Kevin Negandhi accomplishes a lifetime dream

Temple University graduate and former Temple News Sports editor, Negandhi uses what he learned as a student reporter in his job every day on ESPN.

Kevin Negandhi sits on the set of SportsCenter in Bristol, Connecticut on Feb. 8, 2016. | JOE FARONI / COURTESY

Every Sunday as a kid, Kevin Negandhi and his dad sat in the family room of their home in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, watching football. 

But, it was more than just watching the Philadelphia Eagles get trampled on. During the week Negandhi would consume the Sports section of The Philadelphia Inquirer, so he could tell his dad all the stats and background of each team. 

Sports was the way his family connected, and Negandhi’s hobby quickly turned into a passion. When he came to Temple University for college to study communications, Negandhi found the resources to become a successful sports journalist. 

“By the time I was in high school, I realized what I wanted to do was become a sportscaster,” Negandhi said. “Go to ESPN and go on SportsCenter.” 

After getting sick of the cold at Syracuse University by October of his freshman year in college, Negandhi decided that he wouldn’t spend the rest of his three years in Upstate New York, he said. 

When he confided in his mother, she suggested Temple, because Negandhi’s older brother attended business school there.

Starting in the spring semester in 1994, Negandhi was enrolled in classes at Temple. Once he felt comfortable on North Broad, Negandhi knew it was time to get involved with different sports media outlets, he said.

Without the presence of social media, the school newspaper was the best place for a journalist to get their feet wet, Negandhi added. In his sophomore year, Negandhi walked into the newsroom and spoke with an editor on his desire to work for the sports section. The editor then offered him the position. 

At the time, The Temple News had about ten students on staff and the paper printed daily. Part of Negandhi’s plan as Sports editor was to rebuild relationships with sources and find reliable writers for the section, he said.

“There were a couple of writers that were basically stealing the press passes to go to games, and they would take their girlfriends,” Negandhi added. “My first order of business was to go to the [sports information director] office and build relationships up again.”

It was important for Negandhi to build relationships with Temple Athletics, so he, along with other writers, could cover sports to their full potential. Then it came down to finding the right students to cover those games, he said. 

Negandhi made sure every sport was receiving an equal amount of coverage, and once he found those reliable writers who constantly handed in stories on time, he would offer the writer a chance to cover a sports beat.  

“I’m giving that writer the opportunity to cover them on a beat and it’s like, that’s your beat man,” Negandhi said. “Whatever you bring in, I trust you.” 

Former Temple News writer Rob Knox, a 1996 Lincoln University journalism alumnus who attended classes at Temple through a partnership with Lincoln, remembers Negandhi taking the time to sit down with him to edit stories, but Negandhi also made it clear he trusted Knox as a writer on the women’s basketball beat, Knox said.

“The best part about [Negandhi] is not only was he in front of the workforce, but he made you feel empowered,” Knox said. “He helped you learn and grow from the experience.” 

Late nights in the newsroom were only one part of Negandhi’s job each day. 

In his third year, Negandhi began writing sports columns for The Temple News, calling the women’s basketball play-by-play for WRTI, a Pennsylvania public radio station, and anchoring on the sports desk for Temple Update, all while balancing a job at the King of Prussia mall to pay rent. 

“Anything he could do, he did,” said a 1997-98 Temple News Sports editor and 1998 journalism alumnus John DiCarlo, who now serves as Temple’s managing director for student media. “That’s what I took away from him. He really worked hard, he cared about working hard, being genuine, getting it right and not letting anybody down.”

By Negandhi’s senior year, he managed to do five internships, two of which were at 6ABC Action News and NBC10 Philadelphia. Although writing was his initial involvement at Temple, Negandhi never lost sight of his passion for sports broadcasting. 

With minimal sleep and weekends spent covering basketball at the Liacouras Center, formerly known as the Apollo of Temple, Negandhi never minded doing the extra work, because he didn’t want to leave Temple with the question of “What if?”

“This job is not normal,” Negandhi said. “We’re not normal people. But if you love it, you never think about the hours.” 

After graduating in his fifth year at Temple in 1997, Negandhi got a job four months later in Kirksville, Missouri, through an affiliate of ABC. A small market where he was able to use the tools he learned from The Temple News, like research and asking the right questions, in a sportscast, he said. 

A few jobs later, Negandhi landed his dream job on ESPN in 2006, and in 2017 he made his way to the ESPN on ABC College Football studio team. 

Negandhi carries over the same principles and character he had as Sports editor every time he goes live most days of the week on SportsCenter at 6 p.m.

“I promised my mom when I left for my first job that eventually I would be in her living room,” Negandhi said. “When all is said and done, I’ll be in your living room every night, you’ll get to see me, realizing that I fulfill that dream every day when I’m on ESPN.”

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