Nov. 11, 2008
CSU graduate Dwayne Bray has been around,
but remembers where he got started
|It has been 21 years since Dwayne
Bray graduated from Cleveland State University, but the
current senior news editor for ESPN fondly remembers where
his welltraveled career all began and more importantly the
lessons he learned in becoming a professional reporter.
Bray, 43, wrote for two CSU student publications The Cauldron and The Vindicator, during his four years of college. He believes that writing and reporting while at CSU were the single most important steps he has ever taken in his 20-year journalism career.
"I was always told that CSU was not a journalism school," Bray said. "However, getting involved in what the university had to offer has helped me get to where I am at."
And where Bray is at now did not simply happen
over night. The CSU graduate worked at an assortment of jobs
all across the United States, overcoming many challenges in
finally achieving what he now calls his "dream job."
"After getting my degree from CSU, I worked at a little newspaper in Medina, Ohio," he explained in a recent telephone interview from his office in Bristol, Connecticut.
"After that I took a position at The Dayton Daily News. From there I went to Ohio State University to receive my graduate degree. While studying at OSU I sent my clips to The Los Angeles Times, where I was eventually hired, that position eventually took me to The Dallas Morning News, and when they offered me a buyout I took it and ended up here in Connecticut at ESPN."
Bray is being modest.
While at The Dayton Daily News he wrote an autobiographical book on his giving a kidney to his cousin at age 32. He won a Pulitzer Prize while writing for The Los Angeles Times and was named sports editor of The Dallas Morning News prior to turning 40 years old.
As senior news editor at ESPN, Bray is head of the investigative reporting unit for television.
There are two types of stories that are covered at ESPN, Bray proclaimed.
"We cover daily stories and enterprise stories," he said. "A daily story would explain how many points LeBron James scored on a given night, while an enterprise story would be on the latest Barry Bonds news or criminal charges filed against Adam 'Pacman' Jones of the Dallas Cowboys.
"Many of the enterprise and daily stories are timely and are considered hard-hitting news," Bray said, "but we also use inspirational stories that can be used whenever, and are usually seen on our Sunday television program Outside the Lines."
The acclaimed reporter admitted that he still checks on the CSU athletics program from time to time, especially the men's basketball team.
Why does he keep tabs on his alma mater's basketball team?
Bray covered the CSU men's basketball team during their magic run to the Sweet 16 in the 1986 NCAA Basketball Tournament and claims it was one of the most exciting times ever.
"I have covered five Super Bowls, numerous Major League Baseball postseasons, and even Monday Night Football, but none of those events even compare to the excitement of CSU making 'The Big Dance'," he remembered. "The highlight of my entire career was covering the Vikings basketball team, headed by Ken 'The Mouse' McFadden that defeated Bobby Knight's [third seeded] Indiana Hoosiers.
"I loved all of those CSU guys," Bray said excitedly. "McFadden was the man, Clinton Smith was a very nice player, Coach Kevin Mackey was great, and Eric Mudd, from Benedictine High School was the best."
Bray said he hopes that men's head coach Gary Waters can lead the team back to the NCAA Tournament so the campus can experience the thrills of what it was like 22 years ago on Euclid Avenue.
It has been some time since the proud alumnus has returned to CSU, and his long successful journey pursuing the life of a reporter is a major reason for that.
"I wish I had planned my career," he said. "I bounced from place-to-place but it definitely worked out."
Bray's flourishing long career has included many ups and downs, nonetheless, his feelings about CSU have never changed.
"I loved it," the former Viking said laughing. "I absolutely loved it."