A 1999 Kansas State alumnus has become someone bigger than he could have ever dreamt of. He started his journey at KSDB radio station and the Collegian and has collected years of notable experiences across the country since.
Brent Stover started making his own path from day one. During his four years at K-State, he ran cross country and track for head coach Cliff Rovelto and earned Outstanding Wildcat Freshman.
Shortly after graduating from K-State, Stover transitioned over to KSNT in Topeka. After a year and a half there, Stover’s newly hired agent landed him a job with Fox Sports Midwest in St. Louis. Little did he know he would soon go to Fox Sports Pittsburgh, move to Chicago, begin at the Big Ten Network and end up at CBS.
At first, however, Stover and his parents were a little apprehensive of what would come after college.
“When I graduated I didn’t have a job, and my parents were a little nervous,” Stover said. “What happened was I had an offer to do radio at Doane [University] in Nebraska. The better opportunity came about two months after to go to KSNT as a photographer and the third sports guy. I never looked back from that point.”
After 20 years, Stover has looked back at the experience he collected during his time at K-State and the impression it has left on him moving forward.
“Working for the campus radio station was a huge deal,” Stover said. “I began there midway through my freshman year, and I was the sports director during that time. I got a lot of opportunities there. When I wrote for the Collegian, that had a big impact as well.”
During his time at DB 92, currently known as KSDB, Stover was able to help call the plays for Wildcat football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball.
However, becoming a play-by-play announcer and studio host for CBS wasn’t always a smooth road. With having to work around the clock, Stover said it became hard to steer the ship at times.
Without a job for nine months, Stover began to worry despite how much of his path had been laid before him in the past.
“I feel like I’ve been pretty blessed overall,” Stover said. “The path has always fallen right for me. I went about nine months without a job. I moved to Chicago and left my job in 2008. I was seriously wondering if I could even get back into TV because it’s such a fast-moving industry, and there’s always someone new. This is a business where if you get out it’s really hard to get back in.”
Stover’s transition from radio to TV had changes but not any he ultimately couldn’t handle.
“At the end of the day, it is fun,” Stover said. “A lot of makeup and hairspray, that’s for sure. It took me a long time to adjust to. I think I was a little rough around the edges. I never did my hair or was in touch with my appearance. That was the biggest thing, to make myself look as good as I can for the camera. I enjoy it more than I ever did radio because you can let the highlights speak for themselves, and it’s very analysis-driven.”
Throughout life, people endure adventures that leave a mark on them and quickly become their favorites. For Stover, he is living the dream at CBS.
“I would say that my biggest highlight has been working with CBS (CBS Sports Network) and living in New York,” Stover said. “It was kind of dumb luck I feel like. When I joined CBS (CBS Sports Network) they were owned and operated by CBS. But the partnership has grown more and has made it that CBS Sports is 20 feet away from the main studio, and you get a lot of time to be on CBS. Being a part of this family has been really rewarding since I’ve been here.”
The growing partnership between the organizations has helped Stover feel a sense of “family” again since leaving K-State.
As time has gone by, Stover still has his picks of what he thinks is the most fun to cover and report on. From football to basketball and anything in between, legendary matchups between school rivals and tournaments top his list.
“Being at the Final Four every year is awesome because we take our studios to that every single year, and it’s the best,” Stover said. “The matchup during football season between Army and Navy is always a thrill, and I think that everyone should have that on their bucket list.”
In his spare time, Stover still talks about K-State and pulls for them throughout the year. Even though he was only in the Little Apple for four years, Stover says he will carry the experience throughout his lifetime.
“I go back a lot and still keep purple around,” Stover said. “Most of my friends went to K-State or have been, and I still pull really hard during football and basketball. I know here in New York they get tired of me talking about K-State. It was only four years, but it lasts a lifetime.”
You can find Stover on his newly created Instagram account, @brentstover_. When Stover isn’t cheering on the Wildcats, you can find him on CBS Sports Network as the host for Inside College Basketball, Bracket Breakdown and March Madness 360.