|Wittenberg Director of Tiger Sports Network Ben Groff|
Hometown/High School: Worthington, OH/ Worthington Kilbourne
Institution: Wittenberg University
Minors: Journalism and Spanish
Sport: Director of Tiger Sports Network
I am originally from ... Columbus, OH
Why did you choose to attend an NCAA Division III institution? I was recruited to play lacrosse.
How would you describe the philosophy of NCAA Div. III? It is what you make of it. There is not much of a national spotlight so you must love the game to put in the same time and effort that the bigger schools require without getting the exposure or scholarships. We just try to have fun.
How has your experience been in balancing broadcasting athletics and academics at Wittenberg? It has been a good experience. I really have learned how to organize my time. I’ve also had the chance to work with some real professionals, like Scott Leo, the voice of the Columbus Clippers. Our department chair, Dr. Matt Smith, is committed to giving us challenging work as well as the theoretical background in this field.
How would you best describe your normal day as a student-media member at the NCAA Div. III level? As the Director of the Tiger News Network and Torch (Student Paper) Sports Editor, I am in constant contact with Wittenberg athletes and the people who work with me to cover our university’s athletics. A normal day for me consists of sending emails to our sports writers and other members of our media team informing them of game times and also contacting athletes for information on upcoming and previously played events. I am also finishing my senior year and have class every day during the week so preparing for graduation takes up a lot of my time as well.
Favorite thing about Wittenberg? I really enjoy how competitive our sports teams are here at Wittenberg. It keeps our athletic events exciting and brings positive attention to our university.
Favorite thing about the NCAC? I like the rivalries between the schools affiliated with the NCAC. Wittenberg and Wooster have traditionally been big rivals but there are also rivalries within each individual sport, like Wabash for football or Ohio Wesleyan and Denison for lacrosse. These specific rivalries make each program exciting and interesting in its own way.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I am not totally sure what I would like to do after I graduate but I am interested in working with sports information for a major university. I have always had an interest in sports and I enjoy cover all types of athletics. I am looking for an opportunity to use my Wittenberg experience, preferably with a group that focuses on sports. My preference would be to do more of the behind the scenes producing, editing and directing. As the Student Director of Tiger News and the Torch Sports Editor, I’ve worked with a great team of professionals, faculty and other students. We’ve built up an internet following of parents and fans across the country and even started getting local sponsorship. I hope I can continue to build on my experience at another great college or broadcast network.
What has been your most memorable moment in athletic broadcasting during your collegiate career? The Wittenberg lacrosse team’s first win against Denison in April of 2010. The Tigers won 9-8 in OT.
What would you like to accomplish, both in academics and athletic broadcasting, before you graduate? I’ve tried to get an understanding of as many different forms of media as possible. I’d also like to build our program by adding more student staff to cover more sports and give Wittenberg student athletes and announcers wider exposure.
If you could be a superhero which special power would you choose to have? Super human strength
If you could excel at any competitive sport which would you choose? Football
Which historical sporting event would you have liked to witness? 2002 National Championship Game between Ohio State and Miami.
What’s your favorite sports team/Who’s your favorite athlete? The Dallas Cowboys/Emmitt Smith
Favorite hobbies outside work/school? Disc Golf, personal fitness, travel and, of course, watching great sports competitions!
First job? Paper boy
Favorite ice cream? Mint Chocolate Chip, from Graeter’s
Best/worst summer job? Worst: Shell Gas Station Attendant/Best: Country Club Life Guard