A shot at stardom
Gus Margiotta was the hometown hero of
Gloucester, Massachusetts – a small seaport city where successive generations
of tough fishermen continue to contribute to the town’s blue-collar reputation.
As one of the best track stars to ever come out of the city, Margiotta was cut
from the same cloth as his predecessors, and his prolific success granted him
his choice of East Coast Division-I programs after high school.
Margiotta, a senior journalism major with aspirations for sports talk radio,
was originally recruited by the university as a student-athlete specializing in
throwing, which includes field events like the discus, shot put, and hammer
throw. He originally started throwing in middle school as a complement to
track, where he participated as a sprinter in the 100 and 200 meter dash events.
Northern Arizona University was the only program
west of the Mississippi that Margiotta visited, and that’s all it took—he says
that he instantly fell in love with Flagstaff.
“I loved everything I saw, whether it was the
coaching opportunities or the facilities,” Margiotta says. “The School of
Communication was a huge pull for me. Everything fit together perfectly, and
had something the schools back home didn’t have.”
To top it all off, Margiotta was recently
selected for All Big Sky Conference Academic Honors – a testament to his hard
work and dedication both on the field and in the classroom.
For Margiotta, however, it was just the
A perfect fit
Margiotta’s experiences as a student confirmed
his first impressions of the university. He was especially impressed by the dedication
and sincerity of his professors, citing Angele Anderfuren and Dale Hoskins as
two influential faculty members due to their commitment and willingness to go
the extra mile for their students.
“The professors here have been amazing,”
Margiotta says. “Out of everything I’ve
been doing here, their ability to go above and beyond to help me learn is one
of the most amazing things I’ve seen.”
Margiotta says this positive interaction in the
classroom, along with the support of the assistant track and field coach Oscar
Duncan, have helped him with his long term goals of becoming a radio show host and
throwing coach. Margiotta says their influence, and his work in the Student Media Center, which
provided him hands-on experience with tools in the field, have facilitated his
goals of becoming a successful personality on the air.
Opportunities for growth
Making time for academics means Margiotta has to
spend the majority of his weekends focusing on his school work in order to accommodate
his athletic commitments throughout the week.
However, Margiotta explains he wouldn’t change anything; being involved
in university athletics has enabled him to grow and mature, both as a student-athlete
and a person.
“A lot of people think of the Big Sky conference
as small, but in the grander scheme of things, we compete against the Pacific
12, the Western Athletic Conference, and programs with athletes winning
national championships,” Marigotta says. “It’s humbling, and it gives you that
growing experience as a student-athlete.”