SAN FRANCISCO -- The Collegiate School prides itself on turning out great students that make an impact throughout Virginia and the rest of the country. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is the most famous former Cougar thanks to his two Super Bowl appearances and high profile lifestyle complete with pop star girlfriend.
Bill Hofheimer may not be a household name like Wilson, but he has been to far more Super Bowls than his fellow Collegiate grad. Hofheimer is a Senior Director of Communications at ESPN in Connecticut, and worked his 14th Super Bowl this year in San Francisco.
Hofheimer attended the University of Virginia and began his off-the-field athletic career there. After a two-year stint at the University of Florida, he moved to Disney where, for a time, his responsibilities included Disney's Wide World of Sports, home to Atlanta Braves spring training. From there, it was on to ESPN.
"I can still remember getting the call from my boss now at ESPN saying 'we want to bring you on board,'" Hofheimer said. "I made the move from Florida to Connecticut and I'm working on Monday Night Football as we're preparing to launch the series on ESPN".
Hofheimer's playing days ended with his Collegiate graduation, but not his coaching days. He has become a teacher of sorts to some of ESPN's former athletes who are now analysts, including former Super Bowl champion quarterback Trent Dilfer.
"There are no coaches for this (being on TV)," Dilfer explained. "Bill was one of the few people who coached me. After I did something, he would pull me aside and say 'Hey, that was really good' and give you affirmation. Or say 'Next time, consider doing this'. He had a gentle hand of helping me to do my job better."
"Little things I might see here or there about how they can approach an interview or just a suggestion here or there" Hofheimer said. "But for the most part, we've got a really good group and they know what to do."
Hofheimer recently celebrated 10 years at ESPN, and what he may have expected when taking the job has been exceeded by the realities of his experience.
"It's really been a thrill beyond my wildest guesses" Hofheimer said. "It's been a great ride and I hope it continues for a while."
And since Wilson's entry into the NFL, he and Hofheimer have had a chance to catch up and share their mutual high school acquaintances and experiences. However, it's not widely known that they share an alma mater.
"Really?" Dilfer said when informed of their shared education. "That means Russell Wilson is the second best athlete to ever come from that school!!"