There comes a time in life where decision-making comes into play regarding your future. If you’re familiar with LinkedIn, or you’re following the daily news cycle, there are constant reminders of how people are making changes in their professional routine. Whether you’re a white collar professional, laborer, healthcare professional or a lawyer, sometimes a “change” is needed to grow. As part of our Alumni Series, we have shown a diverse network of people from different places that have shared their personal pathway in life and how it could relate to today’s students and community members. Meet Zachary Grady. He’s a Class of 2003 graduate of Colonie Central High School.
Upon graduation from CCHS, Mr. Grady enrolled at Western New England University in hopes of becoming a history teacher and high school football coach, while continuing his athletic career. After a season playing lacrosse at Western New England, he would transfer to Hudson Valley Community College and obtain an Associates Degree in Independent Studies. He would go on to finish his collegiate career at the State University of New York at Brockport where he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in History.
“I always thought that sports would be a part of my life after graduation, but you know sometimes things like life get in the way. You gotta pay the mortgage, sometimes the dream job isn’t always the right job now” he said. After a decade-long career in sales and finance he knew it was time to make a change. “It’s nice to be able to pay the bills, but I’d rather be happy when I wake up in the morning.” said Grady. After discovering the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting at Full Sail University he knew it was time to hit the reset button and finally pursue his passion.
He graduated as valedictorian from the Dan Patrick School in 2021. During his time at the Dan Patrick School, Grady was able to work with ESPN Radio, the Professional Fighters League, WWE’s NXT Brand, and the XFL. In February 2022 signed on full-time as a Multimedia Journalist and Field Reporter for CBS-affiliate WWNY-7 in Watertown, New York. He hopes to return to the Capital Region, and one day join WNYT-13 and Rodger Wyland as a part of Big Board Sports.
Today, we shared his Q&A and learned how making a move – no matter what age or profession – could pay dividends in your personal happiness.
How would you describe your experiences at South Colonie?
My time at South Colonie helped shape what it was to be a person and professional. I have lifelong friends that I still see and speak with today. My time spent as a Raider taught me the pillars and principles needed to be successful as a sportscaster and as a human being.
What teacher made the most impact on you as a student-athlete?
Coach Ambrosio. From freshmen lacrosse to senior year playing varsity football, Coach Ambro was a part of my daily life. He helped teach me what it was to be a Colonie Raider. I was extremely humbled to be able to be a part of his field naming and dedication ceremonies. It was an honor to be able to be a part of the coaching staff over the last four seasons.
How did you know it was time to “reset” your professional goals?
I wanted to wake up everyday and enjoy going to work. There are lots of people who go to work and hate what they do. I was one of them for a long time, and didn’t want that to be the case anymore. I wake up now excited to get to the station. Everyday is something new and different and challenging. I’m eager to see where my journey is going to go from here.
What would you recommend to today’s graduating seniors as they enter the real world?
“You can’t stop people from trying to limit your dreams, but you can stop it from becoming a reality. Your dreams are up to you. I encourage you to always be curious, always seek out things you love and always work hard once you find it.” – Kobe Bryant
Finally, what was your favorite memory at South Colonie?
The time spent on the field and in the locker room. There isn’t one specific memory that I can think of, but I miss the time spent with the team during double sessions, and practices. Some of the littlest things are what stay with you the longest.