By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)
Fort Collins native Joe Mazur (B.S., ’94) knew he wanted to be a sports broadcaster since he was a young child. His version of “must-see TV” was a Channel 9 sportscast. He would read the sports section of the Coloradoan newspaper aloud to his mother, honing his on-air delivery style. While at CSU, Mazur focused his studies on psychology and journalism, the content of which became relevant for his career in more ways than he foresaw.
Like most college graduates, Mazur did not land his dream job immediately. Instead, he worked briefly in management for a car rental agency and then in news with KRDO, Colorado Springs-Pueblo, serving as Pueblo bureau chief.
Mazur began his sports broadcasting career at KJCT-TV in Grand Junction as weekend sports anchor. His next move was to El Paso, where he was sports director and weekday sports anchor at KFOX. In 2001, he joined ABC11 Eyewitness News in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, where he is weekend sports anchor and weekday sports reporter.
His childhood dream came true, as Mazur “gets paid to watch a lot of sports and talk about it.” He loves “the freedom to pick and choose stories” he wants to cover as well as “the interaction with the athletes.” He has attended many memorable athletic events, including Game 7 of the Stanley Cup, the Super Bowl, and many college bowl and tournament games. His talent and hard work has brought him success and a number of awards, most notable of which were an Emmy nomination and a Crystal Award of Excellence for his work on a special about the Dallas Cowboys.
There are, of course, challenges in Joe’s career, including working late hours and weekends. Another unanticipated challenge comes from the changed nature of sports journalism, which no longer is limited to the TV station. Sports journalists now have to be content providers.
“Fifty percent of my time is spent writing for the Web,” he says. “I did not get into this business intending to promote myself, but now that is part of the territory.”
Among his recent Twitter posts are news about coaching changes around the country and updates on college and professional sporting events. Mazur clearly remains a passionate Colorado Rockies fan, as evidenced by this April tweet: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING CHUCK??????????????? Missed grounder and now a missed fly ball?????????”
In addition to loving his career, Mazur loved his time at CSU. He spent two years as a residence hall assistant at Newsom, served as ASCSU senator, belonged to Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and served on the Preview Student Staff. He recalls one Preview session with parents in which a mother looked horrified when he responded to her question about his major by saying he was in Open Option, as he had not yet settled on a major. Perhaps that concerned mother would be relieved to know what a success he has become in the career he dreamed about as a child.