Chris Dortch estimates he’s covered close to 1,500 college basketball games since he was sports editor of his college student newspaper back in the late ’70s. “And it never gets old,” he says. “I always get pumped up to watch college hoops.”
Dortch came to love basketball growing up in the basketball crazy state of Illinois, watching Missouri Valley Conference and Big Ten games every Saturday and pouring over the sports section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I think I learned how to read a box score before I learned how to read,” he says.
In college, first at George Mason and later at East Tennessee State, he came under the influence of two coaches that gave him a behind-the-scenes look at basketball from a coaching perspective. “After that I was hooked,” he says. “I knew I wanted to cover college basketball for a living.”
And so he did, focusing on the Southeastern Conference at four newspapers and then for Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the famed “bible” of college basketball which Dortch began editing in 1996.
In a 30-year career, Dortch has written for numerous publications and websites, served as a college basketball correspondent for Sports Illustrated, appeared on more than 1,000 radio shows and written five books, including String Music: Inside the Rise of SEC Basketball.
Dortch has provided commentary for Fox Sports South and NBA TV and also taught sports writing at East Tennessee State and Tennessee-Chattanooga, where his students call him “Professor D.”
Where to find Chris Dortch online
Where to buy in print
Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook
Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook is considered the "bible" of college football, an annual preview that includes 3,000- to 4,500-word previews on all 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. Blue Ribbon is read by avid fans, ABC, CBS and ESPN broadcasters, radio play-by-play announcers, FBS coaches and NFL scouts. See why the ESPN GameDay crew has to have Blue Ribbon.