Garnet Feature Friday: Mr. Swarthmore Athletics
It’s safe to assume that since his arrival on campus in fall 2009, no student has attended more Swarthmore athletic events than Victor Brady ’13. Actually, forget Swarthmore athletics. It’s possible that no student in all of Division III athletics has seen more live college sporting events than Brady.
“I’d say I’ve been to more than 500 games so far,” Brady says with a wry smile, almost as if he suddenly realizes how absurd that number sounds out loud. Just seconds later, he adds, “Oh wait, I completely forgot about volleyball matches. Make that 550.” That number does not even factor in the roughly 600 practices he estimates attending in the ast four years.
Welcome to the life of Victor Brady, the Swarthmore student most dedicated to athletics.
Lanky, with curly reddish-brown hair and a dash of quirkiness, Brady has attended so many Swarthmore sporting events because he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of College athletics during his four years on campus. He’s a full-time student assistant for three teams—field hockey, men’s basketball and softball—and also is the lead play-by-play announcer for the Garnet Sports Network, the athletics department’s online broadcasting home that he helped create during his first year. Through his various roles as a student assistant and broadcaster, Brady has worked with each of the College’s 22 varsity sports in some manner.
he sheer number of games he’s attended doesn’t tell the full story of his love for and dedication to Swarthmore athletics.
As a student assistant with three different teams, Brady performs well beyond the work regimen typically associated with team managers. He not only attends every team’s practice, but he actively participates, whether it’s warming up and coaching goaltenders for the field-hockey team, catching for the softball pitchers, or examining film to scout out opponents’ weaknesses. Brady also travels to all away games with each of the teams, regardless of the location.
Coaches certainly appreciate Brady’s efforts. “Victor is the ultimate team player,” says Lauren Fuchs, head field-hockey coach. “He will do whatever is needed for the success of our team. He is an amazing individual, whom I have grown to admire over the last four years. His passion is contagious.”
Still, working with three different teams is only one small part of the Brady equation. Brady is best known on campus and throughout the world of Division III athletics for his play-by-play commentary for Garnet athletics events. Dubbed the “voice of Swarthmore athletics” by President Chopp at the athletics pep rally in October, Brady has called hundreds of Swarthmore sporting events on the Garnet Sports Network, including Centennial Conference championship matches and NCAA tournament games.
Assisting the athletics communications office, he helped start the network from scratch. One well-known Brady story involves him running three miles to the Best Buy store on Baltimore Pike to purchase a new headset during the 60-minute pregame warm-up before the inaugural broadcast in October 2009. He made it back to the press box in time for the start of the game but was breathless for the first 10 minutes of the broadcast.
Brady has wanted to be a sports broadcaster since he was 11, and it shows in the preparation and enthusiasm he puts into each broadcast. A true professional in the press box (right down to the suit and tie he wears to each game), Brady uses his outstanding knowledge of a wide range of sports and nearly photographic memory to bring the game home to the audience.
With Brady at the helm, broadcasts on the Garnet Sports Network have attracted thousands of viewers across the world while garnering mountains of praise for a production level that rivals many Division I schools.
“We have worked tremendously hard to put out a great product, from the videographers to the producers,” says Brady, who plans to pursue a career in sports broadcasting following graduation. “Since our student-athletes come from around the world, it is terrific that we can make games available to families who can’t see it live.”
While Garnet athletics takes up much of Brady’s time, it’s far from his only campus commitment. The honors political science major is also the co-president of Student Council and a head admissions tour guide.
As for how he pulls it all off, Brady manages to shoehorn everything into a compact schedule and even claims to get nine hours of sleep a night.
A normal weekday includes morning classes, tour-guide office hours, a meeting with Dean of Students Liz Braun for Student Council, practice for the sport(s) he’s working with at the time, a quick dinner, and then announcing for the Garnet team playing at home. Once announcing is finished, he ventures back to his dorm room for homework and to study opponents for future broadcasts.
“You only have so many chances to do what you love, and I’m so fortunate to have had all of these opportunities at Swarthmore,” Brady says. “I strongly believe that athletics enhance the Swarthmore experience and teach lasting life lessons—overcoming adversity, adjusting to obstacles, being there to pick up a teammate, or have a teammate pick you up. To have been a part of this on so many ends has fundamentally shaped my Swarthmore experience.”
This article also appears in the Swarthmore Bulletin