As part of ESPNU’s 10th Anniversary today, former anchors Mike Hall (2005-2007), Lowell Galindo (2007-2011) and Dari Nowkhah (2011-2014) will participate in a special SportsCenterU (ESPNU, tonight, 6 ET). Before the trio returns to ESPNU, Front Row caught up with each of them and asked them to reflect on their time at ESPN’s all-college sports network.
Mike Hall, current anchor on Big Ten Network, on returning to ESPNU for the SportsCenterU special:
I’m incredibly excited to be involved in the 10-year anniversary show. I’m honored that ESPNU asked me back and happy that my Big Ten Network bosses were game. I’m also interested in seeing the old clips of our first couple years – to see how many truly ‘topical 2005 references’ were made. Get ready, Napoleon Dynamite fans! Editor’s Note: For Hall’s recollections about how ESPNU got started, visit Front Row’s Facebook page.
– Lowell Galindo
Lowell Galindo, current anchor on Longhorn Network, on his lasting memories of ESPNU:
I spent more time with my ESPNU family than my wife. I was the only anchor, so I worked a lot. But I knew, as much as I was working, [coordinating producer] Shawn Murphy and others behind the scenes were grinding even harder to make sure we had the best possible product on the air. So I never had anything to complain about. Murphy taught me a lot about the business and work ethic alone. Also, I will always remember the amount of fun we would have. We would go on the air, sometimes 2 a.m. after watching football all day and doing on-air wraps. By then, we were a little punch-drunk. We would be doing the highlights but we would have a lot of fun. One gimmick [ESPNU analyst] Tom Luginbill and I had would do is I would call for animal noises. So if we were doing a Temple Owls highlight, I would cue him up ‘Let me hear the owl’ and right on the mark, he would do it . . . deadpan and serious.
Dari Nowkhah, current anchor on SEC Network, on a lasting memory of ESPNU:
In January 2014 from Pasadena, Calif., we were doing a live show leading up to the BCS National Championship game. We had legendary [former Florida State] head coach Bobby Bowden on the set with us and there were hundreds of Florida State fans just behind us. The crowd was loud and Coach Bowden loved it. When we were done with the interview, we stood up and shook hands. As we were doing that, Coach Bowden leaned in and said to me, ‘I love your College Football Daily show. I watch it every day. I’m always disappointed when it goes away after the season.’ That made my career. We started this new show at ESPNU, did it the way we wanted to, and even one of the greatest coaches in the history of sports told me he watched it. That was fantastic.