On Friday, the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (STAA) announced the Jim Nantz Award winner and STAA All-Americans. Virginia Tech sophomores and Tech Sideline student interns Kyle Marchak and Giovanni Heater earned First and Second Team All-American honors, respectively.
The Jim Nantz Award is the highest honor a collegiate broadcaster can earn, and each spring, the STAA names the winner as well as a total of 20 first-, second-, and third-team All-Americans (six, seven, and six, respectively).
“Congratulations to Kyle and Gio,” Tech Sideline founder Will Stewart said. “We work with these students on a regular basis, and while this is a huge honor for them and for the Virginia Tech Sports Media & Analytics program, we’re not the least bit surprised that they’re All-Americans. They are talented, but more importantly, they work hard at their craft literally every day, and they deserved and earned this honor.”
Marchak is the third student from the Virginia Tech Sports Media & Analytics program (VTSMA) in the last three years to be named First Team All-American. Former TSL Podcast host Evan Hughes, now the voice of Hokies women’s basketball and baseball, won the award in 2021. Kevin DiDomenico, who graduated in May 2022, earned First Team All-American honors last year. He is currently the voice of Reno Aces, the Minor League Baseball affiliate (Triple-A) of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Marchak, a Syracuse, N.Y. native, was the youngest member of the first team, a six-person group that also included three seniors and two juniors. The podcast coordinator for 3304 Sports, he called numerous Virginia Tech games this year for the student organization and the ACC Network Extra (baseball, softball, lacrosse).
Marchak had a large creative hand in writing, broadcasting and producing Tech Sideline’s student-run podcast TSL Today. He is spending the upcoming summer in the Northwoods League in St. Cloud, Minn. as the voice of the St. Cloud Rox, a position previously held by Hughes, as well as 2022 SMA graduate Jake Lyman and former Hokie sports broadcaster Jon Laaser.
Heater, also from Syracuse, N.Y., is the current lead of the TSL Podcast and primary host of TSL Today. He earned honorable mention honors for the Nantz Award in 2022. Like Marchak, Heater is on the student leadership team for 3304 Sports, serving as the broadcast director, and called a number of games in that capacity. He also worked for the ACC Network Extra for select baseball, softball and lacrosse broadcasts. This summer, he is calling games for the Salem Red Sox (Single-A, Boston Red Sox).
Marchak and Heater grew up in the same neighborhood in Syracuse, two blocks away from each other, and both attended Cicero–North Syracuse High School.
The duo were part of a crew comprised of eight students — along with former TSL podcast host Katie Adams and current TSL student interns Nick Brown and Carter Hill — that handled radio coverage of Virginia Tech softball for LEARFIELD this spring.
Marchak and Heater were two of eight students from Atlantic Coast Conference institutions to earn All-American honors in 2023. Syracuse had five students place while Miami had one.
Here is a complete list of Virginia Tech students who have placed for the Jim Nantz Award since its inception in 2009:
2015: Danny Nokes (Sr.), 15th
2016: Bailey Angle (Jr.), 13th
2017: Bailey Angle (Sr.), 13th
2020: Evan Hughes (Jr.), 2nd — First All-American
2021: Evan Hughes (Sr.), Winner
2022: Kevin DiDomenico (Sr.) — First Team All-American
2022: Giovanni Heater (Fr.) — Honorable Mention
2023: Kyle Marchak (So.) — First Team All-American
2023: Giovanni Heater (So.) — Second Team All-American
The Tech Sideline Endowed Scholarship for Sports Journalism
Tech Sideline has endowed a scholarship in the Virginia Tech School of Communications, the Tech Sideline Endowed Scholarship for Sports Journalism. Each year, the scholarship is awarded to student(s) pursuing a degree in Communication — Multimedia Journalism, Sports Media and Analytics.
Past winners are Jake Lyman (2021), Glen Rorie (2022) and Sam Mostow (2023). For more on the TechSideline Endowed Scholarship for Sports Journalism, click here.