Alumni Spotlight Archive
Tim McKinney, 1997 graduate, Associate in Arts degree
Media Assistant. Triton College Marketing Department
I am a graduate of Proviso West High School and attended Triton from 1995-97 earning an associate's degree in liberal arts. After taking some time away from school to pursue other opportunities, I finished my four-year degree at Columbia College Chicago, graduating with a bachelor's in journalism in 2001. Over this period, I've worked part time at Triton in various functions including at WRRG 88.9 FM as sports director and play-by-play announcer for all Triton and community sporting events the station aired. I have also freelanced, broadcasting high school and college sports for Time Warner Cable when they were in the Chicago market.
Finally, for over 10 years, I was a freelance sports writer for Suburban Life Newspapers and other online and print outlets.
This spring I had the distinct honor of becoming just the fourth individual representing Triton to be inducted in the NJCAA Region IV Athletic Hall of Fame as a contributor and friend of sport. For my radio work at WRRG, I was a four-time nominee for the March of Dimes Achievement in Radio Awards. I have also received numerous honors for my work from the Triton Athletic Department and also was given a special recognition award in 2009 from the Illinois District 10 Little League marking a decade of broadcasting games for them.
What would you describe as your strong suit?
I think my strong suit is my work ethic. I believe in covering every event I'm at to the highest degree possible and have taken pride in the work I do because not only is it a reflection of myself but of the college or whatever media outlet I'm representing.
What have been some obstacles you've had to overcome in pursuit of your educational and career goals?
We all have faced many obstacles whether it’s personal or financial but for me the biggest one has always been finding a balance in life. There were times I would get too consumed with work or my career goals that those things important to me got lost in the shuffle and have done a better job over the years to achieve balance.
What has served as a source of inspiration both in your career and in your life?
My family has always been and it was a great feeling to have many of them present at the TCSA banquet in May when I received my Hall of Fame award. There are too many individuals, past teachers, coaches and colleagues who have had some impact on me to single out. I've tried to take what advice or guidance anyone gives me to keep me steered in the right direction.
How has Triton College impacted your life?
The obvious impact is that I'm still here 16 years later! Words can't describe the pride I have for the institution especially the Athletic Department. A lot of that pride was instilled early on as a student when I first started traveling with the men's basketball team coached by the late Frank Lollino, Sr., as their scorekeeper and it has carried over since. When I travel to cover games, its hard not to run into someone who knows me because of my work at Triton, it's like being an ambassador for the college.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career in your field?
My advice would be to learn as many forms of media as possible. Finding a job in the current climate is not easy, especially when many outlets are merging and consolidating, that means there are not as many openings like there used to be. But if you are fortunate to break through in the field especially at an entry-level position, get prepared to wear many hats. That will only make you better in the long run in obtaining more opportunities.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
From August until early May there's not much spare time. I call it rest! I spend time with my family and friends. And when the weather is nice enjoy riding my bike or walking the trail near my home.
What are your plans for the future?
Looking forward to the start of the new athletic season in August and continuing to use my work at Triton to promote our athletic teams and the college positively throughout the community.