Emmy winner sports writer shares a brief look into his life as the University of Southern California’s premier sports broadcaster. Follow Gary on www.WeAreSc.com for a close up view of the success’ and struggles of USC.
My Elite Network: You have a very interesting career, there are probably a lot of people that would love to be in your shoes! How did get started in radio?
Gary Paskewitz: At USC, my major was sports information. It was the only program of its kind at that time. They had public relations and TV broadcast, but, I knew I wanted to get into sports. Since then things have taken off. My first real break came with ESPN. The program director at ESPN radio suggested that a friend from UCLA and I start a show. We’ve been with them ever since. Sixteen years now. It’s been great.
My Elite Network: When you are at practice… are you walking around with a tape recorder and taking notes, or, are you just watching and listening?
Gary Paskewitz: I just like to watch what’s going on. I don’t want to miss anything. I get there early and just watch. I’m one of those people that just like to be a fly on the wall watching – taking notes. From being around so long, I have a pretty good idea of what’s going on with the team. I’ll take video and photos and do a little audio report. I’m basically a beat writer.
My Elite Network: Do the USC coaches allow you to attend team meetings?
Gary Paskewitz: When Pete Carroll was the coach he would let me attend. But, with the new sanctions that doesn’t happen anymore. Which is disappointing. I really enjoyed getting a closer look at what it takes to be USC.
My Elite Network: When you look back over your life – would you say that your show, WeAreSC, is your true passion…your calling?
Gary Paskewitz: Oh yeah. I love what I do. I have a great job. I get to share stories about people that others are curious about. The people I have had a chance to work with and get to know has been amazing. I’ve been very lucky. What makes it even better is that we have a great following.
My Elite Network: You have been a sports broadcaster for over 18 years…do you have a favorite interview?
Gary Paskewitz: Oh, wow that’s a good question. It’s been 18 years’ worth of great interviews. There have been some good ones. You’ll probably notice I get to talking a little fast… Pete Carroll was the same way. We used to joke that it was the fastest interview in sports. We would both be talking a mile a minute! But, you definitely have your favorite through the years. Matt Barkley was just one of the best interviews you could ever want. Ryan Kalil, who’s the center now for the Carolina Panthers, is another. One time I was interviewing Ryan and he was breaking down everything that a center does – and that’s just something that people don’t realize. Ryan knows what to look for when breaking the huddle. Constantly asking himself what does he see first, what plays are being called, who are you identifying. Ryan did a wonderful job of breaking all that down. Stuff like that is what you always remember, I’ve always enjoyed that part of the story…learning more about the game.
My Elite Network: Is there anyone that has influenced your career?
Gary Paskewitz: Wow. There’s been so many. What’s so crazy about this is you can go in one direction, but, sometimes it’s just so simple as someone reaching out to you and everything changes. You never know what’s going to happen. My college freshmen roommate, Frank Kennedy, has been a really good adviser through the years. A good friend.
My Elite Network: In five years what do you hope to be doing?
Gary Paskewitz: Hopefully, I will still be doing this with a smile on my face.
My Elite Network: What has been the funniest thing you have seen at practice?
Gary Paskewitz: Oh yeah. After a practice last week, the players were treated to snow cones. It was great seeing these 300 hundred pounders battling for two hours on the field and then reverting back to little kids when they see snow cones waiting for them! That’s another thing I really enjoy about what I do, seeing the different sides of the players. Being that close to the game, you have an entirely different sense of what’s going on. I hope that comes out in my reporting.
My Elite Network: If we looked in your clothes closet is everything you own cardinal and gold with the USC logo on it?
Gary Paskewitz: Quite a bit of it, oh yeah. I would think about 50% is USC clothes and a whole lot of Tommy Bahama shirts.
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