The Wolfpacker

March 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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PACK Assistant Media Relations Director Bruce Winkworth Retires Bruce Winkworth has always loved his wife, baseball and NC State. The 60-year-old Winkworth is retiring from NC State, where he served as the assistant director for media relations for 17 years. He has helped out various sports, but has been a mainstay for baseball, wrestling and cross country. His passions won't be changing in retirement — just the amount of time he spends on them will be altered. Winkworth estimated he worked upwards of 100 hours a week at times, especially during baseball season from March through May. That is where having an understanding wife helps. Bruce and Rita Winkworth have been married for 25 years. "She is extremely understanding," Winkworth said. "She knew what she was getting into when we first got together. "In the next chapter of my life, I'm looking forward to sleeping in a little later and going to bed later. I'm covering college baseball for a couple of different sources. I'm still covering college baseball, so I'm happy about that." Winkworth has worked with former and current NC State base- ball coaches Sam Esposito, Ray Tanner and Elliott Avent, wrestling coaches Bob Guzzo and Carter Jordan, and cross country and track and field coach Rollie Geiger. "The coaches that I've worked with have all been extremely good to me, and I'll always appreciate that because they don't have to be," Winkworth said. Winkworth has met hundreds of coaches and players throughout the years between NC State athletics and opposing teams. "In media relations and with what I was doing, you have to be egoless," Winkworth said. "You let the other person understand that they are the focus of the conversation, and you give them an empathetic ear. "When dealing with coaches, you always show them an apprecia- tion for what they do, what their athletes do, and show respect for that. If you do that, they will bend over backwards to help you." Winkworth learned that everything he says is a reflection of what coaches hope to convey in recruiting. That philosophy trickled down to press releases and interactions. "You have to please your coaches," Winkworth said. "It's me- dia relations, but in reality that is secondary to working with the coaches. Coaches can be a little high maintenance, but when you establish a relationship with a coach, you learn to anticipate those things and it isn't a problem." NC State sports information director Annabelle Myers has worked with Winkworth for the last 13 years. He'll miss her deft ability to keep the chemistry good on their team. "Any job is easy when you have an outstanding supervisor," 16 ■ THE WOLFPACKER often worked 100 hours per week, especially during baseball season. FILE PHOTO Winkworth (left, shown with head baseball coach Elliott Avent) served as NC State's assistant director of media relations for 17 years, and he Winkworth said. "Annabelle Myers was great to work for. She lets you do your job without micromanaging. She has your back and will fight for you, and she's a fantastic mentor. She also knows how to keep the mood in the office light without it being trivial. It's not a big surprise that every coach that works with her raves about her." Winkworth's love affair with baseball started when he was cheer- ing for Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (Koufax was part of the franchise from 1955-66), before moving on to Rocky Colavito and the Cleveland Indians (Colavito was with the team from 1955-59 and 1965-67). "When I was a little kid, my dad was a big baseball fan, and he got us into it," Winkworth said. "As I've gotten older, I have a number of friends who now work with the Cleveland Indians, like John Mirabelli, who pitched for NC State. He's the assistant general manager and scouting director." Winkworth loves other sports such as football and basketball, but there is just something about baseball. "It was the first one and maybe that is the reason why," Wink- worth said. "There is something about the feel of the game that strikes a chord in me." Some of Winkworth's favorite memories at NC State involve Wolfpack baseball, and most involve a bit of humor. "I remember [former NCSU sports information director] Frank Weedon getting ejected from the dugout at a baseball game," Wink- worth said. "I remember seeing Frank get ejected from the scorers table at an ACC Tournament basketball game. "I remember seeing [NCSU current baseball coach] Elliott Avent TRACKING THE

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