Today’s senior staff spotlight is The Jungle President and WEGL’s Co-Sports Director, Jacob Hillman. He is a die-hard Auburn fan from Helena, Alabama, and is graduating with a Journalism degree. Read below to learn more about Jacob.
Why did you choose to join WEGL?
“I want to get into sports broadcasting. I came to WEGL to get started in the radio industry and really hone my skills. I’ve been wanting to do sports broadcasting since I was little. I wasn’t very good at sports, so I figured I might as well broadcast sports.”
When did you first join WEGL?
“When I got to Auburn, it was within the first month that I got here. My roommate Bay Marks and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to get involved in. We both love sports and wanted to get into sports broadcasting. So, we figured, let's come to WEGL and see what this is about. We got started as soon as we could and started our radio show, got involved with the broadcast, and really have not slowed down since then."
How did you find out about WEGL?
At Camp War Eagle, Jacob found the WEGL table and spoke with Noah Gardner, the station manager at the time, and realized they shared the same interest in sports broadcasting. After speaking about how many opportunities there were he was sold on the idea of joining.
What has your position as WEGL’s Co-Sports Director looked like?
“I've been the Co-Sports director since Fall 2020. So, right after the Covid semester, I took over as the Co-Sports director on the live broadcast side. I head up the Auburn volleyball and soccer, Auburn club hockey, and now Auburn club lacrosse broadcasts and make sure those run smoothly. I help the new broadcasters get their feet wet and help them get ready and really just make sure everything runs correctly for those broadcasts.”
Tell me about your show “The Scoreboard?”
Jacob and his co-host Bay Marks have been doing their show “The Scoreboard” since September 2018 when they got to Auburn and haven't stopped doing it since.
“It's really anything sports. The main focus is Auburn since we're on Auburn’s campus. So, we'll lead off with whatever the biggest news is, whether that's the most recent football game, the next baseball series, or the basketball game that happened the night before. That's what we lead off with and then we go to the sports world in general, whether that's an NBA playoff game, or that be an NFL playoff game. That’s the main focus of the show. We just give our takes on it and debate back and forth or just have fun with it.”
Jacob and Bay’s hard work on their show has paid off. Their show has been nominated for awards such as the IBS Award for Best Radio Program. Best Radio Promo, and Best Interview.
What is your sports team?
“Specifically, Auburn basketball is my heart and soul as I've been The Jungle president this past year. It’s been really cool just to be a part of that SEC championship-winning team and follow them across the southeast, all the way to the NCAA tournament. Outside of Auburn athletics, it's the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Braves, and the Carolina Panthers in the NFL."
What has been your most memorable moment of being a part of WEGL?
“It leads off with Jared my first semester. Jared Dillard was sports director when the sports department was literally six people. Bay and I were freshmen, we were fresh blood, we were new. We didn’t really know what was going on. But it was our first sports meeting with them and he [Jared] yelled at us because we had just no-showed a volleyball broadcast. That was a big no-no. So, from that moment on, it really set the tone.
We’ve grown as a sports department and really turned into something that didn't seem like that's what it was going to be at that point. It was bare bones. Jared really built it up and passed the torch along to Alex and myself and it's just been really cool to see it grow and being a part of that. I've now gotten to know Jared and I'm really good friends with him. But, thinking back to him just yelling at us, I think it was a really big moment in the WEGL sports department."
What are some opportunities you have had through being a part of the station?
“So, I've had internships going throughout my college career after my freshman year. Then going into my senior year, for the internship class that I had to take. But the biggest one has been with the Auburn Sports Network. That’s been an amazing experience, just being able to be in the press box for football games and being a part of the production side for basketball and baseball games. It's been really, amazing. And it's leading to job opportunities. So that has been easily the best opportunity that WEGL has led to. "
What has being in WEGL taught you?
“It's how you work. It's not necessarily the amount of work that you do, or, or anything like that but it's how you make use of the time that you have because you might not have that much time to do something like this, you might have class that's a little bit more important because this isn't graded. This is extracurricular. So, it's really taught me how to manage my time and, you know, make my show the best way possible, make the sports department the best possible while balancing that internship, while balancing being The Jungle president, and things like that. So, I really think that I have been taught time management. You've got to work hard to make sure you accomplish what you want to and make it the best possible work that you can.”
Jacob is also a huge fan of golf.
“I love golf. Tiger Woods was my inspiration for getting into golf back when I was 12 years old, so I've really enjoyed watching golf.”
He enjoys heading to the course and golfing with his buddies.
What's next for Jacob?
After graduation, Jacob plans to stay here in Auburn and ideally work with the Auburn Sports Network and Auburn Sports Properties. As we say goodbye to Jacob on staff, he leaves WEGL fans with this message:
“WEGL has been the best part of my college experience. The Jungle has been awesome. That’s a close second, but WEGL is year-round and I've been a part of that since the day I stepped on campus. It is something that I will never forget and I will never take for granted. Because of the opportunities it's given me. Because of the friends for life I've made. Because of all the moments. All those moments combined have just been awesome and grown me as a person, grown me as a broadcaster, as a student, as a learner, and as a leader. I think WEGL has just done everything for me. If it wasn't for WEGL I don't know where I'd be, honestly. I really love WEGL and I will never forget my time here. I'm going to miss it to death.”