SportsCenter anchor Sara Walsh visiting her alma mater, North Florida.
As SportsCenter anchor tandems go, it’s tough to find a duo enjoying the last several months more than weekend morning anchors Sara Walsh and Bram Weinstein. Whether in-studio with cardboard cutouts or on the road in Tallahassee, Fla., Walsh and Weinstein bring their chemistry and charisma to every show.
This week, before meeting back up in Bristol, Conn. for their Saturday and Sunday shows, each veteran anchor travelled to report on two teams already in the NCAA Tournament. Walsh had a homecoming of sorts, going to the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, where she was a soccer standout; while Weinstein voyaged to the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls (see sidebar below). The resulting feature stories will run this weekend on SportsCenter.
For Walsh, the Ospreys first-ever trip to the Tournament afforded her the chance to stroll down memory lane – and float down the school’s on-campus lazy river. Yes, you read that right.
“It’s an incredible moment watching your team get into the big dance for the first time,” said Walsh, who donned Osprey gear on-air last weekend. “I was watching the game from my home in Connecticut with bags packed and running shoes on, because as soon as that clock hit zero I had a flight to catch to Jacksonville to cover the reaction and I was literally running through the terminal to make the flight.”
The assignment became a bit more involved when the viral sensation Stephen Putnam was added to the list of people to see at UNF. Walsh took care of that assignment on Monday and then focused on the fan and student reaction.
“Being back on campus, covering the Ospreys for ESPN was surreal,” Walsh said. “Almost two decades ago I was just a kid playing soccer for UNF with the goal of one day working for ESPN. It was definitely a full-circle moment for me getting to be back and cover this team for our network.
“I can’t tell you how much it means to everyone at that University that ESPN was on campus and one of their own was the one holding the mic,” she said. “Just having the Ospreys be a part of the March Madness is such a special opportunity. We had so many students, athletes, broadcast majors and even the local news stop by as we were doing interviews all over campus that day. I told the players I’ll be hosting SportsCenter from the Final Four, and we’d love nothing more for them to join me there. No pressure.”