The Wolverine

March 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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92 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2022 BY ANTHONY BROOME C aroline Hendershot finished her Michigan rowing career with plenty of hardware and accolades. The two-time NCAA medalist and 2019 Big Ten Athlete of the Year came from a family of col- legiate athletes, and her star shone the brightest at one of the biggest schools in the country. Hendershot's visit to Michigan was one she would never forget. Her story is simi- lar to many with the streets filled with maize and blue on a football gameday. The scene in Ann Arbor was unlike anything the family had witnessed before. "I remember specifically that my mom and dad came on my official visit with me," she said. "My dad was like a kid in the candy shop. His jaw was open the whole time. He played football at the Naval Academy, so I thought if this is impress- ing him it speaks volumes." Michigan was an easy sell on its own with Mark Rothstein, the only coach in the rowing program's three-decade his- tory. Hendershot cites his mentorship as not only a driving force behind her ath- letic success, but as someone who genu- inely changed her life. "I don't think I would be where I am or who I am without a lot of his tutelage and the lessons that he helped me learn," she said. "Every day I came to row, I learned how capable I was of taking another step. It gave me a lot of confidence over time. He was a big factor in my decision of going to Michigan." Learning how to take the next step and get better every day is also how Hender- shot's career aspirations developed. She graduated with honors with a degree in communications and a focus in digital media. After her freshman year, Hender- shot needed an escape from only partici- pating in college athletics and wanted to get more out of her Michigan experience. She looked into joining clubs on cam- pus and landed on Wolverine Women, an all-female sports talk show on WOLV TV, the university's student-run televi- sion station. It sparked an interest, which led Hendershot to consider what life af- ter college sports looked like. Working in communications with a supportive group of women started her path into media. "I learned that I loved getting to tell stories," she said. "I don't think I had realized that. I was always the one be- ing interviewed and not the one doing the interviewing. When I got to start in- terviewing some of my peers within the athletic department and learning about what made them tick or what they had to overcome, I loved it. It meant that much more watching them play their sport, knowing the background of what they've been through." From there, Hendershot found plenty of ways to stay active in the field. She was a front office associate intern with the Hartford (Conn.) Yard Goats, a minor league baseball team, in 2017 and a sum- mer intern with NBC's Boston affiliate in 2018. Hendershot then served as the in-arena host for the Michigan hockey program during the 2018-19 season. Her résumé also includes a two-month in- ternship with Big Ten Network in the summer of 2019, where she learned all operations of a television broadcast truck. She was selected from a pool of 12 Michigan athletes for a broadcasting im- mersion with CBS Sports' Tracy Wolf- son, a Michigan alum, in December 2017. This allowed her the opportunity to work in a shadowing role with Wolfson, Tony Romo and Jim Nantz, and she was part of a weekend of NFL broadcasts. Aside from broadcasting, she served as the marketing and communications chair for the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee from 2016-19. She was, and remains, a wearer of many hats. "When I'm busy, I like to stay busy," Hendershot said. "And I do my best work when I'm busy. Student-athletes only have so many free hours in the day. So it makes your time more productive if you have scheduled events into each time slot of your day. It was a lot, but I learned something that I think helped me within the other categories I was participating in. "Coach Mark helped and knew how important that balance was to me." Hendershot graduated in 2019 with plenty of hands-on experience in a num- ber of areas, which led to her first full- time job out of college working for ESPN as a content associate. That helped her develop and continue to flex her produc- tion experience muscles with one of the biggest brands in sports media. "Being thrown into ESPN and being Hendershot was a first-team All-Big Ten rower at Michigan and the 2019 Big Ten Athlete of the Year in the sport. She graduated with honors from the College of Literature, Science and the Arts with a degree in communications. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY   WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Caroline Hendershot Races Her Way Into The World Of Sports Broadcasting

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