Growing up, she knew she wanted to be a journalist. Years later it came down to news or sports. With a decision looming, Kelly had an opportunity to interview Mark Martin at the Homestead Motor Speedway. Soon after, she ended up choosing sports and has not looked back since. She is an inspiration for reporters as she gets to cover the Lightning and the Rays and also covered basketball and football in the ACC. That’s literally a dream come true for sports fans all over. With her success and experience look for her to continue to strive with Fox Sports and beyond!
- Favorite place to travel? Kauai, Hawaii, no question. I have been there twice and it enchants like no other.
- Idol growing up? Adored Jon Miller and Joe Morgan on their long Sunday Night Baseball run. Also loved watching Joan Lunden on the morning news.
- Routine before a game? Sleep in as late as possible. Get hair and makeup done. Arrive at the ballpark or rink around 1:30 to read about the match ups, pitch ideas for the broadcast, and meet with producers before showtime.
Favorite part about the city of Tampa?
I live in St. Pete, so I don’t venture to Tampa often, but I love the eats in Tampa, the laid-back vibe, and the people.
-When did you first decide you wanted to be a sports reporter? What was the process like when first researching sports journalism schools?
I decided I wanted to be a TV reporter back in the day. I was about 10 and already visiting local news stations in Miami, getting a little fix for my curiosity of the business. In grad school studying journalism at the University of Miami they wanted us to pick a track, news or sports. It took me weeks to decide. I had a great time interviewing NASCAR driver Mark Martin in Homestead before a race, so I chose sports.
-Explain the atmosphere of a Bolts game in the Forum, down by the ice when a goal is scored?
Electric. Literally. The tesla coils that shoot lightning bolts about 20 feet might be the most charged celebration in sports.
-MLB season is in full gear, what is your prediction for the AL East standings come September?
As an eternal optimist, and seeing the Rays only back 8.5 games (as of the day I’m answering this), no reason not to predict we can’t rise from worst to first in this second half. #TBrising
-Out of all the baseball stadiums you’ve been in, where does Tropicana Field stand?
The last non-retractable roof in baseball ensures an air-conditioned experience at 72 degrees. And that is a beautiful thing. In order to elevate, you have to appreciate what you already have. I would like to see the Trop appreciated even more. It has all the amenities to remain competitive with other ballparks.
I’m living my dream now, so I’ve just started day dreaming about the future. I don’t want to rush thoughts of it. NFL is considered top-dog in the sports business. But my heart is in baseball.
-How much of an impact does social media have on a reporter’s everyday life?
I manage @SunSportsRays on Twitter, so I try and stay active on there more than my personal account. A lot of great sports info can originate on Twitter. It’s pretty fascinating how important it has become in breaking news. It delivers updates the fastest and has become a huge asset for me and my colleagues.
-One bit of advice for sports media students aspiring to get to where you are?
If you really want it… I mean, you want it so badly, there is no backup plan, then don’t give up. It will happen for you eventually, like it happened for me. Remain steadfast, committed, in times of discouragement.