At 29, Liberty University graduate Pat Doney (’07) has already had tremendous success in his career as a sports reporter. He has won several awards for excellence in sports broadcasting, including the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. Working for NBC 5 in Dallas/Fort Worth, one of the nation’s five largest television markets, Doney had the opportunity in February to travel to Sochi, Russia, to cover the 2014 Winter Olympics.
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“This was a dream come true,” Doney said. “I didn’t know if I would ever get the opportunity to do something like this, and now, to have already experienced it, I can’t believe it.”
Doney spent 27 days in Russia, where he worked as much as 15 hours a day. He did live shots, feature segments, and one-on-one interviews with about 17 medalists, including gold-medal winners such as ice dancing duo Charlie White and Meryl Davis, alpine ski racers Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety, freestyle skier Maddie Bowman, and snowboarder Sage Kotenburg.
Doney is a full-time reporter and anchor in Dallas, where he lives with his wife, Liberty alumna Sheleena (’07), and their 1-year-old daughter, Barlow. His job includes following the Dallas Cowboys, which takes him all over the country. After graduating from Liberty, Doney worked his way up in the sports broadcasting arena, covering some of the largest events in the country, including the Kentucky Derby and the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.
Doney said Liberty prepared him well for early success in his career. He studied broadcasting (now Digital Media & Communication Arts) in the School of Communication & Creative Arts and was impressed with the amount of experience he received while in school.
Coming to Liberty as a freshman, the southern California native knew he wanted a career in sports broadcasting and started working at Liberty’s student-run radio station, 90.9 FM The Light. He earned an internship at a Los Angeles television station after only one year of college.
“They said they were going to turn me away because I was a freshman,” Doney said of the L.A. station. “But they were really impressed with how much stuff I had done at Liberty.”
From doing play-by-play for 90.9 FM to writing sports columns for the Liberty Champion student newspaper, Doney said the hands-on training Liberty offers was valuable as he pursued a job in his field.
“There is no way for you to improve in broadcasting without doing it with the red light on,” Doney said. “Liberty allowed me to do that.”