Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

04-21-06

Contacts:

Chris Williams, Iowa State student, (712) 542-0288

Dan Kuester, News Service, (515) 294-0704

Iowa State journalism major has full schedule in, out of classroom

AMES, Iowa -- During the football and basketball seasons, he writes three stories a day for a Cyclone fan Web site. He appears weekly on a cable TV show about Cyclone sports. He is even a twice-weekly guest on a Central Iowa sports radio show talking about -- you guessed it -- the Cyclones.

This tireless worker spends around 50 hours a week covering the Cyclones for various media. He's also a full-time student at Iowa State.

Journalism major Chris Williams is almost everywhere you look when you want information about Iowa State athletics.

An average day might find him phoning potential football recruits to measure their interest in coming to Ames. He could be interviewing the new basketball coach about the changes to the program. Or, he could even be checking fan input on the Web site to gauge what others think about issues.

But one thing you won't see this busy Clarinda native doing is complaining about the work load.

"I love doing it," says Williams, who worked for 17 straight hours the day the new Iowa State basketball coach was hired.

"I had been up until 3 a.m. working on stories for the guy we thought was going to get the job," said Williams. "Then at 6 a.m. we found out it was going to be McDermott, so we had to rewrite all our stories."

That was followed by a press conference and then a rally in Hilton Coliseum to announce McDermott's hiring.

Then it was more fact gathering, writing and posting on the Web site. In all, Williams figures he made and received 80 calls before his day was finally over at 11 p.m.

"He is very self-motivated," said Steve Deace, who is Williams' boss at the Web site Cyclonenation.com, the radio station and the TV show.

"Chris has limitless potential and intangibles that help him," Deace said. "He has an attractive personality, a natural wit and quick recall of facts. Those things are important in this business."

Deace hosts an afternoon show on sports radio station KXNO and has been in sports talk radio in Central Iowa for seven years.

Williams' doesn't credit all his success to his drive and hard work, though.

"I got kind of lucky," he says.

"I used to work for the [Iowa State] Daily. Then I found out Cyclone Nation needed a recruiting coordinator, so I did that. Then my editor quit, and the other guy ahead of me quit and there was this job, waiting for me. Now I'm running the whole show."

That job -- chief of content for Cyclone Nation Web site and magazine -- has given Williams some pretty big thrills.

"I went to Dallas to cover the Big 12 [basketball] tournament," he said. "I got to sit in on a Bobby Knight press conference. [Football] Coach Dan McCarney has said things to me about my articles -- it's pretty neat to think he's actually reading my stuff."

"I told my parents the other day 'I'm living my dream,'" he said.

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Quote

"Chris has limitless potential and intangibles that help him. He has an attractive personality, a natural wit and quick recall of facts. Those things are important in this business."

Steve Deace