Once a college dropout, East alum Max McGee has followed his dreams to the top stage of sports broadcasting


Courtesy of LinkedIn

East alum Max McGee currently anchors Sports Center for ESPN

Max McGee (‘08) was in his house one day having a conversation with his parents. The current ESPN sportscenter anchor had dropped out of Camden County College after spending over a year there and had not taken school seriously. His parents had told him that if he wanted to get his life back on track, he had to go back to college. In McGee’s first semester back, he took a single art class before taking two courses in his next semester and three the semester after that. He was able to earn his Associates degree in 2013 and then transferred to Temple University. Through an unusual path, McGee went from initially being a community college dropout to one of the main hosts on SportsCenter.

Growing up, McGee had always wanted to be a major league baseball player. However, in his junior year of high school, he quickly realized that his dream would not become a reality. He figured that if he wasn’t going to be a pro baseball player, then the closest thing to that was to talk about pro baseball. McGee did exactly that by joining the Sports Broadcasting club at East. This allowed him to pursue his passion for sports while also getting comfortable on camera. 

“That was my first exposure to being on camera,” McGee said. “Getting those reps played a pivotal role because before I got to Temple, I was already getting some reps on camera. This was just a natural transition to go into sports and thankfully I got into ESPN.”

In addition to Sports Broadcasting club, McGee also participated in Journalism club under current Eastside advisor Greg Gagliardi and also participated in Sports Debate club. All of these clubs allowed McGee to see his passion for sports broadcasting and made him realize this might be something he wanted to do as an adult. His favorite memory from high school was when he was inducted into the Cherry Hill East Senior Hall of Fame. He said that this was a huge deal for him and his parents and they still have the Hall of Fame picture hanging up in his house.

McGee decided to enroll at Camden County College after graduating because he didn’t have the best high school grades and going to community college would give him more time to figure out his life. Not putting much effort into that set him back into a much tougher situation there.

“I didn’t take school too seriously,” McGee said. “I was there full-time and then part-time and screwed up my grades a little bit and then I left school for an entire year. I didn’t have the direct path to where you see me today.”

When applying to four-year schools after graduating from community college, McGee looked all over the country including the midwest. However, he decided to stay in the Philadelphia area when he chose Temple University. WIth Temple being in the heart of the Philadelphia sports scene, with so many great internship opportunities, McGee knew that Temple was the perfect place for him. During his four years at Temple, he got an internship at FOX 29 where he learned the ins and outs of broadcasting and also got to work with top personalities like Howard Eskin. He also worked for Owl Sports Update, which is one of the student run tv shows at Temple University, where he got to be on- air and cover Temple athletics. 

After graduating from Temple in 2013, McGee was working at Famous Dave’s in Cherry Hill, where he had been working the past seven years. During that time, he had applied to over 250 local television stations around the country but never got a job. After nearly three years since graduating, McGee had finally received the call that he had been offered a job at a network in Lake Charles, located in Louisiana. While he was thrilled to get the job, it was also scary for him to move 1400 miles away from home after living in Cherry Hill his entire life.

“I remember leaving in August of 2016 and that was a tough day,” McGee said. “I remember getting off the jetway with the heat punching me in the face and I started crying. I didn’t know where the hell I was but that was the best thing for me.”

McGee spent a little less than a year in Louisiana before getting a job at another network in Myrtle Beach. There he did sports reporting and anchoring and produced his own show. This was all a great experience for McGee as he was getting better day by day. After a year and a half there, he got a new job at the local CBS affiliate in Baltimore where he spent three years there. It was during the peak of Covid when McGee reached out to an ESPN employee on LinkedIn and asked to have the opportunity to audition for an on-air role. After waiting three months, McGee was in New York auditioning for another job when he got the call to come audition for ESPN. A couple weeks later, he was offered the ESPN job and his dream finally came true. 

McGee has been anchoring SportsCenter since January 2022. His favorite part of the job is working with top ESPN personalities like John Anderson and Stephen A. Smith and how these people are the best of the best and how he is now one of them. From being a kid who didn’t take school seriously to being watched by millions of people everyday on television, McGee has an incredible story that can inspire all.

Click on the video to watch the full interview with Max!