Kelly Stewart

Kelly Stewart

Host, Analyst, Reporter & Producer, Midco Sports Network
Sioux Falls, SD
B.S. Media & Journalism, 2014, M.A. Communications, 2016

"Get involved. Meet people. Learn from people. Be professional. Get out of your comfort zone. If there’s any place to do it, it’s at USD. The people are incredibly nice and welcoming across all groups. Don’t be afraid to fail or put yourself out there. Even if you fail, you’ll have countless Coyotes right there to support you and help you succeed."

Q&A with Kelly:

Describe your current educational or professional pursuits.

I am currently a host, analyst, reporter and producer for Midco Sports Network in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. MidcoSN is a regional sports network whose footprint includes both Dakotas as well as parts of Minnesota.

I serve as an analyst for MidcoSN’s live basketball broadcasts; host various pregame, halftime and postgame shows for football and basketball games on the network, and sideline for MidcoSN’s live broadcasts of Missouri Valley Football Conference games. I also hosted Midco Sports Tonight, which launched in the fall of 2017 as a daily, one-hour sports show covering all sports in the region. The show focused on MidcoSN’s four core Division I schools (USD, SDSU, NDSU and UND) as well as covering the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and high school sports around the Dakotas.

How did your USD experience influence your career path?

I know it’s very cliche to say this – and it’s the stereotypical answer that all alums give when asked this question – but USD honestly gave me all the tools I needed to succeed in my career.

USD gave me countless opportunities to learn on-the-job skills in broadcasting when it came to Coyote News. I got experience in every aspect of a newscast, from behind the scenes to on-air. Through Coyote News, I also learned how to work under pressure and with deadlines, which was a phenomenal experience as very few schools do a live news broadcast like USD.

In addition to that, I was able to make connections and network in the regional media world through USD. All of these connections brought on by USD allowed me to establish a great network of media contacts in the Sioux Falls area and beyond before I even graduated. USD also gave me countless opportunities to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone with reassurance that even if I did fail, the people around me would help me learn from my experience and get better at whatever I was doing, no matter what.

As the saying goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” but from my experience in Vermillion, I can honestly say I learned a great amount of the “what” while making numerous connections with the “who,” so I felt confident heading into the career world.

Tell us about your proudest achievement.

For anyone who knows me, this may not come as a total surprise. My proudest achievement was winning the 2016 WNIT Championship with my phenomenal teammates, coaches and USD fans.

It was my proudest moment because of the joy I felt from being part of something bigger than myself and watching my teammates and coaches experience that, as well. Each player and coach on our team was valuable no matter what their role was, how many minutes they played, how many points they scored or how many rebounds they ripped down. I was by no means an all-star, but I took great pride in my role on the team because I knew that it was an important key to our success, just like each of my teammates contributed other important keys that we needed to succeed. This sounds super corny, but it’s like being one piece in a jigsaw puzzle. You’re similar, yet different to all the other pieces, but without you and without all the other pieces, you can’t make the final product.

Outside of our team, we were able to be a part of something larger than ourselves in that we got to bring joy and pride to the University of South Dakota. I will never forget the feeling of running out of the locker room, looking up, and seeing the DakotaDome packed to the rafters with fans long before tip-off. I had always felt a sense of pride representing USD and wearing South Dakota on my jersey, but to run out to our home floor and see the outstanding support from that many people and be able to feel a part of that community is a feeling that can’t be put into words. Not many athletes get to experience what our team and coaches experienced that day, and I’ll carry that pride with me for the rest of my life.

What was your USD experience like? Were you involved in any campus organizations or activities?

My USD experience was second to none, and I feel a huge reason for that was because I was involved with a variety of groups, leading me to develop outstanding relationships with a multitude of people.

I played on the women’s basketball team, which gave me teammates, coaches and friends that I will stay close with for life. I was also involved in Coyote News through the media and journalism program, and that introduced me to a variety of new people that all shared one common love for broadcasting. In addition, I was the women’s basketball representative for Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for a year, which allowed me to engage with a lot of other athletes.

One of the best things about USD is that regardless of what you’re involved in, the entire campus community is extremely inclusive of one another. The people are what makes the University of South Dakota so special and a wonderful experience for all who attend.

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