SportsJam

Hosted by Doug Doyle

SportsJam features in-depth interviews with top athletes, coaches, reporters, authors and fans of the sports world. WBGO News and Sports Director Doug Doyle started the award-winning podcast SportsJam in 2008. The Pennsylvania State University graduate is one of the most decorated reporters in New Jersey radio history. SportsJam with Doug Doyle was recently named one of the top sports podcasts in 2017.

Anthony Ashnault
FloWrestling

South Plainfield, New Jersey's Anthony Ashnault always dreamed of being an NCAA national champion in wrestling.  Those dreams became a reality in March of this year when the Rutgers University six-year senior defeated Ohio State's Micah Jordan  9-4 in the 149-pound final of the NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Ashnault became Rutgers' second national champion.  His victory came less than a hour after his Scarlet Knights teammate, Nick Suriano won the NCAA title at 133 pounds.

Monty Alexander
NPR for WBGO

Monty Alexander is one of the finest pianists in the world, but he could also be a boxing analyst. 

Monty sat down with host Doug Doyle in 2014 to talk about his love of boxing and his friendships with some of the greats of the ring.  Nearly sixty years after he moved to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica, his hometown, the Grammy nominated pianist is an American classic, touring the world relentlessly with various projects, delighting a global audience drawn to his vibrant personality and soulful message.

Mark Spitz
NBC Sports

In 2004, American Mark Spitz was still considered the greatest swimmer of all-time.  Fellow American Michael Phelps would eventually claim that title years later when he won eight golds at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

In July of 2004, Spitz visited the Montclair YMCA to conduct a clinic.

Spitz is a nine-time Olympic champion and former world record-holder in 7 events. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany.  Spitz set new world records in all seven events in which he competed in 1972.  

Brian Taylor
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Brian Taylor is one of the greatest basketball players to ever come out of New Jersey, still ranked in the Top 25 on the Garden State's high school all-time scoring list.

The "BT Express" was a star at Perth Amboy High School and Princeton University.  He would leave the Tigers program early to join the professional ranks.

Taylor would become the ABA's Rookie of the Year with the New York Nets, a team he helped win two ABA championships alongside Julius "Dr. J." Erving. 

Lizette Salas
Jerry Milani for WBGO

2019 will be an exciting tour season for the LPGA and one of it's top players Lizette Salas.  Salas, who is from Azusa, California, was in New York City recently for a special partnership announcement involving the LPGA and Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.  

Swet Tailor
Joe Favorito for WBGO News

Officially launched in 2015, Swet Tailor is a premium menswear brand that is defining a new kind of casual.   With strategic planning and knowledge and the endorsement of NFL stars like Carson Wentz and Nick Foles of the Super Bowl Champion Eagles, Swet Tailor is one of the fastest rising men's apparel companies in the U.S. 

The co-owners of Swet Tailor, Adam Bolden and David Kranz, live in Los Angeles, but recently joined SportsJam host Doug Doyle in New York City to talk about their brand, their sports connections and their families.

Ian O'Connor
Chris Tobin for WBGO News

Ian O'Connor grew up in Englewood, New Jersey as a Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and Roger Staubach fan.  He also graduated from St. Cecilia High School, the same school where the legendary Vince Lombardi coached.

O'Connor is a senior writer at ESPN.com, a nationally-acclaimed columnist and the author of three New York Times bestsellers.  His most recent one is the definitive biography of the NFL's most controversial but successful coach, Bill Belicheck.

SportsJam
Joe Favorito for WBGO News

2004 Olympic Boxing Gold Medalist and former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion of the world Andre Ward is the new host the reality boxing series The Contender which started its first episode last week on EPIX.

Andre “Son of God” Ward retired in 2017 after a professional boxing career record of 32-and-0, that’s right he never lost a pro bout.  He's joined on this edition of SportsJam with Doug Doyle by one of the 16 contestants on the show, Newark boxer and artist John Thompson IV.

Mark Di Ionno
WBGO News

Mark Di Ionno is a lifelong journalist who began his career as a sportswriter for the New York Post. Most people know him for his front page columns for The Star Ledger and NJ.com.

Di Ionno's second novel is titled Gods of Wood and Stone. It is published by Touchstone.  Mark Di Ionno is the latest guest on the award-winning podcast SportsJam with Doug Doyle.

