By Heather Keller
Asst. Sports Editor & Asst. Arts & Entertainment Editor
Paul Pabst is known by the sports entertainment world most notably as the dual executive producer and On-Air personality “Paulie” on The Dan Patrick Show. However, Sacred Heart University students have the opportunity to also know him as a professor.
Regarding his teaching career, Pabst says that he has always had the idea in the back of his mind.
“When I went to Southern Illinois University I knew I always wanted to teach some day. I had some really impactful professors. I wanted to be one of those guys, the professor that helps students achieve what they want to do in sports media,” said Pabst.
With a background at ESPN and on The Dan Patrick show, Pabst provides real world experience and lessons to his students that go beyond the classroom walls.
“About five years ago I emailed Andrew Miller, a professor in the Communications and Media Studies Department, that I wanted to teach a class,” said Pabst.
Following that correspondence, Pabst now teaches both an undergraduate and graduate level Sports Journalism course at the university.
“I taught one undergraduate course and then Miller, Brian Thorne, an adjunct instructor in the Communications and Media Studies Department and I came up with the idea for a Sports Communication and Media graduate program,” said Pabst.
According to Sacred Heart’s website, there are two academic/professional tracks within the Masters of Arts in Sports Communication. They include Sports Broadcasting and Athletic Communications and Promotions.
“We came up with the idea because there was an
obvious demand for young people to work in sports media and Sacred Heart has the perfect physical position to have a Sports Media program,” said Pabst.
The Dan Patrick Show studio is located in Milford, Conn. ESPN and NBC Sports Network each have headquarters in Bristol and Stamford, Conn. respectively, all within an hour drive of the Sacred Heart campus.
Pabst started at ESPN in 2000, and in 2002 Dan Patrick asked him to produce his radio show. After four years, they took the show from ESPN to Patrick’s home in Milford, Conn. and then finally to a studio, also in Milford.
Direct TV partnered with the show in 2008, and The Dan Patrick show transitioned from the radio to a simulcast television show. As of today the show airs on 305 radio stations, NBC Sports Network and Audience on Direct TV.
“Dan Patrick is the pilot and I’m the air traffic controller. If I do my job well, he’s the star, and he does great work,” said Pabst. “That’s my single goal when I walk into work in the morning, do what I can to make sure the show is entertaining and to give Dan what he needs to provide that for the audience.”
The dynamic of being both an executive producer and a professor has evolved into a learning experience for not only his students, but for Pabst as well.
“You realize how old you are when you teach at Sacred Heart, but it helps keep you younger as a producer because you realize what the next generation wants and how they consume things,” said Pabst.
Pabst brings knowledge and opportunities to the Sacred Heart student body, as demonstrated with the tour of The Dan Patrick “man cave” that he provides throughout the year to his undergraduate and graduate classes, as well as incoming freshmen interested in sports media as a
“The best part about my job here is being a part of helping graduate students get internships and jobs,” said Pabst. “When we can get those students into ESPN, NBCSN, Sports Illustrated, or any media outlet, that in turn accelerates their career.”