Have you ever heard a member of the Temple University community say, “Owls are everywhere?” No matter what students decide to do after graduation, they often run into other Temple alumni. Regardless of their major, age or experience, Owls support each other wherever they go.
Prior to July 2022, seven Klein College of Media and Communication alumni, six of whom we reached for comment, were working at ESPN, the biggest sports media network in the nation. Whether they’ve been there for 15 years or five months, the Owl community at the network is proud to be representing Temple in their professional careers.
Kevin Negandhi, KLN ‘97
Jeremy Drummond, KLN ‘07
Ikeem Boyd, KLN ‘15
Rachel Zerbe, KLN ‘17
Brooklyn Vaughan, KLN ‘21
Max McGee, KLN ‘15
Kevin Negandhi, KLN ‘97 (he/him)
SportsCenter Anchor | September 2006
The Klein alumnus that has been at ESPN the longest is Kevin Negandhi. After graduating with a degree in communication studies in the winter of 1997, Negandhi worked at local TV stations in Missouri and Florida until 2006 when he became interested in hiring an agent. Within three months of hiring one, Negandhi had an audition at ESPN and was selected over seven other candidates for the position.
Luckily, Negandhi said, he did not start at SportsCenter right away, as he was not ready. Instead, he got to try out covering live college basketball and football, baseball and studio halftime shows. One day, he was called to fill in as a host for SportsCenter, and after that he found himself in the rotation and has hosted several shows full-time over the last 16 years. Currently, Negandhi hosts the 6 p.m. SportsCenter show.
Negandhi is proud to represent Asian Americans everywhere as well as Temple in sports media.
“To see the growth of Temple Owls walking the hallway, it gives me great pride,” Negandhi said.
Negandhi got to work on the National Spelling Bee last year with Boyd, he works closely with McGee as he is beginning his ESPN journey; and he talked to Vaughan, the most recent alumna, before she started in January 2022.
While at Temple, Negandhi took advantage of opportunities to explore TV, radio and written media so he could become as well-rounded as possible. He is grateful to professors like Betsy Leebron Tutelman, Karen Turner, Liz Matt and the late Rick Beardsley for being his first fans.
Jeremy Drummond, KLN ‘07 (he/him)
Associate Producer | February 2008
The next alumnus to join Negandhi was Jeremy Drummond. Drummond began working at ESPN right after finishing his journalism degree at Temple in the winter of 2007. After attending a National Association of Black Journalists conference in Las Vegas, Drummond met Jay Rothman, the producer of Monday Night Football on ESPN at the time. The two hit it off discussing football, and Rothman was impressed enough with Drummond that he invited him to sit in on the Monday Night Football meeting when the Philadelphia Eagles played the Washington Commanders at home in the fall of 2007.
Drummond’s connection to Rothman helped him get a job at ESPN right after graduation and he has been at ESPN ever since. The biggest things Drummond works on are the NFL Draft and Monday Night Football, but during the football off season he gets to cover events like the X Games and tennis tournaments. Drummond cuts highlight packages of players to play during the draft, worked on graphics for Monday Night Football and has opportunities to travel to some of the biggest events of the year.
“I was blessed with a lot of opportunities early on. I can’t say that that was normal for everyone,” Drummond said.
Drummond covered basketball for The Temple News and was involved in the Temple Association of Black Journalists during his time as a student. However, the best part of his Temple experience may have been meeting his wife, with whom he now has a family.
Ikeem Boyd, KLN ‘15 (he/him)
Associate Producer | October 2015-July 2022
Though their time at Temple did not overlap, Ikeem Boyd has become like a little brother to Drummond since he joined the ESPN family in 2015 after graduating from Klein with a degree in media studies and production.
Boyd started at ESPN in the Content Associate Program, now called ESPN Next. He was hired as a production assistant before being promoted to a content associate and then an associate producer. Like Drummond, Boyd mostly worked on Monday Night Football and the NFL Draft. During football season, Boyd met with teams and players to figure out what they would want to produce, and then helped divide up the workload so they could produce something before Monday night.
“It’s been a dream come true for somebody like me who grew up watching ESPN all the time,” Boyd said.
