Stuart Kaufman Recognized by CoSIDA
Every year brings new athletes and new stories, according to Keene State’s Sports Information Director Stuart Kaufman. Over his 20-year career, he’s established himself as a voice for the athletic program and enjoys every minute of it. “I’ve seen a lot of games and been able to see the accomplishments of a lot of teams, [and] seen a lot of players. It’s been funny because a lot of the coaches haven’t changed over the years,” he comments. Yet, his passion and dedication has paid off. The College Sport Information Directors of America recently recognized Kaufman for three of his stories on district and national levels.
These three stories each illustrate a different side to Keene State College Athletics – from an athlete profile, to team bonding, and traditional game coverage. Kaufman received the national award for his Athlete Profile on track and field member Brett Mastrangelo, who found himself returning to Keene after a stint in the hectic Hollywood industry. On a district level, the first award was General Feature for an article on how the Men’s Lacrosse Team finds focus in the German phrase “Teufelshunde,” or “devil dogs.” CoSIDA also granted Kaufman another district award for his event coverage of the Men’s Basketball harrowing 77-76 win over Middlebury College.
So what do these awards mean to Kaufman? “That someone likes the way I write!” he says jokingly. But there’s much more to these awards. It signifies recognition from his colleagues and peers across the nation. “It’s a sense of pride to know that your writing catches someone’s fancy,” Kaufman remarks, “I feel very fortunate.”
Funnily enough, Kaufman never anticipated becoming involved in Sports Information. “I always wanted to work in television. … I grew up watching Channel 4 WBZ TV (in Boston) and I said, ‘One day that’s going to be me. I’m gonna work one day for them.’ ” This determination eventually secured Kaufman a career in sports broadcasting. He spent time in various sports television departments in Boston, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. After many years in broadcast sports, Kaufman decided to make a career switch to Sports Information at UMass Boston. “It was never my intention [to switch careers], but once I made the switch it was the perfect avenue to go in.” It wasn’t until he saw an advertisement for the job at Keene State that he decided to move up here and has stayed ever since.
While at Keene, Kaufman not only focuses on the sports games, but also the athletes on and off the field. He considers himself a hands-on sports information director, gathering information and story ideas from the coaches, parents, and athletes’ friends. “It’s amazing when you talk to [people] … something might slip and I’ll say ‘hm, that’s a pretty good story.’ ” His recent work includes a profile on a swimmer who is lifeguarding down in North Carolina this summer, and a story on two basketball players who are working in the safety field.
So what types of stories catch Kaufman’s eye? Ones with relatability and inspiration. “I look for a story that someone can relate to the athlete,” he says. Not only is it important for sports fans to connect, but also the average news reader. These types of stories help put faces and personalities to the athletes that fans come to watch throughout the season. It’s also something that Kaufman feels is his strong point. “I think writing is a lost art in terms of sports information in doing a lot of the profiles and things like that. We’re so in tune with doing the game stories. This is something that I try to be different.” Kaufman added that his favorite stories to write are ones of how players overcome something in their lives and fulfill a dream of playing.
Even with these recognitions under his belt, Kaufman doesn’t have any intent on slowing down. “I put a big emphasis on getting the word out of what’s going on here cause if I don’t blow the whistle for Keene State (Athletics) no one else will.” And while the CoSIDA recognition is appreciated, it’s the ultimate love of sports reporting that keeps Kaufman at the Keene State sidelines.
Written by Jessica Lulka '14, who is interning with the Marketing & Communications Office.