When Brittany Cavanaugh (BSJ, 2014) took her first martial arts class at the age of five, she was on the path to her future career—she just didn’t know it yet.
Today, Cavanaugh is pursuing her love of sports as an associate producer for mixed martial arts coverage on ESPN. She creates rundowns, pitches ideas for weekly shows, produces video and sound elements for show coverage and travels to live events to field-produce reporter interviews.
“I am lucky enough to work with a sport that I love and am continuously passionate about,” said Cavanaugh. “Sports has been a part of my life for so long that I can’t see myself working in any other industry.”
As an incoming freshman, Cavanaugh completed a year in another program before finding her way to the College of Media, which she credits with encouraging her to follow her instincts and helping her discover that a career in sports media was the perfect fit.
“I experienced the greatest support system at the College of Media,” said Cavanaugh. “I ran with sports, since that was my original passion, and my professors and teaching assistants helped me in every way they could. WVU taught me a lot about myself before I took this job, and I’m thankful to say I’m a Mountaineer alum.”
While at WVU, Cavanaugh immersed herself in out-of-the-classroom experiences and internships. She was a sportscaster at U92, the campus radio station, worked as an announcer for the WVU Gymnastics team and covered sports as the ESPNU reporter for “WVU News,” the College of Media’s award-winning TV newscast. During her summer breaks, she was a sports writer for two newspapers in her hometown of Plains, Pennsylvania—The Citizens’ Voice and The Times Leader.
For a life-long sports fan, working for ESPN has been a dream come true. “I was determined to prove that I was worthy of representing the company and being a part of the legacy,” said Cavanaugh.
And she’s doing just that. This past year, she won one of the highest honors in her field—an Emmy award for “Outstanding Studio Show –Weekly” for her work with College GameDay. Prior to her associate producer role with MMA, Cavanaugh was a content associate for College GameDay. She spent the 2017-2018 season cutting video, sound and high-end elements, running the social media board and working in the media room to quickly turn around highlights.
“When I won the Emmy, I felt as if it had been the moment where I knew I made it,” said Cavanaugh. “I was overjoyed with emotion when I was offered a job at ESPN and again when I accepted a position with College GameDay. But winning an Emmy? How many people do you know can say that?”
With an Emmy already on her resume, Cavanaugh plans to keep working to make ESPN the network people turn to for MMA coverage.