Michael Carey, KLN '19, is living a fairly accurate version of his childhood dream. Growing up, the broadcast journalism graduate of Temple University's Klein College of Media and Communication wanted to become a NASCAR driver. Although he is not on the race track behind the wheel of a car, he is there on the sideline reporting on the action with FOX Sports and NBC Sports. The skills he developed through Klein College helped him reach this point of success, but he also tapped into his lifelong enthusiasm for NASCAR and broadcasting.
Carey was introduced to Temple early in his life, as his father is a professor at the Temple University School of Pharmacy and Carey often attended basketball and football games growing up. The experiences not only got him interested in the campus, but also fed his interest in sports.
However, Carey decided that pursuing NASCAR driving would not be feasible, so he focused his attention on broadcasting. He began as early as eighth grade, when he served as class president. One of his responsibilities included acting as the voice behind the morning loudspeaker announcements,and his talent gained him fans right away.
"I remember there was one day where someone had heard my voice and they're like 'Oh my God, you're the kid from the morning announcements! Can I have your autograph?' So I signed a dirty pizza plate right there and I was like, 'Oh, that was pretty cool!'"
During his freshman year of high school, Carey earned an opportunity to anchor on the televised morning announcements. His love of being front and center served him well when he decided to go to Temple, where the Klein College curriculum and his work with Temple University Television and WHIP Radio helped him strengthen his star power. Knowing that he was cut out for a broadcast lifestyle made it easier for him to network with professionals, and he took advantage of as many opportunities as possible.
When Philadelphia 76ers play-by-play broadcaster Marc Zumoff visited one of his classes, Carey made sure to follow up with him through email, and Zumoff became one of his mentors. That relationship opened the door for even more professional connections, eventually leading Carey to land NASCAR broadcast spots at FOX Sports as a production assistant and runner and at NBC Sports as a runner.
"Networking for me is the reason why I got to meet all these people and really could see what my dreams could be like in five to ten years," he says.
In particular, Carey's time with FOX Sports has been everything he could have asked for as both an up-and-coming broadcaster and a fan. Some of his favorite experiences include working the most recent NASCAR championship by helping move the championship trophy from the driver's meeting to the race track and actually getting to meet his favorite driver, Jeff Gordon.
"It's literally a traveling circus — like orchestrated chaos every week — but it's so popular," he says. "And for me that's exactly where I want to be. Being able to do this now at age 23 is a dream already."
Carey still serves as a freelancer for the two major networks, but he also holds a news production assistant position with Philadelphia radio station KYW Radio. In the future, he wants to relocate near NASCAR's headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina and work more closely with the organization. He recognizes that without the connections he utilized at Klein College, he would not be where he is today.