As the website approaches its fourth birthday, I would like to say thank you to everyone that has supported VUBenchMob.com–whether you were a reader, podcast listener, contributor, fan, and/or social media follower.
It has been on my mind over the last few months, but I would like to announce that VUBenchMob.com will not be coming back for a fifth season of Villanova hoops and will shut down.
I have taken a managerial and editorial role over at VU Hoops, where I will be able to continue the mission that started here for me–to inform all Villanova fans, while reaching out and mentoring Villanova students that might be pursuing a sports journalism career.
While I would have loved to see VUBenchMob.com continue to grow and flourish, I am excited to keep that mission (and the State of the Nova Nation podcast) alive at the biggest Villanova news platform around. After all, this website began with the readers in mind and eventually became a channel to give back and help those who started like me–without a platform, portfolio, or any experience. I am happy to be able to keep that going over at VU Hoops.
Thank you to everyone that supported this site. It grew beyond my sophomore year self’s wildest imagination. From starting out as a column on a school paper that folded, to breaking free and slowly amassing an audience in the thousands–it was unbelievable.
My appreciation goes beyond just an encompassing thank you, and there are some that helped contribute to the growth of this site that I’d like to take special note of.
Thank you to the Villanova Media Relations department. Mike Sheridan, Dean Kenefick, Stewart Sabine, Michelle Ruel, and Tom Zulewski–you could have easily said no. Pitching a no-name blog and asking for credentials to cover one of the biggest programs around, I’m grateful that I did get the opportunity to do so. The site would have never grown to what it became, if I never got the opportunity to cover the brilliant student-athletes up close and personal. I never thought sitting courtside would have been in the picture when I first started it up in my St. Mary’s dorm room, let alone going to Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament and following the team around during that NCAA Tournament title run.
I’d also like to thank the coaches for being available for those interview requests and allowing VUBenchMob.com to talk to the great student-athletes that represent the university. Jay Wright, Harry Perretta, Andy Talley, Mark Ferrante, Maria DiBernardi, Rick Simpson, Tom Carlin, Josh Steinbach, Marcus O’Sullivan–I appreciated you and your players’ time, stories, and help.
Another thank you to the professors that helped shape me as a writer and elevate myself–Jeff Silverman, Michael Bradley, Jody Ross, Tom Ksiazek, Hezekiah Lewis, Juanita Weaver, Karyn Hollis, as well as the Communication and English departments. I’m thankful for the guidance you gave me in and out of the classroom.
I’d also like to thank the people who gave their time to write and work for this platform, whether it was the written media or helping out with putting together the State of the Nova Nation when it was a video show. For those of you that did continue with journalism, I’m proud of how far you’ve come and the opportunities you now have. For those that didn’t, I’m still grateful and thankful for your hard work, and I hope that you go down a path that makes you happy. I hope you were all able to create some great memories from covering games and got to enjoy it as much as I did. This site wouldn’t have gotten to where it was without your work.
Last but never least, thank you to the readers, friends, family, classmates, and Nationers that followed the site. Thank you for supporting me, as well as all the other writers and people that gave their time to the Bench Mob.
Enjoy the college basketball season, November 10 will be here before you know it.