Tom Rinaldi to Sports Media Students: Write and Write it Down

Tom Rinaldi is currently a reporter for FOX Sports. Previously, he has contributed to ESPNs tennis and golf coverage at Wimbledon, the US Open, Sports Center, Outside the Lines, College Gameday, and Sunday NFL Countdown. 

Rinaldi has won three Regional Emmy Awards, three Associated Press Awards and a USA Today Feature-of-the-Year Award.

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania before going on to receive his graduate degree at Columbia University

Prior to his career in journalism, Rinaldi was a high school English and English as a Second Language teacher in addition to being a handball coach at Morris High School in the Bronx. 

Seton Hall’s Introduction to Sports Media course had the honor of Tom Rinaldi joining the class as the latest guest speaker where he was able to discuss his career so far and give advice to Seton Hall students who are interested in the sports and media field. 

“If you are interested in television or multimedia, you instantly differentiate yourself from anyone else if you can write,” Rinaldi said. “TV doesn’t necessarily attract people that want to write, so if you can have that as a foundational skill and are a willing writer, there is so much that comes from that.”

Rinaldi also honed in on the importance of the word “and” nowadays. For those like ourselves who are still in school figuring out where we would like to see ourselves in the next couple of years, being able to have multiple skills and use the chain “I can do this and write,” is very important and stands out. 

Focusing on the students during his appearance, he challenged everybody to do one thing that helped him in his own career. On an index card, Rinaldi wanted everyone to write the following phrase: “What I want to is…”

“You can change it many times,” Rinaldi said. “Cross out, make changes to it, but the reason I suggest this is because it is so easy for young people to move from task to task and we never contemplate the path and where we are going. The answer on your card is probably going to change many times, but having a sense of what you need to do and how to get to your goal will make it that much more meaningful.”

Rinaldi was very open about taking on new and different jobs throughout his career. He emphasized that there is always a next step. At 55 years old, he is still excited to take on events that he has not had the opportunity to do yet, like the World Cup and the Super Bowl. 

“I am excited to work in a new system with new folks,” Rinaldi said. “I loved ESPN, but simply because you loved something doesn’t mean you need to keep doing it and block off the next.”  

Having Tom Rinaldi join Professor Schecter’s Intro to Sports Media course was eye-opening and engaging as students were able to ask him questions as well. Information that Rinaldi shared was based on what he was not told when he was trying to figure out what he wanted to do himself.