Bringing you Bradley vs. Duke

December 8, 2010

Fans around the world tuned into ESPN2 December 8 to watch the men’s basketball team take on No. 1-ranked Duke, but many didn't realize one of Bradley’s own was responsible for making sure the event got on the air. From the ESPN production truck outside Cameron Indoor Stadium, Associate Director Joe McCoy ’95 ensured a seamless broadcast, coordinating production between North Carolina and ESPN headquarters in Connecticut, all while rooting for his alma mater.

Even with a resume boasting historic sports events produced around the country and an Emmy award, the Bradley-Duke game was a dream-come-true assignment McCoy had been waiting years to tackle. 

“I would have done anything on the crew to work this game,” said McCoy, who honed his broadcast production skills at Bradley and credits his break into the business to a referral by professor Dr. Bob Jacobs. 

A Long Island native, McCoy came to Bradley hoping to gain plenty, and lose something, too.  With dreams of becoming a sportscaster, he figured a few years in the Midwest would help him drop his thick New York accent. He enrolled in the radio/TV program and joined the Bradley baseball team.  From the field and the dugout, McCoy learned about the game; inside Bradley’s classrooms and WTVP studios, he learned how to bring the game to millions.

“Because I was used sparingly as a pinch runner and late inning defensive replacement, I got to watch a lot of baseball and learn the game’s nuances, which has helped me add to the baseball telecasts which I’m involved in (for ESPN),” said McCoy, who has produced over 50 events for ESPN.

Acknowledging his path to producer was a challenge rife with long hours and tedious tasks, McCoy says Bradley’s new sports communication program in the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts will give students a leg up in a competitive industry. With practical experience from Bradley, new graduates may be able to climb the professional ladder even faster.

“Most of television production is ‘trial by fire’ and on-the-job training. Students will be able to learn what they like and don’t like in a controlled environment and find a path that suits the direction they want to take in their career,” said McCoy, who has dabbled in nearly all aspects of sports production.

These days, McCoy spends more than four months a year on the road covering college basketball and baseball games, a schedule he admits is difficult for a husband and father, but an experience he’s been working his whole life to achieve.

“It’s exactly where I want to be,” said McCoy.