Football Is Female: Lainie Fritz
March 8, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Haney
March 8 is International Women’s Day and to celebrate, Today@Sam met with alumna Lainie Fritz, a KPRC Sports Reporter and Anchor. Read to learn more about her career path, advice, and how she’s challenging the stereotypes that limit women and girls in the sports industry.
Hometown: Born in Huntsville, TX
SHSU Major: Mass Communications, Broadcast Journalism
Graduation Year: 2014
College Activities: 3x National Champion with Orange Pride Dance Team, Channel 7 Anchor in the Mass Communication Department.
Favorite Sports Team: Tulane Green Wave Football Team
Hobbies: Spending time with my dog Sammy (named after Sammy the Bearkat), working out, watching crime documentaries, and cooking.
T@S: How did you get involved in your profession?
LF: I first had the inspiration to become a sports reporter as a young kid around age 11 or 12. My dad is a college football coach so that world was all I knew. The wife of another coach on my dad's staff suggested to me that I should be a sideline reporter when I grow up since I already know the sport so well. After that moment I never looked back. In high school I participated in radio speaking with the debate team to start gaining experience in writing scripts and delivering news with my voice. I then went to Sam Houston State University where I was able to really get hands on experience with broadcasting. At the time, my dad Willie was the head football coach at SHSU. He suggested that I get involved with Bearkat Sports Network and I began putting together stories for the website with help from Jason Barfield, assistant athletic director of media relations. It was a really fun time in my life and I'm very grateful to have gone to a university that gave me so much freedom as well as the opportunity to have hands-on experience, which is critical.
T@S: What do you enjoy about your profession?
LF: The thing I enjoy most about my profession is the constant change of pace. You never know what each day will hold and no two days are ever the same. I love getting out in the community of Houston, meeting so many inspiring people and having the chance to share their stories with the KPRC viewers. Rarely am I stuck at a desk working, it's a very active and social work setting which makes it fun!
T@S: Can you describe your day-to-day work?
LF: My primary responsibilities at work are reporting, anchoring, shooting, editing, and producing. The challenging yet rewarding thing about the way broadcast journalism is evolving, is that you do it ALL now. My job title is Multi-Media Journalist which means that most of the time I am responsible for every single step of the story telling process.
T@S: In your opinion, what does the future look like for women in sports?
LF: The future for women in sports is VERY bright! I'm so proud as I look around the industry and see women achieving more than ever and earning the respect they've always deserved within sports. I've found that the men in sports whether it be coaches, athletes, trainers etc. are for the most part very accepting of women and their ability to do the same job as men. There's nothing we can't do!
T@S: On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
LF: The advice I would give to younger women wanting to pursue a career in sports would be to never give up! It sounds simple but it's so important. There WILL be obstacles, you WILL be treated unfairly and unfortunately you WON'T get the same respect that the men do, but in no way does that mean you can't be successful. It only means that you have to have thicker skin and go after your goal that much harder. Focus on what you can control and don't give any energy to what you can't. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and support you. If you do those things, your potential is limitless.
Multimedia journalist Lainie Fritz of Houston's KPRC shares her story of how growing up around football led to her career as a sports reporter.
-Courtesy of NBC Sports.
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