).
“When you consider the number of nationally acclaimed media at the NSSA event, it’s really an amazing group of talented people that deliver sports news to our country daily on a number of different levels,” Albright said. “It’s really a big fraternity and it was neat to talk with them about their jobs and they had so many great stories about some of the people I grew up watching play. It was a great experience and I have to thank Dave Goren for his hospitality. To have the NSSA Hall of Fame in North Carolina is great and I’m glad we had the chance to visit with all the award winners, hall of famers and other guests.”
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