Andrew Chirico, who has worked in the Athletics Communications Office as a play-by-play announcer, public address announcer, and general game-day communications assistant since his freshman year, is graduating a semester early next month. In addition to his direct work in the department, he also recorded countless sit-down video interviews with student-athletes and coaches as part of his work with The Elm (student newspaper). He has already accepted a position with Nashville-based Taziki Mediterranean Cafe as the company's digital marketing strategist, but is exploring freelance opportunities in that area to continue on in athletics as well. Below, he reflects on his time working for Washington College Athletics Communications:
It feels like just yesterday when I first met the Athletics Communications staff during a campus visit my senior year in high school. I remember meeting Phil Ticknor and Jason Bryden where we talked about my interests and aspirations as I headed into my freshman year. Looking back to that day, I had no idea that my job with this office would have such an impact on me.
Coming into college, I didn't really imagine having the opportunities that I was able to take advantage of. Whether it was broadcasting a triple-header at the stadium or working the PA during a basketball game, all of it has been a blast and a great learning experience.
I learned a lot about myself during these last three-and-a-half years working all athletics games. The first has to be self-confidence. Looking back to freshman year, I was timid as can be during a broadcast or on the PA. With time and experience, I was finally able to keep myself from getting shaky legs and clammy palms. It started to become natural my sophomore year.
The big impact here is I became confident in myself and my ability to speak in front of a large group of people. Whenever I had to give a presentation in class, I would just think to myself, "If you can broadcast to a couple hundred people, you can talk in front of 30 people." Fast forward to today and I love talking in front of people.
I'll always cherish the memories, good and bad. I could go on and on with funny stories (and not so funny), but I want to express how grateful I am for the opportunity given to me. I want to give a big thank you to Phil, Jason, and Conner [Fleegle] for believing in me. Working with these three made me forget that this was actually considered a job.
I also want to put value on the relationships I developed with coaches, classmates, parents, coworkers, etc. Being able to get to know everyone has been special and I will truly miss everyone in the athletics department.
Working my final game last night brought out some emotions as I shut the microphone off one final time in Cain. It would have been more of an emotional evening if I knew it was my final time ever.
As I move to Nashville in January, I am lucky enough (thanks to Phil), to continue working in athletics. Nothing is set in stone, but I have been in touch with a company that outsources athletics communications employees around that area. I look forward to continuing a side job with all sports.
It's been a pleasure, Goose Nation. I'll be cheering from a distance.
- Andrew Chirico