Former ESPN analyst named executive director of center for Sports Media at Seton Hall

Jane McManus

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Seton Hall University announced May 4 the appointment of Jane McManus as the inaugural executive director of the recently established Center for Sports Media within the College of Communication and the Arts.

In this role, McManus will develop and implement a multiyear strategic plan for the center to further establish it as a world-class forum for interdisciplinary academic training and theory with practical and experiential learning opportunities. McManus anticipates working closely with students and faculty to create experiential learning opportunities to produce compelling and engaging content for both internal and external audiences. In addition, McManus will collaborate with interim Dean Renee Robinson and campus partners on strategic planning, marketing, recruitment and fundraising to sustain the center for years to come.

“McManus’ arrival to our campus and the launch of the Center for Sports Media is perfect timing,” Robinson said. “Given the university’s initiatives concerning the ‘Seeds of Innovation’ (academic reorganization) and student learning, creative academic and cocurricular programming, field-based experiences and career readiness preparation, the center was envisioned with these goals in mind. McManus brings the knowledge, skills, talent and passion to lead the initiative. Her industry reputation and ethical focus on sports media make her the ideal thought leader to guide this exciting new endeavor.”

McManus underscored how the university is well positioned to launch the center, as students can engage in sports in multiple areas such as law, business, broadcasting and journalism. 

“I’m looking forward to collaborating with professors and alumni to find ways to build connections that increase the rigor and opportunity for students who see sports as a profession,” she said. “As much as I enjoyed my time as an NFL beat writer, or covering high school sports, I’ve loved a new challenge in academics.”

McManus joins the university after a national search for the inaugural executive director. Ryan Hudes, associate dean and search committee chairperson, said, “Jane emerged as a leader throughout our search and selection process, bringing together an ideal blend of expertise in both academe and media. This combination is a wonderful complement to the diverse array of scholars, artists, theorists, practitioners, professionals and students within (the College of) Communication and the Arts.”

Most recently, McManus served as director of the Center for Sports Communication at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where she directly engaged with students and set the agenda to prepare future leaders in sports journalism and communication. During her time at Marist, she grew the sports communication enrollment year over year, despite the enrollment toll of the pandemic.

Prior to that, McManus spent nearly 10 years at ESPN, covering the NFL and as a columnist for espnW. She hosted two radio shows and was a frequent analyst for “SportsCenter,” “The Sports Reporters” and “Outside the Lines,” among other ESPN shows.

In addition to ESPN programming, she provided analysis on sports issues for MSNBC, “Good Morning America,” CNN, Al Jazeera, NPR and ESPN’s national network of radio programs, among other outlets.

“Working with students reminds me what it felt like to start something new, and how hard you have to work to get good at something,” McManus said. “That’s how I’ve approached my transition to this new phase in my career.”

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