For many Trojans, an undying love for USC sports starts during their college years and lasts the rest of their lives. Then there are the lucky few who made that love the perfect launching pad for their careers. Meet two USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism alumnae who made the jump into the world of sports broadcasting.
TAYLOR FELIX ’13
Felix (above, left) was first introduced to USC sports during kindergarten carpools. With Trojan Marching Band music playing in the background, her father, Michael Felix ’83, regaled her with stories about USC football.
She took those stories to heart, eventually picking USC as her dream school and becoming a Song Girl. Of her time on the squad, the Orange County native says, “They were the best two years of my entire life.” She enrolled at USC Annenberg as a communications major and added a business administration minor.
When graduation rolled around, she decided to pursue a career in finance. Fate had different plans, though. Felix’s Song Girl adviser contacted her about an opportunity with FOX Sports West: They needed a social media personality to report on games for the Los Angeles Clippers and Kings, as well as the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Of the 600 hopefuls who applied, Felix landed the job.
“Working primarily with men forced me not to be nervous or intimidated, but to find my confidence,” says Felix about the sports broadcasting field. “I put myself in uncomfortable positions, did research, set goals and always went with my gut.”
Today, Felix works in sports digital media for affiliates of the Los Angeles Rams, Anaheim Ducks, NHL and Fangirl Sports Network. What’s her gut telling her these days? “I never expected a job in sports would be my dream career, but this feels right.”
KELLI TENNANT ’09
It wasn’t just a volleyball scholarship that drew the 6-foot-1-inch Tennant from Temecula, California, to USC. She knew USC Annenberg could put her on the path to a childhood dream: becoming a television sports anchor.
Starting her freshman year, Tennant dove in with a string of internships, including working on the websites for FOX Sports West and USC Athletics and serving as a sports analyst for USC men’s and women’s volleyball matches. “This business is competitive, so on-camera experience and networking is imperative,” Tennant says.
After graduation, Tennant was snapped up as a volleyball analyst for ESPN. Similar roles followed with the Longhorn and Pac-12 Networks. Currently, she’s a host for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA and sideline reporter for the Los Angeles Lakers, Galaxy, Sparks and Dodgers.
Tennant strives to go beyond sound bites when interviewing athletes. Her own struggle with fibromyalgia and its impact on her volleyball career spawned a book, The Transition: Every Athlete’s Guide to Life After Sports. “The public puts athletes on pedestals for their achievements and cuts them down for one mistake,” she says. “What often isn’t seen are the struggles they encounter—family deaths, alcoholism, suicide—that they have to perform through. To me, the best part of my job is creating relationships with these men and women, breaking down those barriers and having real conversations.”