UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - When I moved in to Geary Hall as an 18-year-old
freshman in August of 2004, I didn't envision spending the next 12 years on the
greatest campus in America.
But an opportunity to begin working as student intern in 2006 led to eight gratifying years of professional work out of the strategic communications office (formally athletic communications).
You hear it a lot from individuals who have spent time on the University Park campus, but it's the truth. The people make Penn State special. Cultivating relationships with fellow staff members, administrators, media members, coaches and hundreds of student-athletes has truly made this opportunity unique.
It has been an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
The list of highlights is long. It's been a thrill to see the jubilation inside a winning locker room and witness 10 national championship teams (women's volleyball, wrestling, women's soccer and men's gymnastics) hoist hardware across the country while fulfilling their dreams.
The ride included two Big Ten football titles, a trip to the sidelines at the Rose Bowl, seven bowl games, unforgettable atmospheres in Beaver Stadium (2005 vs. Ohio State remains atop the list), every football game, home and away, since the 2007 Alamo Bowl (103 straight games), every home football Saturday in Beaver Stadium since 2004 (84 straight games) and trips to the only dance I've ever wanted to attend with both hoops teams.
There have been many long days (and nights) traveling with ace photographer Mark Selders in planes, trains and automobiles across the country during the postseason push in March during each of the past six years.
The time included a trip inside the final team meeting of a legendary coaching era, the hiring of the first new football coach in 46 years and the program's first win across the pond.
The challenges set forth in 2011 and the summer of 2012 were unthinkable, but invaluable learning experiences.
The travels have included coverage of Penn State events in 26 states, two countries and seemingly countless competitions in venues across campus.
The content on this blog within GoPSUsports.com has grown from a few thousand visitors in 2010 to more than 1 million visits during each of the last three seasons.
That's a tribute to how special the Penn State fan base is.
A lot of people along the way asked about the hours and effort it took to tell the stories of Penn State's teams and student-athletes through written content, interviews and videos, but it was never work.
It was a passion.
The next stop will be with the New York Jets in digital media beginning on July 11. But my fandom of the Blue and White will only grow from here as I look forward to being at events regularly when the schedule permits.
Thank you to the Penn State fans for following along.
Tony Mancuso - Class of 2008
It's been a memorable ride. Take a look through some of the favorite moments from the blog.
2013 - Football Outlasts Michigan in Four Overtimes
2011 - Men's Basketball NCAA Tournament Selection
2014 - Ruth, Taylor Lift Wrestling to Fourth-Straight National Title
2010 Women's Volleyball Captures Fourth Straight National Title