Football has always been a part of Boyd’s life and he played for Temple during his time at Klein. This led to him pursuing the Los Angeles study away program where he was able to get invaluable sports media industry experience. Even though his football schedule made it hard for him to join extracurriculars, he is glad he got the chance to have an internship in LA and encourages others to take advantage of away and abroad opportunities.
In July 2022, Boyd left ESPN and moved back to LA where he is now working at Amazon Prime Video on their new Thursday Night Football package. He is honored to have worked on one of the biggest properties at ESPN and owes this new opportunity to that experience.
Rachel Zerbe, KLN ‘17 (she/her)
Content Associate | June 2019
Klein alumna Rachel Zerbe got her opportunity at ESPN with somewhat serendipitous timing. After graduating from Temple with a degree in journalism in 2017, Zerbe moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to be a news anchor. She soon realized being on-air was not for her, and decided to move back home to look for something else. The day she got home was the day she heard back from ESPN after she applied to be a production assistant.
After being a production assistant for a year and a half, Zerbe was promoted to content associate in March of 2021 and works on content for SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt. There, she cuts interviews, b-rolls tapes and writes shot sheets for the show each night. She recently cut an interview with Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid, which she said has been her favorite assignment so far as the 76ers are her favorite team.
Zerbe agrees with Boyd that the experience working at ESPN is a dream come true, and she admitted that she sometimes forgets just how many people see her work.
“It’s just been great being surrounded by people who are so good at their job and so knowledgeable. It’s the motivation that keeps me going,” Zerbe said.
While at Temple, Zerbe participated in OwlSports Update for three years and is certain that if she was not involved in student media at Temple, she would not be where she is today.
Brooklyn Vaughan. KLN ’21 (she/her)
Production Assistant | January 2022
Another OwlSports Update and journalism program alumna, Brooklyn Vaughan, recently started at ESPN in the ESPN Next program.
ESPN Next has production assistants rotate between two positions, each for six months, before they either get promoted to content associate like Zerbe or leave the company,
Vaughan started in the features unit and supported the producing process for SportsCenter features like E:60 and 30 for 30. She sat in on meetings and was involved in production meetings and pitching story ideas.
In July 2022, Vaughan rotated positions and is now working on NFL coverage. Before leaving features, however, she had the incredible opportunity to see production of several NBA draft features through from start to end.
“Klein has helped me prepare for this more than I could have ever anticipated,” Vaughan said. She also noted parallels between the Klein family and the family she is already starting to form at ESPN.
Vaughan had her eye on the program for a while, and it was the first job she applied for when thinking about her post-graduation plans. The door doesn’t open very often at ESPN, Vaughan said, so she took it.
Like Boyd, Vaughan was involved in athletics at Temple as she was on the cheerleading team her first year. Seeing the sports media on game days while she was cheering piqued her interest, and Vaughan joined OwlSports Update her sophomore year and Temple Update her senior year.
“Obviously I was aware that that was a career choice, but I didn’t think it was feasible for me until I really saw what OwlSports Update did,” Vaughan said.
Max McGee, KLN ‘15 (he/him)
SportsCenter Anchor | January 2022
The most recent Owl to fly to ESPN is journalism program alumnus Max McGee. While working in local news in other parts of the country, McGee always had a goal of working at ESPN and would often reach out asking if he could audition for them. His persistence paid off, as McGee moved up to Bristol, Connecticut in January to join Negandhi, Drummond, Boyd, Zerbe and Vaughn at ESPN.
“ESPN has been everything I’ve expected so far in terms of witnessing the best of the best work every day,” McGee wrote..
McGee started by observing different shows, including SportsCenter at the Masters, where he covered the event for five hours solo. “It feels like I have great momentum going forward,” McGee wrote.
Since starting, McGee has been in touch with Zerbe, Vaughan and Negandhi, and loves seeing familiar faces in his new work environment.
The nest of Owls at ESPN is ever-growing, and includes Owls from other schools at Temple, too! These six Klein alumni, though, will forever be united by the experiences they had in the media during their time as students and will continue to represent Temple at the biggest sports media network in the nation.
“I truly believe that Temple and Klein will be a school that people know the name of for producing professionals within the sports media industry,” Vaughan said.