Larry Vettel (Senior Writer and Media Director)
For more than 25 years, Larry Vettel has been heard on the airwaves in Gainesville and throughout Florida, broadcasting on radio and television every Gator sports team and voicing his opinions on sports and a variety of other topics on daily and weekly talk shows. He pioneered sports talk in Gainesville, creating the market's first daily show in the fall of 1989.
Currently, Vettel serves as the play-by-play announcer on Sun Sports telecasts for a number of Gator sports including men's football, basketball, volleyball, swimming, softball and gymnastics. He recently handled play-by-play for the SEC Championship game win over Arkansas, the sixth time he has done so for the Gators television package. He and Bill Koss have teamed up to broadcast Gator Men's Basketball for the past 18 seasons. In addition, he serves as a host and interviewer for Gatorzone, a television show featuring Gator athletics and as a reporter/interviewer for Sun Sports TV and FSN Florida.
Vettel's earlier career highlights include serving as play-by-play and color commentator for Florida high school sports and hosting daily radio shows on SportsTalk Radio and WRUF AM & FM. In 1981, he joined WRUF AM & FM as sports director and went on to build a sports department that would provide the most comprehensive coverage of Gator sports, while also offering practical work experience to University of Florida broadcasting students. He also was a main fixture of WRUF's news coverage of the student murders that wracked the Gainesville community in 1990.
Vettel graduated from the University of Florida in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast management and a minor in business administration.
Vettel will be producing numerous stories per week for FightinGators.com.
Chris Chmielenski (Content and Site Manager)
Over the past few years, Chmielenski served as a team reporter at Gator Bait website and magazine covering football, basketball and baseball and assisted with recruiting coverage including a focus on Gator hoops recruiting.
Chmielenski will serve as the FightinGators.com Site Content Manager, and will be responsible for providing an abundance of content monthly.
Before moving to Gainesville in 2005, Chmielenski taught television productions and journalism at Celebration High School outside Orlando.
A native of Connecticut, Chmielenski attended the nationally acclaimed journalism program at Syracuse University majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. Chmielenski graduated in 1996 and worked at a sports radio station in Worcester, MA before moving to Florida in 1999.
Chmielenski lives in Gainesville with his wife, a clinical professor at UF, and his two children.
Jason Higdon (Recruiting Analyst)
FightinGators.com is pleased to announce Jason Higdon will serve as a Recruiting Analyst on the Site. Higdon, who has worked closely with Scout National Recruiting Expert Jamie Newberg and Director of Programming Scott Kennedy over the past few years, will concentrate efforts on providing in-depth interviews with Gator recruits, and providing the latest news on the UF recruiting scene.
Higdon will work closely with Newberg, Kennedy and Regional Expert Miller Safrit to ensure that Gators fans will get recruiting coverage locally, regionally, and nationally. Higdon's deep knowledge of Gator recruiting and extensive contacts among HS and college coaches makes him an ideal candidate for the Recruiting Analyst position on FightinGators.com. In addition, many Gator fans already know Higdon from his username "Jay4Gators."
Over the past ten years, Higdon has worked as a Producer in both sports television and radio.
Scout Recruiting Expert Team
Gators fans will be well-served by the entire Scout Expert team, but in particular, the efforts of Jamie Newberg, Scott Kennedy, and Miller Safrit. Their bios and track records are well-known, and through this new launch of FightinGators.com, their presence will be more visible than ever moving forward.
David Stirt (Editor-Publisher of Fightin' Gators Magazine)
In addition to the FightinGators.com team that has been assembled to provide online content, Fightin' Gators magazine will continue to deliver its unique look at Gator athletics with David Stirt continuing to serve as editor-publisher of what has become the largest circulation magazine devoted exclusively to University of Florida athletics. Fresh off producing a critically-acclaimed, 148-page, full-color national football commemorative issue, Stirt and his staff have grown the monthly edition from 48 to 84 pages in the past year, developing an extremely popular editorial product to compliment the daily information available at FightinGators.com and the entire Scout.com network.
Over the course of the coming weeks and months, new staff additions will be announced as they are brought on board. It is our objective to continue bringing the latest news, in-depth stories, and fresh perspective that you've come to expect from your Florida Gators Site.
-FightinGators.com and Fightin Gators Magazine Staff
FightinGators.com Welcomes New Staff
Fightin Gators Top Stories
Reyes ready for a full year opportunityFlorida sophomore outfielder Danny Reyes played in just 24 games a year ago. When he finally got to play he started strong, but didn’t finish quite like he wanted. Now he is ready…
Fightin Gators8:51 AM
Gators Coaches on the Road AgainThe Florida staff is once again on the road on Friday. The Gators will check in on several targets in South Florida.
Fightin Gators7:00 AM
Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day; Oct. 21A few thoughts to jump start your Friday morning...
Fightin GatorsYesterday at 10:25 PM
Gators Check in On Scout 300 OTTony Gray received a visit from Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. Are the Gators in the mix?
Fightin GatorsYesterday at 1:50 PM