Robert Klemko ’10 Honored as Rising Star

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Robert Klemko ’10 Honored as Rising Star
Mar 13, 2015

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Robert Klemko ’10 of Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback is the 2015 “Rising Star” award winner to be presented by the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at a luncheon, April 2, at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center at the University of Maryland.

James Brown, this year’s Sam Lacy-Wendell Smith Award winner, will also be honored as will two “All-Star Students” Aaron Kasinitz and Rhiannon Walker.

The Povich Center created the “Rising Star” award to honor a young alum who is progressing and succeeding in the sports journalism field. Klemko will be the first recipient of the award.

“We wanted to recognize a recent graduate who is an example to other students on how to work hard and progress in the field of sports journalism and Robert Klemko’s professional work in a short amount of time exemplifies what we teach at the Merrill College,” said Shirley Povich Center Director George Solomon.

Klemko, a native of Silver Spring, Maryland, started his journalism career in earnest at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism where he spent much of his free time covering sports for the local Prince George’s County Gazette.

“Even as a young student trying to figure out the whole journalism thing, Robert showed the confidence, curiosity and ‘it’ factor that made me think he would do well in our business,” Merrill College Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Rafael Lorente said.

He started at USA Today in 2009 as a reporter and digital editor and then was hired full-time as a reporter after graduation. There he covered a variety of worldwide events, including the Super Bowl and the U.S. women’s soccer team’s run to gold in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Klemko’s work on the NFL beat caught the attention of Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. Specifically the tough questioning of Ray Lewis in a room full of Ravens players and his coverage of MVP Joe Flacco’s post Super Bowl festivities.

In June of 2013, King hired him as a reporter for his new site Monday Morning Quarterback. Klemko moved to Chicago to be closer to the Midwestern football teams and that’s where he’s been living and working ever since.

For more information about the luncheon, contact Beth Mechum at bmechum@umd.edu or 301-405-4605.

 

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