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Colorado State alum Jenny Cavnar reflects on journey to the broadcast booth

For Jenny Cavnar of the Colorado Rockies broadcast team, the day starts long before any of the team steps onto the field.  After arriving to the stadium hours before first pitch, Cavnar begins meetings, prepares game notes and interviews players. Cavnar’s days and nights are consumed by sports and she wouldn’t want it any other way.

 “The first thing I do in the morning is read,” Cavnar said. “I read the team’s stats from the previous day, what others are saying about the team, and what is going on around the league.”

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This love affair with sports was fostered from a young age. As a high school baseball coach, Cavnar’s dad encouraged her to be involved with sports from a young age. Even with her passion for sports, Cavnar was unsure how that could turn into a career. That all changed one Monday night with her father though.

 “My dad and I always watched Monday Night Football together and I remember watching Melissa Stark do the broadcast,” Cavnar said. “I had never seen someone who looked like me on TV before and that is when I knew I wanted to go into broadcasting.”

 After graduating from Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, Cavnar had to make the decision many high school seniors dread: where she would continue her education. Although she grew up rooting for the University of Kentucky, it only took one trip to Fort Collins for her to make her decision.

 “Once I got on campus I was in love,” Cavnar said. “Even though it was only for a few hours, I felt like Fort Collins had become my home.”

Upon arriving as a freshman in 2000, she quickly began working on turning her dream into a reality. She double majored in communications and business, joined the women’s club lacrosse team and started to get involved with student media.

 “Being a part of a team, even if it was just a club sport, was such an amazing experience,” Cavnar said. “Lacrosse has always been a huge part of my life and my teammates have always been like family to me. Being able to step on the field knowing that we are going to battle together will be a feeling I will never forget.”

 During Cavnar’s junior and senior years, she got involved with CTV, covering sports and working as a sideline reporter. She also worked for several local news outlets until she graduated from Colorado State in 2004.

 She began working her way up in the world of sports, eventually moving out to California where she continued her passion for lacrosse by coaching at UCLA. Three years later, Cavnar landed a spot with the San Diego Padres’ broadcasting team. Cavnar remembers one moment in 2007 when she realized she had made it.

“In 2007 when the Padres were on an incredible run that looked like it was going to land them in the playoffs, I was talking to Jake Peavy, who went on to win the National League Cy Young award that year,” Cavnar said. “I remember just thinking this is so cool; this is my job.”

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In 2012, Cavnar had an opportunity to return home to Colorado and join the broadcast team for the Rockies. 

CSU Alumnus Jenny Cavnar interviews Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez live on air.
Jenny Cavnar interviews Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez on air.

 “Coming home was like a dream come true, although my time in California was an important step in the process,” Cavnar said. “I learned many things while I was out there and I was able to grow and bring all those experiences back with me.”

 Along with being close to family, coming home has allowed Cavnar to reconnect with a place she fell in love with 17 years ago. Cavnar has been able to cover Colorado State sporting events as a part of the AT&T Sports Net team, formerly known as ROOT Sports.

She was also able to get an early look at the new on-campus stadium while still under construction.

 “The stadium is absolutely gorgeous and it is going to do so many amazing things for the university,” Cavnar said. “I can’t wait to see it on game days with 40,000 fans; it’s going to be an experience.”

 In an industry dominated by men, Cavnar has not only found her spot, she has thrived. She has won two Emmys for her work in broadcasting and, in 2015, became the first woman to broadcast a National League game over the radio.

“It’s an honor to be a part of history and to continue to help pave the way for female sportscasters just like those that I looked up to before me,” Cavnar said.

 Even with the crazy hours and the days and days of traveling, Cavnar wouldn’t trade a minute of it away.

“It can be hard to be away from family so much, especially when we are expecting a child,” Cavnar said. “But the people I work with have become a family to me and we all try to be the best at what we do.”

Collegian sports reporter Tyler Johnson can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TylerGJohnson20.

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