With Purpose and Passion
With Purpose and Passion
Travis, who recently turned the ripe, old age of 35, is a 20-year veteran in sports media.
Yes, that math is correct. He first embarked on this storytelling journey when he was 15 years old. That’s when he approached the sports editor of the local newspaper, the Thomasville (Ga.) Times-Enterprise, and asked if it could use some help covering high school football, the area’s most beloved sport. The editor thankfully obliged, even though Travis needed a ride to the newsroom before getting his first driver’s license.
At that age, he dreamed of one day working at ESPN, sitting on the “SportsCenter” set as a part of the Worldwide Leader in Sports’ flagship show. That became a literal dream come true in 2012, when ESPN hired Travis to be one of its national college football reporters. In addition several stops by the beautiful, new “SportsCenter” set, he regularly appeared on “College Football Live” and ESPNU’s “The Experts.” He also hosted ESPN’s college football podcast, “Championship Drive.”
Before the time at ESPN, Travis worked for several newspapers, among them covering Oklahoma Sooners football for The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City and South Carolina Gamecocks sports for The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.
He has additionally contributed to numerous ESPN publications and projects, including ESPN the Magazine.
Travis has also contributed to numerous websites, including 247sports.com. He also has extensive experience hosting and being a guest analyst on radio programs around the Southeast, including Nashville's popular 104.5 "The Zone."
A native of the East Tennessee town of Cleveland, Travis’ initial introduction to a college football cathedral was Neyland Stadium. He later graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2003. After years and years around the SEC and Big 12, safe to say that football is injected into his bloodstream. The tradition and passion in college football is unmatched. It’s a special thing to see and feel the energy in the sport, and Travis has developed lifelong relationships with players, coaches and administrators in every part of the country.
Haney is the author of three books, including State of Disunion – a look at the top 20 moments in the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry. He also wrote Gamecock Glory and Gamecock Encore, the only books to tell the stories of South Carolina’s College World Series championships in 2010 and 2011.
Haney resides in Nashville, Tenn., with his weird, little, awesome Australian Shepherd, Kit.
A bunch, but not as many as Herbstreit.
I was on the sideline for the 2013 Kick Six Iron Bowl and multiple college football championship games. But I’ve never seen anything like an underdog South Carolina baseball team winning five straight games in the 2010 College World Series to claim the school’s first men’s national title.
The Gamecocks had no business winning, really. They were down to their last strike against Oklahoma in an elimination game, but emerged the winner. They then defeated archrival Clemson twice in two days, advancing to a best-of-three series against UCLA, an ultra-talented team with history on its side.
South Carolina won Monday, won Tuesday – and returned home Wednesday to a hero’s welcome, the school’s arena packed with fans.
The following day, the city lined Main Street to laud the champs, with then-coach Ray Tanner addressing fans from the State House steps. It was a magical time, made all the more special given the fact that the Gamecocks were playing for Bayler Teal, a 6-year-old who lost his battle with cancer in the middle of the College World Series.
Bayler’s parents and brother traveled to Omaha to support the team and honor Bayler’s memory. On that Tuesday night, they helped hoist the NCAA championship trophy.
After more than one hundred years of craving a champion, the University of South Carolina finally has one. The 2010 Gamecock baseball team won six consecutive games over eight summer nights to take the College World Series and lay claim to the school's first major national championship. From dancing around in a dark locker room to singing "Silent Night"? on the team bus after every victory in Omaha, these Gamecocks were as fun-loving as they were talented. And they did it all in the name of one special boy, seven-year-old Bayler Teal. Bayler passed away before he could see his beloved Gamecocks triumph, but the team's victory is a tribute to their number one fan. Join Travis Haney as he recounts this incredible team's historic season.
The Gamecocks baseball team's surprising, heart-pounding run to the 2010 College World Series title seemed to many as if it could not be paralleled, in its excitement or its overall meaning to the school and the state of South Carolina. In 2011, though, they topped what they had already done, returning home champions and parading in style to the State House steps. In 2010, they honored the life of 7-year-old Bayler Teal, a cancer victim who died during the College World Series. In 2011, they celebrated the life of Omaha native Charlie Peters, a 13-year-old cancer survivor who served as a batboy for the team. The Gamecocks celebrated with a traditional dogpile near the pitcher's mound, Peters jumped on top of the mass of players and coaches.
Available on Amazon.
Former Clemson coach Charley Pell once said that the outcome of the Carolina-Clemson rivalry decides who walks down the street as state champion and who hides in a closet for a year." That's the way it goes in the Palmetto State when these two football teams get together. Playing for the first time in 1896 on a soggy day at the state fair in Columbia, the Gamecocks and the Tigers began a tradition that has lasted over a century. Join award-winning sportswriters Travis Haney and Larry Williams as they recount the greatest moments of the longest uninterrupted series in the South, with firsthand accounts from coaches, players and spectators."
Available on Amazon.
MORE THAN SKIN DEEP
FROM THE (ANDERSON, S.C.) INDEPENDENT-MAIL
COALMONT, TENN. – Color defines so much in life. On an athletic field, it sets two teams apart. In a church, it’s the difference between a wedding and a funeral. On a battlefield, it can separate you from shooting the enemy, or your brother. In this town, color is the difference between acceptance and alienation. It’s the line drawn between normal and weird. It’s reason enough to hate. At one point in K.T. Mainord’s life, he was an alien, a weirdo. He was hated by these townspeople. [read more]
CHAPTER 15: LOOKING UP
FROM GAMECOCK GLORY
Ever since South Carolina’s baseball team stepped into a hospital room in October 2008 to find a cancer-stricken boy laughing and bouncing on a couch, Bayler Teal had taught the Gamecocks about survival.
So it was a strange word to use as they played in the College World Series. The word had been redefined by Bayler. Talking about surviving in a baseball tournament, compared to a seven-year-old life, felt hollow. Athletic teams visit sick kids all the time, but Bayler was not a community service endeavor. He had become a friend to the Gamecocks. He had become one of them. They played for him at Georgia, sweeping the Bulldogs. They played for him again in the Super Regional, knocking out Coastal Carolina in dramatic fashion to advance to the school’s first College World Series since 2004. [read more]
LETTERS TO AUSTIN
FROM THE OKLAHOMAN
ENID, OKLA. — When he sat down to write the first letter 11 years ago, he didn’t know. How could he have known?
Craig Box was unaware that this would become a weekly tradition for the next decade, sustained initially by superstition but ultimately entrenched because it was his chance to provide encouragement and impart wisdom before each one of his son Austin‘s football games.
The first letter found its way to his only son’s room before a middle school game, when Austin was in seventh grade. The last one was extended in January in the Arizona desert, just before Oklahoma‘s Fiesta Bowl win against Connecticut. [read more]