Duane Morgan
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Duane Morgan, the former West Orange High School and Adelphi University star is a rising basketball professional in Spain.  This year he’ll be playing for Plasencia in the LEB Plata League where the competition and the crowds are even better.

Morgan's journey to the professional ranks has been one of perserverance fueled by a strong family and passion to succeed. 

Duane Morgan is the latest guest on SportsJam with Doug Doyle

Gage Daye
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Gage Daye is still one of the best basketball players in New Jersey and he's involved in three summer leagues.  Daye, a Newark native is doing all that while working as an assistant coach at Bloomfield College, where he's the school's all-time leading scorer.

Daye works for his mentor and current Bloomfield head coach Gerald Holmes.  The two men have great respect for each other on and off the court.

In 2011, Coach Holmes guided his team, that included his star guard Gage Daye, to an NCAA East Region championship and an appearance in the Elite Eight. 

Anne Donovan
nj.com

Not only was Anne Donovan a legendary and pioneering figure in women's basketball, she was also one of the kindest and thoughtful people I have ever met. 

Donovan, a native of Ridgewood, New Jersey who dominated play at Paramus Catholic High school, won Olympic gold as a player and as a coach for the United States.  

Donovan died Wednesday of heart failure.  She was 56.

Nate Burleson
Joe Favorito for WBGO

Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson's transition into sports television has been impressive.  Burleson is the co-host of the NFL Network's Good Morning Football and he's also an analyst on CBS' NFL Today.

Burleson sat down recently with SportsJam host Doug Doyle to talk about his work in television, his NFL career and his family.

Burleson, his wife and children have recently moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Ashley Cole
Jerry Milani for WBGO

Here's the transcript of this edition of SportsJam with Doug Doyle featuring Ashley Cole:

Doug Doyle: We’re here in New York City for this edition of SportsJam, and what a special edition it is. Ashley Cole, the legendary footballer is here to talk to us about a special event coming up right after this interview. You’re heading over to Harlem to dedicate a new field. The kids are going to go crazy when they see Ashley Cole. Tell us how Chelsea F.C. gets involved in community activities like this.

Rafi Kohan
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Author Rafi Kohan spent a year traveling all over the U.S. to give readers a detailed look at the lives of sports arenas.  His new book The Arena: Inside the Tailgating, Ticket Scalping, Mascot-Racing, Dubiously Funded, and Possibly Haunted Monuments of American Sport is published by Liveright.

Kohan talks to SportsJam host Doug Doyle about his fascination with fans and stadiums, as well as what he learned during his trips to places like Lambeau Field, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Beaver Stadium, AT&T Stadium, Prudential Center, Barclays Center and many more.

Ara Parseghian
University of Notre Dame Archives

Legendary Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian, died on Wednesday at age 94. When Parseghian took over at Notre Dame, the Irish were coming off a 2-7 record. In his first season, they finished 9-1 with their only loss to Southern Cal. The program would go on to win two national championships in his 11-year tenure.

One of his more well-known players was Rocky Bleier who was a part of the 1966 National Champion team at Notre Dame. 

Bob Wolff
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The sports broadcasting world lost one of its finest this past weekend. Bob Wolff, the only sportscaster to call play-by-play of championships in all four major North American professional team sports, has died at the age of 96.

Wolff died peacefully in his South Nyack home Saturday night.  The Yankees said in a team statement, "Bob Wolff's inconic, Hall-of Fame broadcasting career was matched by his class and character."  Bob was a guest on SportsJam with Doug Doyle in 2014. 

Spike Doyle
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Francis "Spike" Doyle, Jr. is the reason that this host became a sports fan and played high school sports in Western Pennsylvania.

My dad turns 88 today and still plays nine holes of golf almost every week.  While the knees aren't like they used to be during his days as a top catcher in the area, Spike can still play a solid round of golf, using woods more than irons.

In 2014, I decided to sit down and find out some information that most of our family wasn't even aware of.  This edition of SportsJam is my most treasured.

Roberto Clemente
Danny Torres for WBGO

About 300 items from the legendary baseball star Roberto Clemente's personal collection were auctioned during All-Star week in Miami, Florida.  The total sales came in more than $3 million. 

In December of 2014, baseball journalist and Clemente enthusiast Danny Torres and former Major League Baseball executive Luis Rodriguez-Mayoral join SportsJam host Doug Doyle to talk about Clemente's impact on baseball and beyond.

