2014 marked the start of a new era in the tradition rich Penn State Nittany Lion Football program. James Franklin returned to his home state with sights set on reenergizing a loyal fan base. He and his staff brought energy, excitement, dedication, and loyalty to the Penn State Football program. From his first days on campus in January 2014, one could sense the uplifting spirit he brings and the ability of the coaching staff to connect with the young talented student-athletes of this generation. This is truly a new era at Penn State and James Franklin seems to be the perfect fit to lead the program into a successful future and build on the great legacy. Penn State Public Media and Penn State Football partnered to produce “Unrivaled: The Penn State Football Story.” This series went inside the program and provided fans, viewers, and recruits with a true to life feel of the relationships and interactions on every level of the Penn State Football family. We documented experiences on and off the field including preparation, execution, reactions, adjustments, celebrations, educational moments, and more. We were able to capture the full scope of the program in the staff’s inaugural season and also provide to a dedicated and hungry fan base an in-depth look at the 2014 Nittany Lions.
A winning culture of basketball has returned to Penn State. The 2014-15 Nittany Lions continued their steady growth and improvement with a relentless and "always play hard" attitude. In 3 seasons under head coach Pat Chambers’ guidance, the program has made major strides and positioned itself to be a dominant basketball team in the coming years. There is a toughness and inner confidence that Pat has instilled from his Philadelphia area roots. The Philly “swag" is very apparent in the makeup of this team and is a driving force behind their newfound success. The third season of "Penn State Basketball: In The Paint” was produced in partnership with Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. Our series engages viewers by showcasing the best of the program while sharing with recruits what makes this is a special place to play, grow, and experience a great university. We provided the full scope of what this group of student-athletes endures in their drive to excel on and off the court. This series is the perfect outlet to showcase how far this program has advanced, build excitement to a bright future, and provide a winning culture to the Penn State Basketball family.
“Courtside with Coquese” has been a staple to the Penn State Lady Lion basketball program for 8 seasons. The series chronicles one of the tradition rich programs in the nation and provides viewers, fans, and recruits with an inside look at the team. Lady Lion basketball was one of the first teams to take part in the breast cancer awareness events initiated by college basketball. The Pink Zone game has been an annual event 9 years running and has made a huge impact to survivors and those affected by the terrible disease. Penn State Public Media in partnership with Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics produced a moving feature on the affects cancer had on one of our own Athletic department colleagues. The feature aired as a part of our March 2015 episode of Courtside.
Shawn Swires works in the Penn State Athletic department and was gracious enough to share her story and the impact of her fight and recovery with our production team. Thanks to her kindness and access, along with her family’s support, we were able to help spread awareness and share the impact it has made on all of us. We were able to document and share how courage, support, and a strong will can make a difference and we hope this feature serves as an inspiration to everyone. We owe a debt of gratitude to the entire Swires family for their access and especially Shawn for her courage and fight.