CUTigers announced today Will Vandervort will join its staff on a fulltime basis starting March 9, 2009- the first day of spring practice for the Clemson football team.
Vandervort, who will cover the Clemson beat as well as recruiting in his new role as a senior writer for CUTigers, is an award-winning sportswriter who comes from The Daily
Journal/The Daily Messenger in Seneca and Clemson.
He also served as
the sports editor of The Daily Journal/The Daily Messenger and as part
of his duties he covered Clemson University Athletics on a daily basis.
"We are excited to have Will on board now at CUTigers," site publisher Roy Philpott said. "The bottom line is Will is a strong writer and will give our subscribers excactly what they want - quality Clemson-related content every single day.
"He's done a tremendous job covering Clemson athletics over the years and now he can focus all of his efforts on what he loves most- writing. We can't wait for him to get started."
While in Seneca, Vandervort played a big role in the The Daily Journal/The Daily Messenger's success and growth over the last five years. The
Daily Journal/The Daily Messenger is one of just a handful of papers in
the state of South Carolina to continue to grow in circulation.
some of the many elements Vandervort established in the sports section
during his time at the paper, including an increased presence covering
Clemson sports, he and his staff won multiple awards in the newspaper
Vandervort was born and raised in South Carolina. After spending the first
10 years of his life in Greenville, he moved to Bamberg in 1982 where he
graduated from Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School in 1991.
An avid Clemson fan growing up, Vandervort learned the Clemson ways and
traditions through his stepfather Carl Buck, Jr., Class of '49.
"Growing up, I bled orange," Vandervort said. "I followed the Tigers in
every sport and I was fascinated with the history of the school and its
great traditions. I wanted to be a Clemson Tiger, and like all little boys
who grow up a Clemson fan, I wanted to run down the hill and touch
Howard's Rock one day."
After high school, Vandervort went to Anderson College where he wrote for
the school newspaper. While at Anderson he covered both the basketball and
"That's when I first learned that I enjoyed writing," he said. "I already
knew by then that I would never get to play for Clemson, but that's when I
discovered that maybe one day I would get the opportunity to cover my
favorite team, my stepfather's school, as a journalist."
That opportunity came in 2004 when Vandervort accepted the job to be the
sports editor at The Daily Journal/The Daily Messenger in Seneca. At
that time, he had been the sports editor at The Newberry Observer in
Newberry for three years.
"I loved my job at The Observer. The people there were great," he said.
"It was a tough decision, but it was an opportunity for me to achieve one
of my goals. I was going to get the chance to cover the Tigers."
But like any true journalist, Vandervort put his passion for Clemson aside
and covered the Tigers in all sports with an unbiased eye.
"I think it is important for my readers to understand that I am a
journalist first," he said. "I have an obligation to my readers, and that
is to do my best for them and tell them the truth about the happenings
inside the program.
"I'm their eyes, and if that means taking off my orange colored glasses to
get the job done correctly, then that's what I'm going to do."
Vandervort says his experiences covering the Tigers at The Daily Journal/The Daily Messenger will only help him in his efforts to be the best at
"They gave me the opportunity to learn and grow as a writer and reporter
over there and it also gave me the opportunity to understand what the
reader truly wants and that is informative news and in depth reporting,"
he said. "That's what I will bring to CUTigers.com. Yes, I'm a Clemson
guy, I always have been, but like Roy, Dan and Don, I will do my absolute
best to bring the readers of this Web site the most update and informative
unbiased news that I can."
Vandervort has been a sportswriter for more than 12 years and has worked
as a sportswriter and editor for daily newspapers in both Georgia and
South Carolina, where he has won several awards in sports writing, layout
design, special sections and photography.
Vandervort is happily married to his wife of 15 years, Cindy, and is
affiliated with The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
"We are happy to have Will on board with CUTigers, and he will only strengthen what is already one of the leading team-sites on the Internet today," Philpott said.
Will Vandervort joins CUTigers
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