Farrell’s passion unites the Temple Athletics fanbase

Lee Farrell began working as Temple’s In-Game Host in 2018, becoming a staple for Owls fans.

Temple in-game host Lee Farrell is in his last season with the Owls. ROBERT CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

When Temple fans hear the name Lee Farrell, many think of his energy, dances, smile and personality while performing as the in-game host at Temple University’s Football and Basketball games. Farrell’s 14 years of performance experience has made him a well-known figure in the Temple sports community since 2018.

After more than four years with Temple Athletics, plus a year working remotely, Farrell will be spreading his wings and leaving North Broad to head down to the Wells Fargo Center on Feb. 10 as the new in-game host of the Philadelphia 76ers. 

“I have my debut game coming up,” Farrell said ahead of his Feb. 10 appearance at Wells Fargo. “I’m learning a lot and I’m just getting a lot more experience and I just can’t wait to see how the future games pan out, but I’m pumped.”

Farrell, a 2020 media studies and production alumnus, participated in TUTV and Temple’s ultimate frisbee team. He started his performance career in middle school, performing in plays and shows. When Farrell turned 13, he transitioned to the film industry, acting in the movie Marley & Me, and promotional commercials for Chickies and Pete’s, Radioshack and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Farrell’s various performance experiences helped him land an audition to be Temple Athletics’ host in 2018.

“I remember when I was on the Temple Ultimate Frisbee team here,” Farrell said. “They sent me a tweet that said we are having open auditions for the In-Game Host. I thought it was good, but I wasn’t sure if I should do it or not. On my way to class, I was debating whether I should go to this audition or if I go to class. I ended up going to the audition.”

Although he did not memorize the audition script, Scott Walcoff, Temple Athletics’ senior associate athletic director and external operations, was immediately impressed with Farrell’s energy.

“I saw very raw talent,” Walcoff said. “Lee has improved tenfold through the years that he has done this role. At the beginning we saw someone who wasn’t shy, who’s willing to get out there and who loves Temple and will be willing to get out there and be hyped about games.”

Along with his energy, Farrell is known for his personality. Before every game, he makes sure to welcome and fistbump as many people as he can. Whether he greets security guards, the DJ, the marketing staff, reporters or fans, he wants to get everyone excited for the game and fuel the energy in the arena. 

“Even if a game goes into double overtime, while we are leaving he will say goodbye to everyone,” said Jerry Khalins, a spirit squad member. “It always motivates everyone around him to be a better person.”

Farrell’s greetings are just the beginning of his typical game day routine. He always makes sure to hydrate after arriving at The Liacouras Center an hour and a half early. Then, he discusses the game script, promotions and special celebrity appearances with Walcoff and his staff, and makes sure to listen to songs, like “pushin P” by Gunna and Future.

During his tenure with Temple Athletics, Farrell has improved his memorization, creativity and improvisational skills, learning what the Temple crowd enjoys. As he transitions into his new position with the 76ers, he will need to learn and accommodate a larger audience. Farrell hopes to try something new every game, whether it is a new dance move or phrase to hype up the crowd, he said.

Although Farrell’s time at Temple is nearing an end, he has set the standards high for the next in-game host. Whether it is a funny dance or the smile he places on fans’ faces, Farrell is the epitome of “Temple Proud.” 

Now, Temple will need to find their next vibrant in-game host, but they know Farrell leaves big shoes to fill. 

“We’re going to miss not having him here for every game,” Walcoff said. “But certainly we’re very appreciative of the work he’s done and proud that he is a Temple Owl. I’m really excited to see where his career takes him.”

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