Sports Journalism Blog

By Sports Capital Journalism Program Staff

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Sports Capital Journalism Program is covering the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive year, as graduate assistants Frank Gogola and Zach Wagner report on the National Championship between Clemson and Alabama.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has the only sports journalism program to receive credentials in each of the first two years of the College Football Playoff. At the conclusion of the past four college football seasons, 11 IUPUI students have covered games that would determine a national championship.


Zach Wagner (left) and Frank Gogola preparing before the start of Media Day.

“The unique opportunities that Frank and Zach have earned have been built upon the outstanding work and professionalism of IUPUI students in the past few years,” said Malcolm Moran, Director of the Sports Capital Journalism Program, who covered more than 25 bowl games with championship implications for The New York Times and USA Today.

“Matt Velazquez and Wheat Hotchkiss in Miami, Greg Rappaport in Pasadena, Nick Moyle and Jardyn Angell at the semifinals and Josh Weinreb and Rob Hunt at the first championship game created the opportunities this season.”

Graduate student Jessica Wimsatt and junior Elizabeth Cotter covered Alabama’s semifinal victory over Michigan State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

Gogola has worked as a correspondent for the Indianapolis Star. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in history from Northern Illinois University in May, 2015. He was a sports writer and sports editor at the Northern Star, the NIU student newspaper, while an undergraduate. He also interned and freelanced at The Reporter newspaper in Palos Heights, Illinois.

Gogola is a lifelong college football fan despite growing up in Chicago’s southwest suburbs, an area dominated by professional sports. The oldest of five kids, he is also an avid Chicago White Sox fan.

Wagner hopes to one day become a beat writer for a major publication. He developed his love for sports through watching Peyton Manning attempt to transform Indianapolis into a football town. In May, 2015, he earned his undergraduate degree in Communications, with an emphasis in Journalism, from Mississippi State University, where the cowbells rang supreme. He was a staff writer for The Reflector, the student newspaper, reporting on the rise of the Bulldogs football program to number one in the country for the first time in the program’s history. Wagner has written for the Indianapolis Star, Boston Herald, and the Tennessean. 

The Sports Capital Journalism Program is part of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. The M.A. program in Sports Journalism was the first of its kind when it was introduced in 2009. More than 20 IUPUI students will have the opportunity to cover high-profile sporting events in 2016.