WGCU-TV to start 24-episode season on FGCU athletics
FORT MYERS, Fla. – With two Atlantic Sun men’s and women’s soccer titles to its credit already, the fall has been an exciting time for the FGCU athletic department. On Saturday night, those moments will be showcased in the debut of the FGCU Sports Report, produced by WGCU-TV.
A half-hour show covering the NCAA Division I programs at Florida Gulf Coast University, the FGCU Sports Report will reflect the “coming of age” of the 13-year-old university.
With its debut on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 6:30 p.m. on WGCU, the FGCU Sports Report will keep the Southwest Florida community apprised of the FGCU Eagles’ action on a weekly basis through mid-May. As a community partnership agreement, Waterman Broadcasting also will be airing the show on ABC7 and NBC’s News Now channel.
“We believe it’s another way to further our mission of building community in our region,” says WGCU General Manager Rick Johnson. “Intercollegiate athletics can serve to rally a community around a common bond.”
The first episode will feature recaps of each of the men’s and women’s soccer teams A-Sun championship seasons, along with interviews with each coach. Player profiles of at least two student-athletes will also be shown in addition to weekly recaps of all of FGCU’s fall sports and previewing the week and winter seasons ahead.
FGCU Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh says the timing is right since all 14 FGCU teams — six men’s and eight women’s — have received final certification as Division 1 and will be eligible for NCAA Tournaments in 2011-12. (Currently only baseball and volleyball are eligible.)
“FGCU Sports Report will allow us to share inside stories on the terrific continual accomplishments of our outstanding collection of student-athletes, coaches and dedicated staff,” says Kavanagh. He notes there’s heightened interest in the teams because several former Eagles have moved into the professional ranks, including Chris Sale, Casey Coleman, Brooke Sweat and Derek Lamely.
Kavanagh will be the feature interview of the first show during a five-minute sit down with Tom James. In the interview, Kavanagh talks about how far FGCU athletics has come in 10 years, the challenges of adding football and how important the local community is to the athletic programs.
Veteran sports journalist Tom James — a two-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner for sports reporting — will host the show from the WGCU studios. James was sports director/anchor at WBBH NBC-2 from 1999 to 2004. During that time, he anchored a live broadcast from Alico Arena on the night of the inaugural FGCU men’s and women’s basketball games and will return this basketball season as the “voice of the Eagles.”
A full listing of the time and channels the show will air on is highlighted below. The FGCU Sports Report will have six episodes in the fall and 18 in the spring. The show will take a break after the Dec. 11 episode and will kick-back-up on Jan. 15.
Saturdays @ 6:30 a.m. on ABC7
Saturdays @ 6:30 p.m. on WGCU
Sundays @ 9 a.m. on NBC2 NewsNow
Sundays @ 11:30 a.m. on WGCU
Sundays @ 6:30 p.m. on WGCU World
Tuesdays @ 12:30 a.m. on WGCU