The View, apartment 1021. The apartment complex sits just northwest of campus and is where Connor Clark, Grant Hansen, and Cole Peterson all lived together as roommates last year. Banners and flags of their favorite sports teams litter the walls, making sure anybody who steps inside knows exactly whom they all root for.
After they met each other their freshman year, the three sports media and communication majors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln all quickly built a strong friendship that carried them into leasing the apartment together. Their bond stems from one common thread: sports.
Working in sports is a field that requires lots of hours of work. You never know what you are going to see on a day-to-day basis. Many people are ill-equipped to handle the grind. There is a balance between school and work that needs to be found. Clark, Hansen and Peterson figured out a way to do that and made a name for themselves in the process.
When he first arrived at college, Clark said there was a big adjustment he had to make.
“Balancing school and work can be challenging especially when the sports schedule starts to ramp up,” he said. “You have to find the right balance.”
Whether it be preparation for radio or television broadcasts, compiling game notes or media guides, interviewing players, Clark, Hansen and Peterson each said that they know that the work they do and the hours they put in now will help them in the long run.
Peterson self-describes himself as a stats nerd. He has always loved finding stats, specifically for basketball and baseball, and working behind the scenes. Jeff Griesch, senior associate communications director at Nebraska, said he knew Peterson would be a good fit for communications. He hired Peterson to work as a student intern in his office in 2021. Griesch said he had admired his work from afar.
“Cole, through working with (Nebraska baseball for) The Daily Nebraskan, earned respect from Nebraska players and coaches,” Griesch said. “While also earning the respect of the media around him and the media contacts working with the team in our office.”
Peterson’s experience and endorsement from Griesch led him to a summer internship with USA Baseball, where Peterson set up interviews for players, compiled game notes, and more. What he really learned was the grind needed to advance in the sports field.
“USA Baseball helped me tremendously in teaching me how long the days in baseball can be,” he said. “But also it showed me how rewarding working in baseball is. It’s where I rediscovered my love for the game.”
After he completed his internship, Peterson returned to Nebraska last fall.
He wanted more.
Peterson applied for dozens of internships across the country. MLB’s Texas Rangers called. Peterson accepted what he considers a once in a lifetime opportunity and started his new job as a media relations intern for the Rangers in January.
“Working for an organization, rather than covering them, makes me feel like I’m part of their success and gives me the opportunity to meet new people,” he said.
Even more than 10 hours away in Dallas, Peterson still takes online classes through UNL. He will need to take classes next year as well to graduate.
“Taking classes is definitely challenging because I am working a lot more now,” he said. “It has been tough, finding a balance, but I am at a point where I feel good about it where it is not affecting my work.”
Grant Hansen grew up the opposite of a sports fan. It wasn’t until the age of nine when he watched his first full football game. Hansen was baptized into the world of sports through AM radio, as he listened to hosts such as Colin Cowherd and channels like 1620 The Zone as his form of entertainment. For about five years, he listened to the radio throughout the day and consumed sports.
After church on Sundays, Hansen sat and talked for 30 to 45 minutes with his friend Parker Thune. The two talked about happenings in the sports world. Their passion sparked an idea for the duo: take this to the airwaves. They were rejected by NPR and Nebraska Public Media, but were given an audition for 660 KCRO in Omaha. The general manager at the station told Hansen and Thune he loved what he heard from them, and gave them a chance to go on the air.
Hansen and Thune jumped at the opportunity.
“It’s like, shoot, I don’t know if we’re ever gonna get a chance,” Hansen said. “He could say no, for all we know, right? So we did it and it went well.”
Hansen and Thune’s knack for radio spawned a 30-minute radio show from that point forward, where the two highlighted a Christian athlete of the week as a part of their broadcast. They continued their segment before Thune left for college three years ago.
Hansen met Sean Callahan, the founder of HuskerOnline, when he was 17-years-old at the Nebraska School Activities Association Boys’ State Basketball Championship. After he introduced himself to Callahan, Hansen asked if Callahan could take a look at his work. From that point on, they met for lunch periodically. He asked Callahan to look at his work and give feedback.
When Callahan moved HuskerOnline to On3 in June, he hired Hansen to cover baseball for him. Hansen serves as the beat writer for Nebraska baseball for On3 Sports and HuskerOnline, assisting in game previews, covering games, and writing feature stories, among other duties.
Along with his work at On3, Hansen assists in television broadcasts for Big Ten Plus and calls select Fremont High School games on the radio for channel KHUB/KFMT, where he has called dozens of games and sports for both of the networks during his years in college.
“Sometimes it can be a bit much,” he said. “There was a time when (Nebraska) baseball got five commits in a week, and I also had to call high school games on the radio, along with school.”
Despite the challenges, Hansen said he knows he is gaining experience that will help him immensely in the future.
Hansen, Peterson, and Clark all met each other on the ninth floor of Abel Hall two years ago.
“Me and Grant hit it off right from the beginning,” Peterson said. “Bonding over sports is how I have met so many cool people, including Grant and Connor.”
Some people just have a voice for the radio. Oftentimes, they’ve broadcasted on the radio for many years. Clark, who will enter his second season as lead radio play-by-play announcer for the Lincoln Saltdogs this summer, has broadcasted since he arrived at Nebraska more than two years ago.
“Connor (Clark) is a natural,” Hansen said. “He has a voice that pops when you listen to it. Doing play-by-play is not easy, but he makes it look easy with how smooth he is.”
Clark is from Chicago and is a die-hard Chicago sports fan. It has always been his goal to work for an organization, and Clark felt Nebraska was the best place to help him achieve that.
“The sports media program (at Nebraska), the support of athletics, and the environment of the city,” Clark said. “All of those things went into my decision to come to UNL.”
If the Cubs called, it would be a no-brainer for him. However, Nebraska has become a second home for Clark.
Peterson would love to work in professional baseball. Hansen hopes to continue writing and see where it takes him. As the trio wraps up their junior years at Nebraska, they are just beginning their careers. When asked about what they feel has made them successful along the way, a common trait they all mentioned is you need to be willing to work hard and long hours. There are sacrifices you will have to make along the way, but it is very rewarding. They also said to introduce yourself to people, work hard, and the results will come.
No matter where the road will take the trio, they know that they will always have each other to lean on.