Kevin Finnegan headshots

“Gridiron Glory” 25: Where Are They Now? Season 3 Host – Kevin Finnegan

Posted on:

< < Back to

Kevin Finnegan: GG Season 3 Host, Telecommunications major, Graduated 2002

ATHENS, OH – When Kevin Finnegan started working as a reporter for WOUB TV’s Gridiron Glory (GG), he knew the show was special. As an Ohio University student, hoping to become a sports broadcaster after college, the hands-on professional experience he was getting was tremendously valuable.

“It was fun to go to these games that no other media was covering,” said Finnegan. “You felt like a celebrity when you were interviewing students in the crowd or interviewing players at the end of the game. It was so much fun telling the students to tune in to WOUB that night to see their game highlights on TV.”

Finnegan came to Ohio University during his sophomore year of college because he wanted to be a sports broadcaster and heard about the quality of Ohio University’s communications and journalism programs. He got involved at WOUB during his first week on campus.

“Evan Dawson was the host of Gridiron during season two, and I was reporter,” said Finnegan. “I got tasked with covering Parkersburg. I would go out there, and they had an amazing team that year. I got to hang out with them and cover those games. Parkersburg became our lead story almost every episode. I was on set with Evan many weeks and eventually was asked if I would be host for the next season. It was very exciting.”

But when Finnegan agreed to be host for season three, he didn’t know that the season would be very different from what he had experienced in season two.

“Season three got off to a crazy start. The September 11th terrorist attacks happened at the very beginning of that season,” said Finnegan. “There was a lot of discussion by the state high school association at the time about if there were going to be games. We had to tailor our coverage around that. They did decide to move forward with having the high school games, and the episode we did right after 9-11 was a very emotional episode. We covered a lot about the pomp and circumstance of what was going on at the games that week. I remember that being a very emotional week.”

There were also a couple of other changes to the program during the third season. Gridiron Glory had a new studio set, and it was the first year of fan voting for Gridiron Glory Player of the Year.

“We had people sending in postcards with who they thought should be the winner,” said Finnegan with a laugh. “It was the old school way of voting.”

Even though Finnegan loved GG, he eventually realized that sports broadcasting was not a career he truly wanted to pursue.

“After college, I worked as a spokesperson for NASCAR driver Jeff Green for a short time,” said Finnegan. “I realized that I love sports, but not the business side of it. I went back to school and became a teacher and coach. I eventually became a principal at the elementary and high school levels and next year I will become a district superintendent in Rockton, Illinois.”

Now, as a soon-to-be school district superintendent, Finnegan understands from the school district administrative side how important a program like Gridiron is to the school districts in the region and the communities WOUB serves.

Gridiron Glory celebrates high school football in a region that normally doesn’t get covered, and that is something that brings people together. It’s truly special for the players, students and communities.”

And as GG celebrates season 25, Finnegan couldn’t be more proud of being a part of the show in its early days.

Gridiron was getting Emmy nominations in season two,” said Finnegan. “It was special from the start, and it’s pretty impressive that it has stuck through 25 seasons.”