Returning to Tucson, sports broadcaster and media agent Alex Flanagan ’93 took center stage to host a press conference announcing the University of Arizona’s $3 billion fundraising campaign, Fuel Wonder.
Flanagan, a Southern Arizona native, solidified her place in sports journalism by crafting compelling stories for network giants like Fox Sports, NBC Sports and ESPN.
Flanagan comes from a long line of risk-takers. Her mother — also a UArizona graduate — defied societal norms as a cattle rancher in Sonoita, a vocation not often held by women. Flanagan’s parents instilled in their children a belief that no dream was unattainable. One brother, Mike Wystrach ’02, founded meal-delivery company Freshly, and her other brother, Mark Wystrach ’02, is the lead singer of country band Midland. A sister, Audrey Wystrach ’90, co-founded Petfolk, a veterinary care provider with clinics in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
In 2006, NFL Network welcomed Flanagan as its first full-time female studio host. She covered 12 Super Bowls and a variety of studio programs for the network, including NFL Total Access.
However, it is her experience reporting on five consecutive Olympic games, in places like Beijing and Rio de Janeiro, that Flanagan treasures the most. She was captivated by the stories of athletes typically overlooked in the media, exploring their journeys to the Olympics and the obstacles they’d overcome.
UArizona Homecoming sparked for Flanagan a reflection on both the university’s evolution and her own.
“It’s so exciting to be back. I think what really sticks out for me is just how much growth this university has had since I graduated 30 years ago,” she said at the press conference. “To see and hear the incredible things that are happening on the campus and in the community makes me really proud and excited.”