She Holds her Own in a World of Men . . . but Don’t Call her Tomboy
by Matt Soppelsa ’14
Ashleigh Ignelzi ’07 is a prime example of how Otterbein University prepares its students for life after college. With her broadcasting degree in hand, Ignelzi went right to work in the field of her choice — sports media.
Sports fans may know her as the online host and sideline reporter for the Columbus Crew, central Ohio’s Major League Soccer team, or as a reporter for ESPN The Magazine. She also hosts her own sports talk radio show, writes for Columbus Wired TV and has her own blog, www.thefoxyfrenzy.com, covering a variety of topics in sports, news and entertainment. Ignelzi has covered all the bases of media in her short time as a professional and she credits Otterbein with giving her the chance.
Ignelzi got her start in the sports media world as a host on the The Average Joe Sports Show on the Ohio News Network (ONN). “I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work on ONN without my internship through Otterbein,” she said.
She quickly earned recognition and respect as the woman who could hold her own against a team of industry veterans — all men. Since then, she has become one of Ohio’s hardest-working sports reporters. According to Ignelzi, her favorite part of her job is working with superstars like LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal.
Some people may think that Ignelzi is all sports, all the time — a total “tomboy.” However, she was recently featured in a style spotlight in 614 Magazine and she once worked as a makeup artist.
“Most people see female sports reporters as tomboys, but I don’t consider myself one,” said Ignelzi. “It is helpful to connect with the athletes’ wives; they comment on my make-up and I do theirs sometimes.”
Ignelzi credits Otterbein with preparing her for the real world. “I had a professor who was a producer at NBC; she would do things like coordinate Red, White and Boom (the Fourth of July festivities in downtown Columbus). She gave me very realistic views of the career field I was going into. To me, that seemed the best way to prepare students,” said Ignelzi.
Having worked with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Columbus Crew, Columbus Blue Jackets and many other professional sports teams in Ohio, Ignelzi is using the skills she learned at Otterbein to succeed in her dream field.