Meet Randolph “Randy” Buffington. He's a true storyteller with an unquenchable passion for weaving tales of life through sports. His journey is one that resonates with those of us who dare to chase our dreams.
Randolph's story began on the playing fields as a college football player at Heidelberg University. After graduating, he made a bold pursuit into the world of media. His first gig out of college was with Cleveland's Channel 19, WOIO, the local CBS affiliate. He spent two years on the digital team at the station but he had dreams to tell the stories behind the athletes. He wanted to bring out the heart and soul of these stars.
In 2020 his pursuit was cut short as the world was thrust into the pandemic's clutches, Randolph found himself in a surreal slow-motion moment. The hiring freeze in the media industry was a curveball, but Randolph's determination was unwavering. He found a lifeline as a freelancer with ESPN Andscape, where he explored the cultural intersections of sports and entertainment.
Despite the industry's downturn, Randolph's journey took an electrifying turn when he landed a full-time gig with USA Today Ventures. He became the driving force behind the High School Sports Awards Program, telling compelling stories of students overcoming adversity on and off the field.
This was the ball Randolph was waiting for, and it was a home run. He had the privilege of working remotely from Cleveland, a rarity in the fast-paced media world. He traveled all over to share the stories of student athletes. His favorite destination? Amsterdam, where the city's serene beauty contrasted with its wild reputation. It left him yearning for more, and contemplating the idea of returning to live in the vibrant city for a few months.
In the midst of it all, Randolph didn't just ride the wave; he carved his own path. He wrote, shot, and edited "Why We Play," a series close to his heart. It aired on USA Today's OTT platforms, a proud achievement. But then came a plot twist; the organization hit financial turbulence, and Randolph found himself in the wave of layoffs.
Despite all of the twists and turns Randolph remains unyielding, thanks to strong relationships at USA Today, he continues freelancing there when opportunities knock. He's also entering his third season as a color analyst for college football at ESPN, a testament to his versatility and adaptability.
Outside of work and travel, Randolph is a man of simple pleasures. You'll find him rummaging through thrift stores, flipping through vinyl records, enjoying a dose of Seinfeld humor, or honing his bowling skills. He's a big kid at heart, reminding us all that amidst life's chaos, we need our sanctuaries, our passions, to keep us charging ahead, chasing those dreams with a zest that never fades.
Follow Randolph on IG @RANDYISICE