Barry Svrluga knew he wanted to be a sportswriter since he was a child. Growing up in Boston, Svrluga read The Boston Globe every day and even delivered the paper. He joined The Washington Post in 2003 and was promoted to sports columnist in 2016.
Svrluga attended Duke University, where he covered a variety of sports before focusing on men’s basketball his senior year. Upon graduation, he landed a job at The Leader in Corning, New York. From there, Svrluga wanted to keep moving his way up to bigger newspapers.
Svrluga moved to Portland, Maine, to write for The Portland Press Herald for about three years, covering high school sports and picking up miscellaneous assignments. He then landed a job at The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he covered NASCAR. He later became the University of North Carolina men’s basketball and football beat reporter.
When looking for a job after the Portland Press Herald, Svrluga also interviewed for a job with The St. Paul Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minnesota. The sports editor at the Pioneer Press at the time, Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, moved on to become the deputy sports editor at The Washington Post. So when Svrluga came to Maryland to cover a North Carolina-Maryland basketball game, Garcia-Ruiz asked Svrluga to interview with the D.C. paper. About one year later, The Washington Post hired him.
Svrluga first covered Maryland football and men’s basketball for The Washington Post. After The Washington Post hired a separate Maryland football beat writer, Svrluga focused on Terrapins basketball while writing about national college football. Then as he was preparing for another college football season in 2004, the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington. Svrluga’s editors asked him to go to a hotel where the Nationals owners were speaking and find a story. About one month later, he was on the Nationals beat.
Svrluga covered the Nationals until 2008, then moved to the Redskins beat until 2011. He worked as a general assignment reporter from 2012-13 before being promoted to national baseball writer. During his time as a national baseball writer, he wrote the book “The Grind: Inside Baseball’s Endless Season,” which explores the difficulties of playing a 162-game baseball season. In December 2016, Svrluga was promoted to sports columnist.