University News

Warhawk Drew Best earns state award for leadership

March 12, 2024

Written by Chris Lindeke | Photos by Craig Schreiner, submitted

Drew Best’s role on the leadership team at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s student radio station took a big turn just one day before the start of the fall 2023 semester.

Best was preparing for his role as sports director when he was notified of a sudden, unexpected opening for station manager, the top leadership position at WSUW / 91.7 The Edge. He assumed the role immediately and took the change in stride, bringing a positive, energy-charged approach to the group.

“Drew seamlessly adapted to the new responsibilities and infused our team with his infectious enthusiasm,” said Brian Lucas, WSUW faculty advisor and lecturer of communication. “What could have been disastrous was a blessing in disguise.”

Six months after taking on the position, Best, a journalism major from Oshkosh, earned the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Student Leadership Award, the highest honor bestowed by the organization. He was recognized on Feb. 24 at the WBA’s Student Forum at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.


Drew Best stands inbetween two people while holding his award.

Drew Best, middle, receives one of his four Student Excellence Awards from Wisconsin Broadcasters Association leadership at the WBA Student Forum at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Feb. 24, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Brian Lucas)


“Drew sets a high standard for himself, and his ability to inspire and uplift those around him is commendable,” Lucas told WBA Student Forum attendees.

The WBA conference had more than 400 attendees, including college and high school students. A contingent of 21 students from UW-Whitewater made the two-hour trip north to Green Bay for a day of learning and networking with broadcast professionals, educators, and media employers.


A group of people pose together in front of a wood-carved G for the Green Bay Packers.

UW-Whitewater students, joined by WSUW advisor and lecturer of communication Brian Lucas (top right), attended the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Student Forum at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Feb. 24, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Brian Lucas)


A total of 15 students from UW-Whitewater were recognized with 17 Student Excellence Awards, including 11 for first place, five for second, and one for third – Best received three first place honors and one second place. UW-Whitewater alum Kyle Wallace, who worked at both 91.7 The Edge and UWW-TV as a journalism major from 2008-12, served as emcee at the conference. Wallace currently works as director of content for Good Karma Brands, overseeing content for 101.7 The Truth in Milwaukee. He was named the WBA’s Young Professional of the Year in 2023.

Best was recruited to UW-Whitewater to compete in wrestling and was committed to attend the university starting in the fall of 2020. With the COVID pandemic starting just before his graduation from high school, he decided to stay home and attend UW-Oshkosh’s Fond du Lac campus for one year to take classes and coach wrestling at Oshkosh West High School, his alma mater.

After transferring to UW-Whitewater in the fall of 2021, Best quickly joined the WSUW team. He appeared on Hawk Talk, a sports talk show, in his first semester on campus. He stepped back from being a student-athlete to focus on academics, but continued his association with the wrestling program as a social media assistant.

Best was named as a host of Hawk Talk and started working with UWW-TV during the spring semester of the same year, covering softball games and other sporting events. He took the position of sports director for the radio station early in the 2022-23 year and was the UWW-TV sideline reporter for football game broadcasts that fall. He then started editing video and hosting the sports update show for UWW-TV the following spring.

After building his resume with both the radio and TV stations during his first two years on campus, Best accepted an internship in the summer of 2023 at WBAY TV in Green Bay. He met representatives from WBAY at last year’s WBA Student Forum.

“When you work in a newsroom for 30 hours a week, you pick up on a lot of things,” Best said. “It’s all hands-on, and you’re experiencing that in real time. You’re watching the professionals do it and you’re learning from them. Then you’re getting practice.”


Drew Best stands with a group of people.

Clockwise from left: Drew Best and his TV play-by-play partner, Nolan Kopydlowski, a journalism major from Eagle, talk with Green Bay Packers radio play-by-play announcers Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Student Forum at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Feb. 24, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Brian Lucas)


As station manager, Best oversees day-to-day operations with a hands-on approach, meeting regularly with his staff, including the station’s executive board, radio station DJs, and other student staff, and managing the numerous campus events where the station is involved.

He also juggles his role as co-supervisor of sports programming for UWW-TV and membership in Phi Delta Theta with his radio responsibilities.

Lucas recognizes the quality of Best’s approach as the station’s leader.

“Drew’s leadership is characterized by grace, compassion, and an unwavering dedication to service,” Lucas said. “Drew sets a high standard for himself, and his ability to inspire and uplift those around him is commendable.”

Last year, Best and his sports team covered 25 live events, including football, basketball, baseball and softball games. He looks to continue to expand the station’s sports coverage in his role this year, including adding semi-professional sports broadcasts to the lineup.


Drew Best stands with another student and they smile at the camera.

Drew Best, at right, and WSUW colleague Angie Carchesi, a communication major from Franklin, pose for a photo at the College Broadcasters, Inc. convention in October 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Drew Best)


Best would also like to set up the station to make history after he graduates this spring — he hopes to help the station produce its first-ever all-female announcer crew.

He is just as driven to pursue excellence after graduation.

“I’m very open to anything right now in the news industry, but the ultimate goal is sports,” Best said. “It’s just a matter of figuring out what sorts of relationships I can build and just seeing where I land.”

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