Holly Rowe: Passion & Purpose

BY OLIVIA JANSEN | Ball State Sports Link

Close your eyes, and think about the thing you love doing the most.

Now, take that thing, whatever it may be and pursue it — let it drive you.

That was ESPN reporter and play-by-play commentator Holly Rowe’s instruction for Sports Link students during her visit to Ball State Oct. 22.

Holly Rowe receiving her first round of chemotherapy for desmoplastic melanoma.

Everyone has their thing that they’re passionate about. Rowe’s is her work in sports. She shared her inspiring story of beating cancer and using her passion for her work to drive her to be strong with students at Emens Auditorium.

“Reporting helped me get out of bed to not let cancer dictate who I was and what I could do,” Rowe said.

“Because I had to get to games, to keep finding stories that were interesting, I didn’t want to let cancer get in the way of my game.”

College life involves a lot of prioritizing and time management. Between classes, homework, extracurriculars and social time, being a college student always involves deciding what is the most important to you and starting from there.

“When you live with passion every day, you decide what is important,” Rowe shared. “It’s a grind right now, but be invigorated to keep it fresh and keep it fun.”

Keeping it fun is a key component when choosing a career path. I mean, no one wants to spend the rest of their working lives doing a job they don’t enjoy, right?

Sports Link students with Holly Rowe at Bracken House on Oct. 22.

That’s why it’s important to always pursue your passion, Rowe insisted as she gave students her four Passion Principles:

  1. Identify
  2. Plan
  3. Tireless work ethic
  4. Never quit. Never. Like really…never.

Rowe joined ESPN on a regular basis in August 1998 and had previously served as a sideline reporter for select ESPN telecasts in 1997 and for ABC Sports from 1995-96.

Rowe primarily covers college football, men’s and women’s basketball and softball as a reporter, as well as the NBA and WNBA. She has also provided play-by-play commentary for women’s college basketball, softball, volleyball and gymnastics.

In addition, Rowe has covered soccer, swimming, track & field and the Little League World Series of baseball and softball for ESPN. She plays a role in espnW’s coverage of the sports she works on. Rowe also continues to serve as the reporter for the Women’s Final Four.

Rowe has had a remarkable career, from covering a plethora of athletic events from college football to the WNBA to the Little League World Series, but her passion and positivity when faced with adversity are what define her success in the sports industry.

“I haven’t let circumstances get in the way of the dream,” Rowe said. “Find what you love and don’t let anything get in the way of getting there.”

After listening to Rowe’s lecture, titled ‘Working and Living with Passion and Purpose,’ anyone would be inspired to open their eyes to what they love doing the most.


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