Senior Farewell: Andrew Gardner

Andrew Gardner

Growing up, summer days were often spent on Cape Cod, enjoying the salt water on the beach, the warm rays of the bright sun, and windy bike trails through the woods. The morning and afternoon hours were filled with activities but the complete opposite was true once the clock struck 7pm. That time was Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy time, it was Red Sox time, it was time to ingest not only as much ice cream as I could sitting on my grandparents blue and yellow couch, but as many new stats and pieces of information as well. 

Since as early as I can remember my love for sports has been my biggest passion and it’s always been what I’ve loved to talk and write about. Thankfully for me, the decision I made in the spring of 2019 to enroll at UNH for the following fall was truly the best decision I’ve made in my life. 

UNH has given me the opportunity to fully surround myself in the world of college athletics, start a successful Red Sox podcast with two of my best friends, and allow me to follow my passion for sports broadcasting and writing.

Coming into UNH nearly four years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to major in, get involved in, or really what direction to go besides the fact that I was enrolled in the business school. A few weeks into my second semester I discovered that there was a radio station on campus where students could not only DJ music shows, but talk about sports on the air. Soon enough I was in the studio, fumbling my way around the equipment and engaging in banter with four upperclassmen. 

At these radio shows I met the director of sports at the station, Kevin Larney who at the time was a junior at UNH. He was in the process of recording podcasts for a show he had recently started called Wildchat Sports and invited me to join along and help him out. After the first interview I did in early March of 2020 with him, I was hooked. 

COVID soon came along which sent all students home for the rest of the year, however this provided Kevin and I an opportunity to continue to record shows over the spring and summer due to virtually everybody in the world being stuck at home looking for something to do. We were able to get guests such as former Red Sox Jonny Gomes, Johnny Damon, and Raji Davis along with various other professional athletes and media personalities to come on the show with us. During this summer I was also writing daily articles for the Wildcat Sports website which was my first taste into the world of sports writing. 

When I returned to school in the fall of 2020 things were different but I was lucky enough to meet two people who would eventually turn into two of my best friends. In my attempt to go out of my comfort zone and meet new people I rushed Alpha Tau Omega, one of the fraternities on campus where I met Steve Brady and Alex Klosen who were both brothers. The three of us quickly bonded over our love for the Red Sox and a podcast about the team which we all listened to, Barstool Sports Section 10 podcast. We were inseparable anytime the three of us were together, talking about the Red Sox and throwing out hot takes about the team and predictions for the next year.

After being exposed to Covid in October of 2020 I was stuck in the quarantine dorm for two full weeks by myself. With essentially nothing to do I proposed to Kevin the idea of having Steve, Alex, and myself start a weekly Red Sox podcast to be posted on the Wildchat Sports website. He was more than happy to greenlight the idea so the three of us got to work on the show. 

After much deliberation and dozens of awful names thrown out we agreed on a name for our show; Gone Bridge, a nod to Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley who often called the act of hitting a home run “going bridge”. 

We were all in on Gone Bridge, and devoted more time to it than we probably should have in the first few weeks of the show alongside our heavy academic schedules. After just seven weeks and episodes of the show the unimaginable happened. Jared Carrabis and Steve Perrault who were two of the hosts of Section 10, the show we were all fans of, discovered our show online after a hot take Steve had about Derek Jeter and invited us on for their next recording.

Fast forward to the summer of 2021, right before the start of my junior year, Cam Beall, one of the two sports editors of The New Hampshire reached out to me to see if I’d have any interest in joining The New Hampshire team as one of their sports writers. I was honored by the opportunity and soon was assigned as the beat writer for the Field Hockey team as well as the Men’s Ice Hockey team. Right when the school year started Cam also asked if I’d be interested in joining him as the color commentator for one of the Men’s Soccer games against Colgate. As nervous as I was to first give broadcasting a go I could not be happier that I took this opportunity. 

Nearly two years, 68 broadcasts, 126 episodes of Gone Bridge, being named the Sports Editor for my senior year, and countless hours covering and writing about the UNH Men’s Hockey team later and I could not be more thankful for my time here at UNH.

To everyone that helped me these past four years whether it be with The New Hampshire, WUNH, one of the broadcasts I’ve done, Gone Bridge, Wildchat Sports, or simply just supporting me through my time at UNH, I thank you. I can genuinely say these have been the best four years of my life. 

I’ll end this long winded farewell with three of the most important things I learned at UNH.

Go out of our comfort zone, greet everyone you meet with a smile, and follow your passions.

Thanks for a great 4 years,

Andrew Gardner