Shannon Rouillard
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The Director of the U.S. Open Women's Championship next month at Trump National Bedminister has quite a story to tell.  Shannon Rouillard didn't start playing golf until she was 15.  She was a gymnast before that, but her father told her she needed to pursue a sport that could lead to a scholarship in college.  Golf was the choice.

Shannon was driven to succeed at golf.  She was a walk-on star at the University of Oregon and eventually became the head coach at Oregon for eight seasons.

AZ Jackson
Doug Doyle for WBGO

AZ Jackson, who is training with the Toulouse football club in France, is a rising soccer star. AZ, 15, is the son of jazz drummer and composer Ali Jackson, Jr.

Dad spends plenty of time as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra drummer, but he has also found time to go to France and support AZ's dream of becoming a pro soccer player.

The Jacksons, father and son, came into WBGO for a special edition of the award-winning podcast SportsJam with Doug Doyle.

Mike Reid
Cassie Galisetti for WBGO

Singer-Songwriter and legendary football star Mike Reid is always looking to what's next in his life.  One of the musicals he's written is running at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ from June 3rd through June 25th. 

Reid wrote the music for The Ballad of Little Jo in 1997, but he thinks this performance of the show will be the best yet.  The book by Reid, Sarah Schlesinger and John Dias was based on the film The Ballad of Little Joe by Maggie Greenwald. 

Trump National
USGA

The 2017 U.S. Women's Open will be the third USGA championship conducted at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.  It will take place July 10th through the 16th.

Matt Sawicki, Director, U.S. Women's and Senior Women's Open Championships, is the latest guest on the podcast SportsJam with Doug Doyle.

Sawicki is thrilled the championship is headed back to New Jersey for the first time since 1987.

Chuck Wepner
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The boxing movie, Chuck, is being released this Friday.  Boxing legend Chuck Wepner, known as the "Bayonne Bleeder" and his wife Linda joined SportsJam with Doug Doyle  in April of 2016 when the movie was to be titled The Bleeder

Wepner was the man who inspired Sylvester Stallone to write Rocky after Chuck's famous bout with Muhammad Ali in 1975.

Liev Schreiber and his wife Naomi Watts play the Wepners in Chuck.

Wepner also scored notable heavyweight wins over Randy Neumann and Ernie Terrell.

Mike Nichols
Daniella Gutierrez for WBGO

The Third Annual Mike Nichols Charity Hockey Game this Friday, April 21st at Prudential Center will benefit spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives. 

Proceeds from the game featuring many former and current NHL stars will go to the Nichols Family Trust to provide for Mike's medical needs, as well as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injuries by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis.

Sally Cook
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Author, former Associated Press reporter and New York resident Sally Cook returns to SportsJam with Doug Doyle to talk about her latest book, How to Speak Soccer: From Assist to Woodwork - An Illustrated Guide to Pitch-Perfect Jargon.

Doug Doyle / WBGO

Jazz drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow in the field of music composition. Tain has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Betty Carter, Michael Brecker, Alice Coltrane, Ravi Coltrane and many others. 

During this Jazz Appreciation Month, SportsJam with Doug Doyle is dipping into the archives to provide you with an opportunity to find out more about your favorite musicians and their connection to the sports world.

Bob Hurley
FloHoops

Word came this week that St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, NJ was closing at the end of the academic year.  That decision puts an end to one of the country's most successful and revered  high school basketball programs led by Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley Sr. 

The Archdiocese of Newark has determined fundraising efforts would not be able to keep the doors open for another year.

Coach Christiansen
Berkeley College Athletics for WBGO

The Berkeley College Men's Basketball team in New York City won 53 games in a row to claim it's third consecutive USCAA Division 2 Championship.  Berkeley defeated Penn State-York 80-76 in overtime to grab the title.

Coach Chris Christensen sat down on the bench when it appeared their opponents only had to make a free throw to win the championship game.  It was the first time the coach had taken a seat the entire contest.  He says divine intervention may have led to another victory:

Ben May
Ben May for WBGO

The Legend of Swee' Pea is Ben May's first film and it's already won several awards at various festivals.  It's officially being released today.

Lloyd Daniels was one of the most sought-after college basketball recruits in the 1980's, but he got busted buying cocaine in a police sting operation and two years later was nearly killed after getting shot three times in the chest while negotiating an expensive crack deal:

Pages