Scotty Gange, a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, won the 2020 Jim Nantz Award for the nation’s most outstanding collegiate sportscaster.
The award, presented by the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (STAA), is given every spring to the nation’s best collegiate sportscaster. The award is named in honor of award-winning CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz and is part of STAA’s 12th Annual All-America Program for aspiring sportscasters.
“It’s really nice to represent the Cronkite School with that award. During my three years of school, I had so much help from faculty members and students above me, so I felt like it was kind of an award for everybody,” Gange said. “So many people helped me over the past few years to grow in my skills and it was so fun doing it, so winning that award kind of felt like the perfect cherry on top of the perfect experience at Cronkite for me.”
Gange was recognized as the best sportscaster out of the top 20 students from universities across the country who competed for the award. In addition, five Cronkite students were among the 21 who were given honorable mentions for the All-America program.
“Just twice in the history of the Nantz Award have I watched an applicant’s reel and said to myself, ‘that’s the award winner.’ Scotty’s was the second time. It was like watching a good TV show. I didn’t want it to end,” said Jon Chelesnik, owner of STAA. “Scotty’s style is a great mix of journalism skills, creativity and personality. Since he’s won the award, I’ve also found he is a fabulous person.”
The award was announced during a live broadcast on the CBS Sports Network where Gange was surprised with an appearance from Nantz, who praised the quality of Gange’s work and offered feedback and encouragement on his career.
“There’s just a lot of things that I see there that are just way beyond your years so from right here, from me, I’m just so honored to have your name on this award,” Nantz told Gange during the broadcast.
Gange, a San Diego native who graduated in May, will begin his career with KUSA in Denver, Colorado.
“I am so proud of Scotty Gange and all of our students who were recognized. There are so many talented young sports broadcasters across the country. To see so many Cronkite students in this group is a credit to our students’ talent and hard work, our tremendous sports journalism faculty, and the wonderful professional and collegiate sports coverage opportunities that come with pursuing a sports journalism degree at the Cronkite School,” said Brett Kurland, the Cronkite School’s director of sports programs and director of the Phoenix Sports Bureau of Cronkite News. “Jim Nantz is one of the finest sports broadcasters of our time. What an incredible honor to see one of our students receive this award bearing his name.”