Find Your Passion: Not Pretending Any More

By Katie Sanders
August 20, 2013

Rich RobinsonRobinson used to have an audience of one while “broadcasting” baseball games. His listeners have grown (Zach Riggins).

Sophomore Rich Robinson’s love of sports makes him one in tens of thousands of students at The University of Alabama. What sets him apart is his ability to mix his passion for sports with his career aspiration as a broadcaster.

Robinson landed a student sports broadcasting position during his freshman year at UA. He had timing on his side when the previous play-by-play broadcaster for the Alabama Gymnastics team graduated the previous year.

“The sports director at the time, Chad Haynie, and alumnus Mick Gillispie sat down with each of us and asked us to do a mock broadcast,” Robinson said. “I guess they thought I was the best, and here we are today.”

Rich RobinsonRobinson stands near a portal within Coleman Coliseum (Zach Riggins).

Robinson took on a huge role, broadcasting for a national championship-winning team as a freshman. He credits the University for his college success so far.

“The best reason to come to The University of Alabama is for the opportunities,” Robinson said. “We are a fast-growing community with a great amount of talent and potential. But … we also have the resources and support to turn that potential into real results.”

Robinson has turned these opportunities into successes. He radio broadcasts every home and away meet with his on-air partner, Leesa Davis, including pre- and post-meet shows and interviews with team members and head coach Sarah Patterson.

Rich RobinsonA South Florida native, Robinson broadcasts UA gymnastics meets on the radio (Zach Riggins).

“It is also a real honor to be around Coach Sarah Patterson on a regular basis,” Robinson said. “She is a living legend. It’s crazy to think that she was hired by Coach ‘Bear’ Bryant in her early twenties to run a fledgling program that no one really believed in, or understood, and then turned it into a powerhouse.”

In addition to the championships, Robinson says he’s also been impressed with how the team gives back to the community, most notably through its Power of Pink meets and campaigns for breast-cancer awareness.

Robinson’s position has taken him around the country, from Seattle to Baton Rouge, but his interest in news and broadcasting was sparked at an early age, growing up in South Florida.

“I was that kid who would call his uncle up and give him the play-by-play of a baseball game that we were both watching on TV,” Robinson said. “And to my Uncle Rick’s credit, he would sit there and listen to it for hours.”

From pretend baseball broadcasts, Robinson later gained experience in high school, announcing for sports teams and school announcements. At UA, he pursued his broadcasting passion.

Robinson also works as the news director for WVUA FM, he hosts a weekly news show, “Crimson Conversations,” fills in for WVUA TV sports broadcasts and writes for the Crimson White student newspaper. 

Rich RobinsonThe sophomore calls his time at UA a “wellspring of opportunity” (Zach Riggins).  

Only a sophomore, he has already made a mark at the University – one that he hopes to grow his last two years.

“Well I’m not even half way through school, so I don’t want to write my memoirs quite yet,” Robinson said. “I would like to be remembered at UA the same way that I want to be remembered in life, and that is that I did something worthwhile and impactful.”

And The University of Alabama is, he says, the right environment to create his legacy.

“We (students) don’t just talk about the things we study, we actually go out and do them,” Robinson said. “I think that gives us all a great advantage. The University has been nothing but a wellspring of opportunity and positive experiences for me.”

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Katie Sanders is scheduled to graduate from The University of Alabama in December 2013 with a degree in public relations. She is from Greenville, S.C., and she served as a practicum writer for the UA Office of Media Relations.

This story is part of the Find Your Passion feature section of the UA home page. For more stories, please visit Find Your Passion or Crimson Spotlight. To learn more about how you can find your passion at The University of Alabama, please visit UA Undergraduate Admissions.