Coming from a Penn State family, playing for the Nittany Lions was a natural fit for lacrosse star Grant Ament. It worked out well for PSU as well. Grant left Penn State with school and Big Ten records for career points and assists. He also set NCAA season records for assists and an NCAA tournament record for total points. In 2019 Grant was an All-American, named the NCAA’s Top Attack Man and was one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award given to the nation’s best player. After a record-setting Penn State lacrosse career that included the school’s first-ever Final Four Appearance Grant was the first overall pick of the 2020 PLL College Draft by the Archers LC. During his first PLL season he racked up 20 points while dishing out 14 assists in the PLL Championship Series. In 2021 we led the league in points and was named the Attackman of the year. His unselfish play and incredible skill set make him one of the top lacrosse players in the world.
Penn State field hockey alum Kelsey Amy was a powerful woman on the field and in the classroom at Penn State. She was a three-time All-American, two-time Capital One Academic All-American, and the 2012 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. Her teams also won multiple Big Ten conference tournament titles. After graduating from Penn State in 2013, she started her own footwear customization business garnering clients such as Thomas Rhett, DJ Snake and Neymar. As her name began to make the rounds in the footwear industry, she transitioned her passion for unique footwear into the start of a career with Nike. In just over 7 years with the global giant, she has made her mark. Her work as a Senior Designer for Nike’s Jordan Brand is recognized internationally. These days she works closely with their roster of professional athletes to create one-of-a-kind footwear for players such as Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook.
A two-time All-American wrestler at Penn State and Smeal College of Business graduate, Chris went on to make his mark in the sports business world after college. He was the 2012 recipient of the Outstanding American Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He is currently co-founder and CEO of technology company, Simplebet and also the co-founder of Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures (BHV), a NY based sports media advisory and investing firm. During his visionary career he was Global Director of Negotiations for Nike, Chairman and CEO of CAA’s Sports Media Ventures, worked for NBC Sports and in the Commissioner’s office for Major League Baseball and was an early investor and advisor for StubHub. While at NBC he won a Sports Emmy as a producer for part of the 1988 Seoul Olympics Broadcast. Moving into the business side of television he co-created College Sports Television (CSTV), the first ever college-only 24/7 sports network. After selling CSTV to CBS (now CBS Sports Network), he started BHV and began advising on media, technology and marketing rights for properties like the WWE, International Olympic Committee, the Pac 12, Big East, Big XII and AAC as well as for a variety of MLB, NBA and NHL franchises. His company BHV also represents multiple universities on commercial rights, including footwear and apparel deals with the likes of NIKE, Adidas and Under Armour. Through it all he has remained close to Penn State wrestling and is a staunch supporter of the program.
An Academic All-American, Heisman Finalist and the winner of the Davey O-Brien Award, Todd Blackledge is best known among Penn Staters for quarterbacking Penn State’s 1982 National Championship Team. He was a first-round pick in the 1983 NFL draft and played 7 years. After football he began a media career becoming an analyst for college football games. His career included prime time roles with ABC Sports and ESPN, then as the lead analyst for CBS Sports SEC game of the week before returning to ESPN where he was nominated for a Sports Emmy. For the 2023 season, Blackledge signed as a color analyst on the NBC Sports Big Ten Saturday Night package. He launched a food-themed segment called “Todd’s Taste of the Town” and has authored a book of the same name. He has been named to the Academic All-American Hall of Fame. In 2008 he won the NCAA’s Silver Anniversary Award recognizing excellence in his collegiate and professional career. And in 2009 he was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award, Penn State’s highest honor.
Calvin Booth, now the General Manager of the Denver Nuggets, is an example of embracing the grind and turning it into greatness. While getting his Penn State degree, he was an integral part of Penn State’s earliest successes in Big Ten basketball. As a dominant defender he was a catalyst leading led one team to the NCAA Tourney and a final #18 ranking and another to the NIT Finals. He earned All-Big Ten honors and was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year because of his rebounding and his intimidating presence. While setting shot block records for both Penn State and the Big Ten he improved his scoring averaging 15.3 points per game as a senior. After college he was drafted by the Washington Wizards and played 10 years in the NBA for Washington, Dallas, Seattle, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Minnesota and Sacramento. After retiring from the NBA, he moved into front-office work starting as a scout for New Orleans. A year later he joined Minnesota and worked his way up to director of player personnel before heading to Denver as Assistant General Manager. In less than three years he was promoted to General Manager and has helped build a playoff team.
A Penn State ACHA All-American Defenseman and National Champion, Ben Bouma remains close to the hockey program including his role as the Project Advisor during the school’s jump to Division I and the design of the Pegula Ice Arena complex. His 30-year career in professional sports includes time with the NHL’s Washington Capitals front office as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates during the planning, construction and development of the widely-acclaimed PNC Park. Bouma serves in major roles with ESPN, NBC, FOX, Amazon and Turner on national broadcasts of the NFL, NHL, MLB, major college football and the Winter Olympics. He was part of NBC’s top NHL broadcast team with legendary 9-time Emmy Winning broadcaster Doc Emrick for 15 years and just completed his second season in the ESPN Monday Night Football booth. Among his nearly 3500 live broadcast events under, Bouma has helped produce 16 Stanley Cup Finals, six Olympic Hockey Tournaments on several continents, 475 NFL games including multiple Super Bowls, hundreds of NHL/MLB playoff games, dozens of NHL/MLB All-Star Games and 25 NHL Outdoor games. He was also instrumental in the latest acquisition process of the Buffalo Sabers as well as the NHL’s recent expansion to Seattle.
