Steve Levy speaking at the US Hockey Hall of Fame
Steve Levy

Steve Levy, ESPN Anchor

For the 3 million people that tune into ESPN’s SportsCenter every week, Steve Levy is a familiar face.  From hockey to the airwaves, his passion to excite fans of the ever-changing sports environment is a perfect complement to his outgoing persona and bright smile. But the best part? Steve graduated from SUNY Oswego in 1987 before beginning his professional career in broadcasting with sports talk radio station WFAN of New York City and ESPN.

Steve Levy, ESPN Broadcaster and SUNY Oswego alumni

Steve Levy, ESPN Sportscenter anchor / SUNY Oswego, Class of 1987

Steve was attracted to the field of communications—particularly broadcasting—early on and immediately pursued studies of it in one of the nation’s most advanced television broadcasting programs.

“I knew I wanted to make my living in pro sports and based on my extremely limited athletic ability, I realized at about the age of 5, broadcasting was the only way for me to go,” Steve said.  “The decision to try this path was actually quite easy; success was much more difficult.”

Passion transforms education to a career

Steve excelled in the classroom, which served as a laboratory for foundational skills that he later used to illuminate sports broadcast.

“Many classes were very helpful, especially broadcast journalism, public speaking and TV production. I was able to makes lots of mistakes with a relatively small audience (most of whom I knew personally) watching, listening and reading,” said Steve, bringing light to the idea that a whole college education for him included extraversion throughout campus. “Maybe even more important was the practical experience I gained at the college radio, TV stations and newspaper, along with the professional radio stations both on and off campus.”

This diverse and practical application served Steve well.  Before migrating to SportsCenter, he worked the NHL regular season and playoff games as well as ESPN’s college football.  And better known as “Mr. Overtime” in the hockey arena, Steve holds the coveted honor of calling the three longest NHL games in television history, in 1996, 2000, and 2003.

There’s a chance you will run into the broadcasting icon while a student at SUNY Oswego; he’s a huge Lakers fan and has reciprocated the launchpad for success that SUNY Oswego provided by founding a state-of-the-art ‘Steve Levy Press Box’ in the college’s Campus Center Ice Arena and serving as a commencement speaker to offer guidance and advice to graduating students.

But Steve’s talents don’t cease at television. He has made appearances in the films Fever PitchThe Ringer, The Game Plan, and Parental Guidance. Showcasing his business side, Steve once partnered with ESPN co-worker and former NHL head coach Barry Melrose to co-own a minor league hockey team in Glens Falls.

Advice for current and future students

Steve’s most profound experience as a broadcaster, he says, is one of the memorable moments of his life:

Back in 2004 when ESPN took SportsCenter on the road to Kuwait, we tried to bring a little piece of “home” to our men and women in uniform who couldn’t be home. I found a whole new appreciation for what soldiers go through and what it must be like for their families. I’ve always loved my country, but I’ve found myself much more patriotic ever since. The trip was actually one big Steve Levy speaking at the US Hockey Hall of Fame hug; they kept thanking us for coming and we kept thanking them for what they were doing. It was a week I will never forget.

In reflecting back on his life-altering experience in Kuwait, Steve encourages students to pursue what they enjoy and to never give up in that mission.

”You are still in school, you are young and have plenty of opportunities to change direction,” he said.  “Never turn down an opportunity in your chosen field because you never know what it will lead to or what contacts you will make. The chance that you pass on, because you think its beneath you or not 100% exactly what you want to do, will be taken by someone else and they will prosper and you will be left wondering if you made a mistake that could impact you for years to come.”

This advice, coming from one of sports broadcasting’s greatest personalities, is guidance that can only be crafted by Steve Levy as he built his personal and professional brand to today’s level.