The pandemic may have kept fans like Jay Schill, father of women’s basketball guard Hannah Schill ’24, from packing Ban Johnson Arena to watch athletic competitions in person, but it couldn’t stop them from rooting on the Pioneers from their couches, kitchens or anywhere else they could log in.
This year, the College expanded live streaming options for home games, including the addition of a coach’s show, postgame interviews and commentary during many of the competitions.
“We have watch parties and look forward to game days on Fridays and Saturdays,” Jay Schill says. “We still get dressed in our Pio gear and feel hyped up before game time. We love the interviews after the games with coach and the player chosen.”
With the exception of rowing and track, the College has been streaming home competitions for years. Last fall, the first crew race was streamed, and in January, the first track meet was shown. Jeff Schaly ’93, Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Information and Compliance, says the late Gene Haynes ’53, who was a lifelong supporter of Marietta athletics, is to thank for the high-definition broadcasts that fans have been able to enjoy online for free.
“With the pandemic resulting in no fans being permitted at athletic events,” Schaly says, “our video streams are now the sole source for our families and fans to see our athletic events. The Cabinet approved a part-time position for MCTV, and thanks to Tom Perry (Vice President of Communication & Brand Management) and (Digital Content Specialist) Phil Mason’s willingness, we have been able to take advantage of Phil’s previous broadcast experience and he is now our lead commentator. Phil’s social media and streaming knowledge is also helping us, as he is working on creating our Roku channel.”
Schaly says the broadcasts also help coaches recruit new players, providing them opportunities to watch games live.
“We are really fortunate to have our media team here at Marietta College,” says Women’s Basketball head coach Kole Vivian. “Phil does a great job of calling play-by-play, and Tom is able to offer insight from talking to coaches beforehand.”