McCord a role model for women in sports media

Samantha Clark


Hard-working. Driven. Passionate. From what I’ve heard, I can’t think of better words to describe Carley McCord.

The death of Carley McCord on Dec. 28 garnered a lot of media attention. She was a sideline reporter for Cox Sports and ESPN, game host for the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, and a sports reporter for WDSU, to quote her Twitter bio.

She was also a digital media reporter for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the place where I was also employed last summer, and the daughter-in-law of LSU offensive coordinator Steven Ensminger.

While we worked for the same organization, we didn’t know each other. Our paths probably physically crossed through work last summer, but it doesn’t take a personal relationship with her to see her impact on her family, friends, this university and the world for women in sports media.

After she died, my feeds were full of shock and thoughtful words noting her kindness, energy and passion for what she did.

I didn’t realize how many connections we had.

My boyfriend knew her when she was a student at NSU. The people I worked with at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame foundation knew her. All have only positive things to say about her character and her work ethic.

She paved a path that I want to take for my career. She’s a role model.

Women make up a small percentage of sports media.  In a 2018 study, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports gave sports media a failing grade for its gender hiring practices.

On Nov. 19, 2019, Carley posted on Instagram about a student, Kaylee, who stood out to her, and Kaylee shadowed her on Cox Sports Television. She frequently used the hashtag #womeninsports. Carley wanted women to succeed in sports media.

Her story inspires me. It’s hard to imagine someone who went to NSU can end up covering sports on ESPN or cover the Saints and Pelicans. Natchitoches is a small town. It can be hard to imagine someone from here making it big.

Carley proved to me that the path I want to take after graduation isn’t impossible.

So thank you, Carley. Thank you for showing me my dreams can become a reality. Thank you for showing that hard work pays off. Thank you for being a role model for women in the world for sports media.

I know you made so many people proud during your time here. It was too short, but it left a lasting impact.

Samantha Clark

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