Penn State volleyball alum, Megan Hodge is quite simply one of the most decorated athletes in all of Penn State sports history. During her career she was a four-time All-American, a four-time National Champion and winner of the Honda-Broderick Cup given to the top female college athlete in the country. In 2007 and 2008 she was named the Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Championships. And she was clutch, delivering the championship-clinching kill in 2007 against Stanford and in 2009 against Texas to end a 5-set thriller. Her impact on Penn State Volleyball was marked by leading one of the most dominant team dynasties in college sports history. After college she competed internationally for a dozen years including teams in Italy, China and Brazil. She has represented the United States in international competition as well, winning the silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Former Quarterback Michael Robinson knows how to get the job done through the air and on the air as he ranks as one of the best leaders ever to wear the Blue and White. In 2005 he led Penn State to the Big Ten Title in its biggest turnaround season when he was a Heisman Trophy Finalist, The Big Ten MVP and named the National College Football Player of The Year by Sports Illustrated On Campus magazine. Professionally he played 4 years in San Francisco and another 4 years for Seattle. In Seattle he earned Pro Bowl Honors in 2012 and started in the team’s Super Bowl XLVIII win. Even before finishing his playing career, Michael began a broadcasting career starting his own show “The Real Robinson Report” and appearing on “ESPN Difference Makers” with Joe Paterno and Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski. To make an impact in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia he founded Excel to Excellence and Team Excel to inspire academic excellence in the next generation. That work earned him the 2022 “Power of Sport Award” from the VCU Center For Sports Leadership. He is currently an analyst on the NFL Network where he is known for his hard work and top-notch game insight. And he even guest starred as himself for a few episodes of The Young and The Restless.
Lisa Salters is a former Penn State women’s basketball player who has proven that she’s got game on and off the court leading to a professional career after basketball. Starting her career as a journalist with ABC, she frequently reported on many of the biggest news events of that era for ABC World News Tonight. She covered stories in places like Somalia and was sent to cover the Gulf War by ESPN in the early 2000s after making the jump to ESPN in 2000. She quickly rose up the ranks and now serves as ESPN’s lead sideline reporter for the network’s biggest sports properties, the NBA and Monday Night Football. Among her many roles at ESPN, she has also done long-form stories for the ESPN Sports Magazine show E:60. She is widely respected for her professionalism and insight and has been nominated three times for a Sports Emmy Award.
A graduate of Penn State, Susan has risen through a professional career that has put her at the top tier of sports professionals in the country. She is currently a Senior Advisor for NASCAR after being the Executive Vice President and CFO since 2008. She reached her position at NASCAR after a 16-year stint as the CFO of International Speedway Corporation. She also serves on the Board of Directors for The NASCAR Foundation. Schandel was named to the Class of 2016 “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business” by Sports Business Journal recognizing women who bring ideas, solutions and perspectives to the sports business. Schandel has played an integral role in the industry’s growth including the acquisition and development of tracks in the major markets of Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami and led the financial negotiations for the development of Kansas Speedway. In 2016, Schandel played a key role in the establishment of NASCAR’s landmark new charter system for its premier series. The historic agreement created a new business model for team owners improving long-term stability for the industry.
A Penn State lacrosse player from 2004-08, Linsey showed incredible leadership and passion for sports before she even left Penn State. She played lacrosse while also interning with Penn State football and legendary athletics branding guru Guido D’elia in the era that included the birth of the White Out. That sparked a passion for live sports event production. After college, her career includes work with NBC, FOX, and CBS. She can count 7 Super Bowls, March Madness, Thursday Night Football, NASCAR, NFL Drafts, Combines, and Hall of Fame Enshrinements among her work.. That work earned her recognition from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Sports Emmys) for leadership with FOX during the COVID pandemic.
One of the most accomplished Nittany Lions in the history of the Pennsylvania State program, Taylor was a two-time NCAA Division I National Champion (four–time finalist), a four-time Big Ten Conference champion and a two-time Dan Hodge Trophy winner (equivalent of the Heisman Trophy) during his collegiate years. In 2021, Taylor became the 2020 Summer Olympic Games gold medalist after defeating reigning Olympic and World Champion Hassan Yazdani, a feat he repeated from his 2018 World Championship performance where he stormed his way to the title. He later became the 2021 World Championship runner-up, after being defeated by Yazdani.
From our Executive Director:
In March of 2023, we began our second year of operations by changing the Success With Honor operations team to a team of Penn Staters, including my taking the role of Executive Director. Our founders, board of advisors, and operations team are all Penn Staters who love this university and understand our shared Penn State values. Like many of you, I was uncomfortable with NIL, especially in conjunction with the Transfer Portal. However, when I realized that Penn State could lead in navigating NIL with integrity, I embraced the opportunity.
Being a Penn Stater is a transformational experience, not a transactional one. For student-athletes, it includes being part of the university and team culture, training with top athletes and coaches, and exhibiting integrity, leadership, dedication, and perseverance in pursuit of excellence. With a thriving and supportive alumni base, premier career opportunities, and a tremendous collegiate environment in Happy Valley, NIL is just one part of their college experience. Success With Honor is proud to support Penn State student-athletes as they represent businesses, impact charitable organizations and the families that they serve, and develop valuable life skills. Over 96% of our athletes will choose careers other than their college sport. The skills they advance while at Penn State will help make them future leaders in science, engineering, business, humanities, the arts, and more.
I am proud to have a small part in helping our student-athletes grow as people, impact the lives of families who rely on charitable organizations, and represent what is good about Penn State to the rest of the world. We Are!
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