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Drake SJMC Welcomes ESPN’s David Lubbers

A headshot of David Lubbers David Lubbers has a plethora of unique experiences in the sports journalism world. Now, Lubbers is excited to share that experience with the students that he’ll be teaching within the SJMC this fall. Photo Courtesy of David Lubbers' LinkedIn

In Drake University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications, any new professor that returns to the Bulldog family is one to be excited about due to the vast pool of talent and tools that they often bring to the table. For many of these new professors, working at Drake is a uniquely prestigious opportunity. For newly hired professor and alum David Lubbers, this job will add to an already overflowing resume.  

In February, Lubbers was hired as the SJMC’s newest assistant professor and was appointed to teach reporting and writing principles and electronic field production. As a standout candidate, those overseeing his interviews, such as interim-Dean Kelly Bruhn, had much to say about Lubber’s personality and newfound purpose at Drake.   

“Dave’s excitement is infectious,” Bruhn said. “He has done so many great things in his career, but that’s not the focus. The focus is specifically on the student and what he can lift others up to do.” 

Although the hiring process moved fast, Lubbers had already spent several years on the Drake campus as a walk-on basketball player and student long before the process began and is using this opportunity to further bolster his Bulldogs roots.  

“I was at Drake from 1982 to1986, and I went to Drake because I was interested in journalism from the very beginning,” Lubbers said. “I went to an overnight journalism camp during my junior year [of high school] here at Drake, and I just loved it. From there I decided that this is where I wanted to go, and my four years at Drake were fantastic.” 

Although he only made three points in his two years on the court and never traveled with the team, Lubber was a Drake men’s basketball walk-on from 1984 to 1986 before graduating that May as cum laude. Lubbers has won two Peabody Awards and three Sports Emmys thanks to his work at ESPN for more than thirty years and his time with the Chicago bureau covering some of the biggest news stories the field has ever seen. 

One of Lubber’s most notable stories was his story on the Larry Nassar sexual assault case, in which one of the over 300 individuals violated by the Olympic and Michigan State University athletic trainer spoke up to raise awareness.  

With such a storied dedication to producing media of all types, Lubbers is excited to bring his skills and connections into the classroom for his students starting in the fall of 2024.

Lubber’s connections to reporters from every walk of life will help his students gain important insight on what life working for the media is really like, including skills from field professionals he’ll bring into the classroom.

In addition to teaching two classes, Lubbers will also be furthering his education, as he’ll be working towards a master’s degree in compliance with his teaching agreement.

“I will have the opportunity to learn more about some of the tools that are used, whether that be software or physical things, and having the access and permission to get familiar with those,” Lubbers said. “There are a lot of things at Drake that I want to be involved in to learn and grow as a person, and I might even try things like become a part of a student organization as an advisor.” 

Even though Lubbers won’t be joining the teaching staff at Drake until the fall, his presence on campus and overall love for the Bulldog community will quickly make him a campus name and a smile to recognize.  

“We talk a lot about the SJMC family, and he is going to be one of the family,” student professional and academic support specialist Timm Pilcher said. “He is a Drake alum. He is a basketball player with a horrific career here at Drake and he is a goofball. He will be excited, he will be passionate, he will be all the things that Drake students look for in their instructors.” 


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