ESPN Commentator and RU Alumnus to deliver Spring Commencement Address


Marty Smith '98

ESPN Commentator Marty Smith, a Radford University alumnus, will be the keynote speaker at Radford University's 2015 Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 9, at 10 a.m. on the university’s Moffett Lawn.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in Media Studies in 1998 from the university’s School of Communication in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences. A native of Pearisburg, Virginia, he graduated from Giles High School.

"We are excited to welcome an enthusiastic Radford University alumnus like Marty back to reflect on his distinctive career path that has taken him to speedways, sports arenas, stadiums and other venues that are a fabric of American culture," said President Penelope W. Kyle. "His experiences as a media professional and perspective as observer of the world of sports, the media landscape and popular culture will provide refreshing insights and unique inspiration to our students as they pursue their own passions and opportunities after Radford University."

Smith, who joined ESPN in 2006, is currently a bureau reporter based in Charlotte, North Carolina, reporting on a variety of sports including NASCAR and professional and college football and basketball for its news and information platforms including SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship nightly sports news show. He also is a writer for

In addition to his reporting and writing, Smith also is co-host of the’s popular Marty and McGee. Smith and co-host Ryan McGee of ESPN the Magazine discuss NASCAR and other topics with a wide variety of guests from NASCAR drivers to country music artists to stars from other sports.

From 2007 -14, Smith was ESPN’s lead NASCAR reporter for both SportsCenter and the former NASCAR Now program. In addition to reporting for SportsCenter and writing news and features for, Smith also contributed to ESPN’s NASCAR event television coverage, which ended at the conclusion of the 2014 season, with numerous unique features and extensive, in-depth and revealing interviews with nearly every top driver in the sport.

Prior to joining ESPN, Smith was a senior writer for, an analyst and host on the former SPEED Channel and a NASCAR analyst on Fox Sports Net. While at Radford University, he was part of the Sports Information student staff and wrote for the Tartan, RU's student newspaper. After leaving Radford University, Smith launched his sports journalism career as a reporter for the Roanoke Times and Lynchburg News-Advance.

Apr 3, 2015