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Alumnus Technical Director for College GameDay
Mark Williamson remembers what it felt like to stand in the pit for ESPN’s College GameDay when he was an MSU student; now the College of Communication Arts and Sciences alumnus has a backstage seat as the Technical Director for the ESPN college football pregame show.
“I was one of the kids watching GameDay at the pit (which is the backdrop for the stage),” said Williamson, who graduated from MSU in 2000 with a Telecommunication degree. “I always knew I wanted to work in sports and being able to travel with ESPN and GameDay is incredible.”
Williamson was back on campus last weekend when College GameDay hosted its show live from MSU’s Demonstration Hall field.
“This is my third time coming back to East Lansing with GameDay,” Williamson said. “I always like coming back to MSU.”
Williamson has worked for College GameDay for 11 years, a career that did not begin in the technical director’s chair.
“I started off in tape,” he said, which is a job where you review tapes of previous games and ESPN coverage.
Williamson originally heard about the opportunities at ESPN from a friend and decided to send his resume.
“Two weeks later, I heard I had my dream job,” he said.
Now Williamson faces new challenges.
“Being the Technical Director has been difficult but fun,” he said. “People don’t always think about the toll traveling can take on you. Even when we are out on the West Coast, we wake up at 6 a.m. Eastern Time for a breakdown before the show. The travel does keep you young though.”
College GameDay features ESPN commentators Lee Corso, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard. The show travels across the country with a new site each week, typically selecting one of the biggest games of the week as its location.
Before his GameDay career, Williamson worked for Lansing area news station WILX as the Technical Director, his first job out of college. When he was an MSU student, he worked for WKAR.