Kevin Connors '97 Comes Home

An aspiring broadcaster, Kevin Connors ’97 was a senior at IC when he finally landed the coveted job of covering the Bombers football team on ICTV’s Gridiron Report.

In preparing to call home games at Butterfield Stadium, Connors would treat every game as if it were the Rose Bowl. He made sure to memorize the names, numbers, and key statistics for every member of both teams leading up to the broadcast.

Kevin Connors
 Connors (left) interviews Ron Gronkowski of the New England Patriots on the set of ESPN's SportsCenter. 
Photo by Joe Faraoni/ESPN

Fast-forward to 2015, and Connors has established himself as one of the top sports broadcasters in the country. During a 22-year career, covering everything from the World Series to the NBA finals, Connors credits most of his success to his professors and peers at Ithaca College.

“From the moment I was a freshman at Ithaca, I was engaged in extracurricular activities that propelled me in my career,” said Connors, an anchor for ESPN’s flagship program, SportsCenter.

Connors returned to IC this fall to emcee the 46th annual Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He moderated Q&A sessions with each of the inductees and sat down with the honorees for a dinner prior to the event.

“There is a tremendous amount of nostalgia whenever I return to Ithaca College,” he said. “The campus is alive with memories.”

Connors, who played basketball for four years for the Bombers, majored in television-radio in the Roy H. Park School of Communications. Connors lists Chris Berman, Marv Albert, Bob Costas, and Len Berman as some of his broadcasting role models, along with Ithaca’s own Chris Wheatley '81, M.S. '98, the manager of radio operations for WICB.

Connors said Wheatley and his other professors challenged and pushed him to develop his own unique broadcasting style, something that has served him well during his accomplished career.

On the basketball court, Connors helped the men's basketball program to an overall record of 66-39 in four seasons. Connors appeared in 53 contests and amassed 100 points, 56 rebounds, and 52 assists during his playing career.

He has worked at ESPN for the past seven years interviewing famous athletes like LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.