Peabody Award & Emmy Winning Producer Al Szymanski Joins Faculty

Al Szymanski, an award-winning producer, director and writer, will join Ball State’s Department of Media and serve as the Assistant Director of Sports Production & Ball State Sports Link.

Szymanski, who starts in August with Ball State’s new academic year, joins Chris Taylor (Senior Director of Sports Production & Associate Lecturer) and Alex Kartman (Director of Sports Production & Associate Lecturer) as Sports Link faculty.

“Mentoring young people entering the broadcast industry is an avenue I find myself happily walking with increasing frequency,” Szymanski said. “Paying it forward, helping the next generation of broadcast professionals, is one of the unexpected perks of a successful career.”

Szymanski has won numerous awards for his work, including 11 Emmys and a prestigious Peabody Award for his ESPN “30 for 30” documentary, “Little Big Men”.

His Emmy wins include Outstanding Documentary, twice for Outstanding Edited Sports Special and the esteemed Dick Schaap Writing Award.

Szymanski in Morocco shooting for his documentary The Sahara Marathon.

Szymanski is currently producing/directing two episodes of a documentary series that will air later this year on A&E. 

His other recent projects include:

  • NFL Honors (CBS)
    Feature Producer/Director

  • UFC Destined: Whittaker vs Gastelum (ESPN)
    Episode Producer

  • Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On (A&E)
    Director. The most-watched A&E special since 2017 and the largest “biography” television audience in 15 years.

Szymanski’s career has taken him around the world leading production teams on documentaries, live and taped events, studio productions, commercial campaigns and virtually every aspect of post-production.

A veteran of NBC Sports, CBS Sports, ESPN and NFL Network, his list of assignments includes several high-profile events: the Super Bowl; NBA Finals; Summer Olympics; NCAA Football & Basketball Championships; Wimbledon, French Open & US Open Tennis Championships; and World Figure Skating & Gymnastics Championships. 

For many years, Szymanski has operated his own production companies. In that capacity, he has produced multiple non-scripted series and documentaries for various networks, including: MSNBC; The History Channel; Discovery; Bravo; Food Network; and A&E.

Szymanski and his wife, Valerie, maintain a home in Gilbert, Ariz. Their eldest son is a Grammy Award winning musician and producer, and their youngest son is an actor practicing his craft in New York City.

Since 2009, Ball State’s immersive learning production, Ball State Sports Link, has emerged as a national leader in sports media and production.

Sports Link graduates can be found at ESPN, Turner Sports, Fox Sports, Tupelo Raycom Sports, MLB, Indy Car, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL and NCAA Athletics Departments across the country.

Author: Sports Link Staff

Sports Link showcases Cardinal student-athletes’ accomplishments on the field, in the classroom and within the surrounding community. Follow @bsusportslink on all social media platforms.