What would seem like a nuisance to any other person, brought passion and love to one man through a power outage.
A technologically impaired father sought out assistance from his son, Tim McKinney, in resetting an old alarm clock. In doing this, McKinney turned on the radio and listened to Triton College’s basketball coverage, which instigated his passion of sports broadcasting.
McKinney took this ardor to Triton College where he could obtain his associate’s degree and work on the school’s radio station, WRRG 88.9 FM, broadcasting sports events. He would become the Sports Director in a matter of time at the college.
McKinney graduated from Triton College in ’97 and went to Columbia College Chicago to get his bachelor’s degree in Journalism. All the while still working at Triton as Sports Director, McKinney took all the necessary classes to get his degree from Columbia and graduate in 2001.
“I have covered Triton College’s basketball games for 17 years now,” McKinney said.
McKinney is now Triton College’s Media Assistant while freelancing for High School Cube, a website devoted to covering live high school sports for free, broadcasting and announcing live sports coverage throughout Illinois.
When asked what prepared him to get behind the microphone he said, “The more you do it, the more comfortable you get at it.”
He explained when attending and broadcasting a live sports event, reporters need to “expect the unexpected.”
Before a game, McKinney researches who the key players are on each team, so when he is watching the game he knows what players are making the essential plays on the court.
McKinney has had opportunities to take his work elsewhere, but his loyalty to Triton College is overwhelmingly strong and he is “happy with where he is,” professionally.
“I don’t think I’m invincible,” in this field of sports broadcast journalism, he explained. Some advice he gives to others in this field is, “to learn as many forms of media as possible. Finding a job in the current climate is not easy, especially when many outlets are merging and consolidating, that means there are not as many openings like there used to be,” McKinney said on Triton College’s website.
McKinney was inducted into the NJCAA Region IV Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011 as a contributor and friend of sports, then this year he was awarded the HomeTown Dream Weaver award by Operation Uplift, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides educational and socio-economical resources to low-income individuals in the west suburban Proviso Township area.
“We are proud of Tim McKinney’s many accomplishments and his contribution to the Athletic Department at Triton College over the years,” said Triton College President Dr. Patricia Granados in a press release. “As a dedicated professional, Tim has served the sports world and the local community extremely well.”
McKinney looks to the future and the journey he will gain through Triton College stating, “If you have passion and enjoyment for it, you’ll stick with it as a job.”