Bombers Take Part in Bucs’ Super Night

By Patrick Bohn ’05, February 8, 2021
Multiple IC alumni played a part in an unforgettable Super Bowl.

After a difficult year, this Super Bowl Sunday offered a welcome escape, and a number of IC alumni were part of making it happen. Whether it was working with athletes, managing video, or producing the game, Bombers were involved at several levels, all the way up to the owner's suite, with Ed Glazer '92 at the helm.

“Winning two Super Bowls is an incredible accomplishment, but it also takes an incredible team," Glazer said. "I couldn’t be more proud to share this with other IC alumni who are part of the Buccaneers and NFL family.  They do an incredible job, and I’m so happy we can share this championship.”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV gave the franchise its second Lombardi Trophy, and the first since Glazer began serving as the team’s co-owner and co-chairman.

“Winning two Super Bowls is an incredible accomplishment, but it also takes an incredible team. I couldn’t be more proud to share this with other IC alumni who are part of the Buccaneers and NFL family.  They do an incredible job, and I’m so happy we can share this championship.”

Ed Glazer ’92, co-owner and co-chairman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Adam Heaslip ’07, MBA ’08, who serves as the National Football Leagues’ account director of club business development, supports the team owners and their leadership teams to help drive their business initiatives. Heaslip is also league office business account executive for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Similar to everything over the past year, this year’s Super Bowl was different, but it didn’t make it any less special,” said Heaslip, who played basketball at Ithaca and was a sport management major. “It was a great way to wrap a unique season and one I’ll never forget.”

“Making this year’s Super Bowl even more special were the connections back to Ithaca College,” he continued. “The Bucs’ win is an exciting one for Bomber Nation, and I was glad to be there to be a part of it.”

“It’s extremely fulfilling knowing various IC alumni are out there doing their things in respective roles knowing they all started on campus in Ithaca. When you see each other, it’s that head nod of pride that will always stick with you.”

Ata Movassaghi ’10

Keaton Kovacs ’12, who currently serves as an account executive on the ticket sales team for Tampa Bay, and has been with the organization for five years, said the Super Bowl experience was unbelievable.

“Last night was the culmination of a lot of hard work from staff across the entire organization,” said Kovacs, who played baseball on South Hill. “Ed and the ownership are always making sure that everyone has the tools they need to succeed. He puts the ticket sales group in the best position to meet our goals. The continuous support and praise we get from Ed Glazer and the Glazer Family makes it great to work for the Buccaneers.”

The finishing touches of the Bucs’ rout came when running back Leonard Fournette ran 27 yards for a touchdown midway through the third quarter. That moment was especially sweet, not just for Fournette, who had been cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier in the season, but also for Ata Movassaghi ’10, head of digital marketing and content at Roc Nation Sports, who handles the digital marketing for several athletes, including Fournette.

“I felt like I won the game after rushing the field when the clock hit zero,” said Movassaghi. “I can now say there’s no feeling like it.”

Movassaghi, who played on the men’s soccer team and majored in integrated marketing communications while at IC, added that he felt camaraderie with the fellow Bombers who were in the stadium that night.

“It’s extremely fulfilling knowing various IC alumni are out there doing their things in respective roles knowing they all started on campus in Ithaca,” he said. “When you see each other it’s that head nod of pride that will always stick with you.”

Depth Chart

Everywhere you looked, Ithaca College alumni were a part of the Super Bowl. Some other Bombers included:

Marc Budine ’88, director of Corporate Partnership Activation & Marketing for the Buccaneers

Jonathan “JJ” James ’04, senior director of the Digital Content Team at the NFL

Nate McCoart ’13, director of technical operations for Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment, produced the game.

Matt Taylor at Super Bowl

Matt Taylor '00 has spent nearly two decades in the NFL. (Photo courtesy of Matt Taylor)

Matt Taylor 00 is the Bucs’ assistant video director. The Sport Management major, and former member of the Bomber football and track and field teams, has been working in the NFL for 16 years and with the Bucs for four. He’s worked with Hall of Famers, but he said this year’s Bucs team was special.

“Everyone had high expectations right from the start," he said. “It wasn't always a smooth ride, but once these guys figured out how they could all complement one another, there was no stopping them. Each round of the playoffs, we knew we were the better team, despite what people from the outside were saying.  We went out and proved it each week leading up to last night, becoming Super Bowl Champions.”

The night was the culmination of a long season of work, not just for players and coaches, but for all team and league staff members with Ithaca College ties.

“The alumni that we have working in the world of sports is a great representation of Ithaca College. Be it within the NFL, or other major leagues and organizations, our network is special.”

Benjamin Simonds ’00

“The teamwork that those across the league exhibited last night and throughout the season was amazing,” said Benjamin Simonds 00, the NFL’s vice president of media sales. The alumni that we have working in the world of sports is a great representation of Ithaca College. Be it within the NFL, or other major leagues and organizations, our network is special.”

Ellis Williams '13, content producer and associate director at CBS sports, spent three weeks in Tampa directing crews and prepping shows for the big game.  He produced a piece on the history of breaking color barriers in the NFL, starring Viola Davis, and an hour-long special  hosted by Tony Romo in conversation with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks from around the league. The show featured Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. He also produced a piece on George Toma, 92, who has worked as the official groundskeeper for the Super Bowl since 1967. This was his 55th consecutive Super Bowl.

Ellis also directed this piece for CBS. 

Reporting by Jon Gregory '10, associate director of alumni and family engagement.