His day started with a nightmare. The Iowa Cubs intern dreamt his boss texted him that she was sick and would not attend the day’s events with the MiBL team’s high-profile guest on the mound. Two hours later, Colin Connolly (’19 Comm.) started his day, registering the text wasn’t a dream.
That day in June 2019, Craig Kimbrel, an eight-time all-star pitcher and 2018 World Series champion, was set to pitch for the Cubs against Round Rock Express.
Media coverage, interviews and photo opportunities had to be planned and executed.
Connolly had been an intern for two months at that point and woke to discover that he was single handedly in charge of facilitating all media coverage for Kimbrel and the Iowa Cubs that day.
Connolly was in a sink-or-swim moment, said Alex Cohen, play-by-play broadcaster and sales executive for the Iowa Cubs.
“He could have fallen flat on his face,” Cohen said.
This was an important moment for the media of the Triple-A team and Connolly lacked experience. Cohen credited Connolly’s success under pressure to the education he received in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.
“His previous experience by going to Washington State and working with Division 1 athletes and Pac-12 programs, prepared him for working with the Chicago Cubs Triple-A affiliate,” Cohen said.
At WSU, Connolly majored in strategic communication and worked as a sports reporter for The Daily Evergreen. Professors required Connolly to attend sporting events, helped him obtain behind-the-scenes access to teams, encouraged him how to work with different media outlets and taught him how to produce high-quality work under pressure.
Murrow College does a great job giving opportunities to students that set them up for their careers with applicable experience, Connolly said.
“Hearing what the actual beat reporters were asking and how those conversations were,” said Connolly, now the Cubs’ media relations manager. “It got me used to being around players, coaches and the media, which is a part of my job every single day.”
Connolly interacts frequently with the Chicago Cubs media team. He must regularly address changes in the Iowa Cubs’ line up, when players move up or down from the Triple-A level. The urgency of reporting this information picks up at the start of spring training and lasts through the season.
Connolly attributed his success during the beginning of his career to the foundation Murrow College laid for him.