By Bo Culkeen | firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember when I first met Clay Coffman my freshman year. I was sitting in the Lewis lobby watching SportsCenter on the free cable provided by Flagler when Clay and a few other sports fanatics walked in talking about the past Heisman Trophy winners, a Flagler intramural game or just trash talking each other about their favorite college football team. Whatever it was, it involved sports.
Coffman, a 23-year-old Flagler graduate, was then only a sophomore at Flagler and had yet to become a stand out sports broadcaster for the very school that helped him get there. I remember him inviting me into the conversation with the other guys and asked my opinion on the topic. I threw in my two cents and Coffman, being the sports nut that he is, gave his opinion with a big old grin. We continued watching SportsCenter’s Top Ten countdown and commenting on the plays.
Since then, he has begun his climb to the top of sports broadcasting. He has broadcast every sport at Flagler other than golf and cross-country. He has broadcast so many games that he has earned the title, “The Voice of the Saints.”
“The passion for sports media came just before I arrived at Flagler,” Coffman said. “I sent a question regarding the Florida Gators to a local sportswriter which later appeared in the newspaper. When I saw my question get into a newspaper, I knew I had to keep pushing.”
But that’s not the only instant when Coffman thought this might be the career path he wanted to follow.
“When I was a sophomore at Flagler, I called into the ‘Jack Del Rio Show’ on 690 WOKV,” Coffman said. “Whoever asked the Jaguars’ head man the best question would win two club-seat tickets to the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks. I had a hunch I’d get the tickets. Twenty minutes after the show wrapped up, I got a call from the radio station telling me I had won. Some may call that luck, but I’d say it was God rewarding my pursuit of being in the media business.”
For Coffman, it’s not about the big ESPN money. If you know him at all, you know he loves to talk. If you let him, he’ll talk your ear off, literally.
“The best part about this job is the people you meet,” Coffman said. “I’ve met several parents throughout the last six months who have told me to keep it up. I have a little bit of an ego, but who doesn’t like to say their name when others are listening?”