By Kelli Grashel
President, AWSM@Oklahoma State
Not every student chapter of the Association for Women in Sports Media can say that it has a quarterback in the club, but the Oklahoma State chapter of AWSM can make that boast.
Jase Chilcoat, a walk-on member of the OSU football team from 2009-2011 and a current member of AWSM@Oklahoma State, thought he had left the football field behind when he chose to focus on academics as a senior this year. But when Cowboys quarterback Wes Lunt went down with an injury in the third game of the season, Chilcoat answered the call to rejoin the team and provide valuable depth at the position.
Chilcoat, like OSU coach Mike Gundy, was a star quarterback at Midwest City (Okla.) High School, leading the Bombers to the state finals his senior season. His importance to the Cowboys has grown after Lunt’s replacement, J.W. Walsh, was sidelined for the season with a broken leg and Lunt was re-injured in OSU’s loss to Kansas State on Nov. 3.
Chilcoat, a sports media major in the School of Media & Strategic Communications, was in the broadcasting booth next to instructor and OSU football play-by-play broadcaster Dave Hunziker when Lunt sustained a knee injury against the University of Louisiana on Sept. 15. The next day, Chilcoat received a phone call from Cowboys offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who offered him the opportunity to rejoin the team.
Chilcoat, who was working at the Learning and Student Success Opportunity (LASSO) Center, was hesitant to make the commitment without financial help. Ask and you shall receive. He was granted a scholarship for the remainder of the semester.
The adjustment from working in the broadcast booth to joining the team on the sideline didn’t last long for Chilcoat. He was in uniform by the next game.
AWSM has been a large impact in my life already, and I feel like I am only scratching the surface of what the club has in store.
Ironically, I stumbled upon the group by accident. I was slow getting out of another meeting, and I began talking to some people who were walking into the journalism building. Our former AWSM@Oklahoma State president, Katie Ann Robinson, was talking with her cabinet about several projects they needed help completing. Being a freshman, I knew I would be of little help, but I offered my hand. The more I was around the club, the more the activities and people intrigued me.
Three years later, I have AWSM to thank for numerous wonderful connections in the media world, and great relationships with hard-working women within the college. I also have the privilege of helping out with a large project we are doing. The project is to get a national media professional, Linda Cohn, to come to Oklahoma State to speak to our student body.
As a chapter, AWSM@Oklahoma State has seen much growth and maturity this semester, and we are looking to grow in numbers throughout the spring. I am honored to be a part of such a great organization.
External Affairs Director, AWSM@Oklahoma State
Chilcoat is a senior in the multimedia journalism track of the sports media program and the external affairs director for AWSM@Oklahoma State, which he has been an active member of for the past two years. It has been through his efforts that AWSM@Oklahoma State is working to finalize a deal to bring ESPN SportsCenter anchor Linda Cohn to campus as a feature speaker.
While it has been difficult balancing school, football and extracurricular activities, Chilcoat remains dedicated to the organization.
“As the external affairs director, so far it has been organizing and starting the Linda Cohn project, but that also means just being at meetings,” he said. “Also, just how many people you meet and how quickly you are inserted into the system, and it’s cool to talk to fresh new faces and to let them know this is a great opportunity.”
Chilcoat is not the first man to join AWSM@Oklahoma State, which has had several male students in the club since it was founded in 2010.
“It’s really interesting telling people you are in the Association for Women in Sports Media,” Chilcoat said. “It’s humbling at first, but I realized I can really help this group to grow. As a quarterback, you are usually in the leadership role, and it’s nice to be behind the scenes and supporting the women for once.”
Chilcoat experiences the best of both worlds, spending half his time in the classroom and video production lab as a sports media student and the other half on the football field as a player.
“It’s interesting because I play both sides,” he said. “I know everyone on the outside, so it’s cool to see how information is processed and to see why guys answer questions the way they
When asked what it’s like to be the first AWSM quarterback, Chilcoat laughed.
“Have we looked that up?” he asked. “Well, if I truly am, it’s a dubious honor. It feels cool to be in a leadership position on the practice field but to take a backseat to the women in this organization.”
AWSM was formed in 1987 to create a strong network and advocacy group for the few women who were in sports media at the time. Jase Chilcoat is the epitome of an AWSM advocate — whether on the field or in the broadcast booth, he represents the organization with pride and inspires students to promote diversity in sports media.