Gavin Cote '12

School of Health Sciences and Human Performance | Sport Media

Viewers of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown regularly see Chris Berman, Keyshawn Johnson, and Mike Ditka analyzing that day’s upcoming games. But before any game highlights can make it to viewers’ screens at home, producers and production assistants work behind the scenes to select the best shots, plays, and clips. For IC sport media graduate and ESPN associate producer Gavin Cote ’12, it’s a team effort.

The production process, Gavin said, starts with a Thursday morning meeting and heats up as the wee hours of Sunday morning approach. That’s when Gavin and his colleagues start putting the final touches on their shot selections, voiceovers, edits, music, and sponsor messages.

“A three-hour show doesn’t come together by trying to be a hero and doing everything yourself,” Gavin said. “You can’t be afraid to ask for help. I learned that at IC.”

Some of that learning came from doing basketball play-by-play for ICTV and hosting Gridiron Report, a weekly update on Bomber football.

“It was awesome to host a show my junior year, but I really didn’t know what I was doing. Fortunately, a lot of great people helped me with editing and production decisions.”

And, because IC’s sport media major includes courses in liberal arts, sport theory, advertising, and sport video production, help also came from the classroom.

“I wouldn’t have gotten my foot in the door at ESPN without the background I got doing Gridiron Report and taking production classes in the Park School and writing classes in the sport media department,” Gavin said. “Having all that on my resume led to a production internship at ESPN the summer before my senior year.”

The network liked his work and offered him a full-time job the following spring—a month and a half before he graduated. After doing NBA highlights for the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat, Gavin now helps decide what weekly highlights NFL fans get to see.

“Production skills, working under deadline pressure, focusing on internships, developing writing skills, making contacts—everything I experienced at IC was relevant to what I’m doing now. Don’t think you can’t work at a certain place because it’s ESPN or NBC. I’m building on the skills I went to college for, and I’m getting paid to do something I love: watch sports.”

More on this story: Roy H. Park School of Communications | ICTV