Dr. Jerry Punch on NC State’s future

It’s not often that a guy comes along that can really do it ALL in the world of sports journalism…but, imagine layering the responsibility of being an established ER medical doctor to the mix!!! Enter Dr. Jerry Punch.

An NC State grad, Dr. Punch now primarily works in the sport of NASCAR. He says it is one of his passions. His other passions? The NC State Wolfpack and athletic competition in the ACC.

In this podcast, Dr. Punch discusses a range of topics with host Chris Smith, who is also a part of the Wolfpack faithful. The dialogue is actually very interesting, as Punch’s insight into the world of covering collegiate and professional sports is unique. Having covered not only NASCAR, but ACC football and basketball, Punch has a love for sports that shows through in this interview.

The podcast contains:

# Introduction of Dr. Jerry Punch, pit reporter for ESPN’s coverage of NASCAR.
- What was Dr. Jerry’s career path from college to present?
- Was Brad Daugherty (former UNC grad) the reason why Dr. Jerry (former NC State grad) moved back down from the booth to the pits?
- Does Dr. Jerry still do occasional sports coverage other than NASCAR?
- What is Dr. Jerry’s thoughts on the Nationwide COT that made its debut last weekend at Daytona?
- What did Dr. Jerry think about Dale Jr.’s Nationwide win at Daytona?
- Does Dr. Jerry miss the medical aspects of his job and what are his best memories of his career?
- What is Dr. Jerry’s best advice for newcomers trying to break into journalism?
- What is Dr. Jerry’s prediction for NC State football and basketball this season? Also, what is the future for expansion of the ACC?

I will admit Jerry’s predictions for Wolfpack football and basketball are not very original. Not to say they aren’t justified, but it is still the same old “I see NC State starting to make the turn for a very bright future” kind of stuff. Nonetheless, I think Dr. Punch is a great representative of NC State and the ACC. He speaks of how blessed he’s been to be able to go into covering sports without any journalism training, citing a “passion for sports” as the anchor to being a quality broadcaster. His character really shines through in his dialogue about his memories as a medical doctor and his desire to help others.

The podcast also includes some conversation with driver Gil Martin. I’m not one bit a NASCAR fan, but overall this was an interesting interview with some great perspective from a fellow Wolfpacker who has had success in two very different, yet very rewarding fields.

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