We Are UNCW Telling our story, one Seahawk at a time.

Matt Harris

Dec. 13, 2017

When Matt Harris ’10 takes his seat behind the sports desk at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, NC, he brings a little bit of UNCW with him.

The job requires flexibility and an assortment of skills. Harris, who anchors the sports desk for WSOC’s 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. news broadcasts, may be covering professional football one day, college sports the next and high school sports later in the same week.

“I’m in the Panthers or Hornets locker room three to four times a week,” Harris said. “We have photographers who help shoot a lot of the major sporting events, but you’ll find me with a camera on my shoulder on Friday nights, shooting a high school football game. It just depends on the day.”

He credits his UNCW faculty mentors for building the foundation that helped him succeed.

“I can’t say enough about the Communication Studies Department, the professors, the resources [at UNCW] and how they all played a crucial role in helping me get to where I am,” said Harris, a Virginia native. “I think they saw the passion and initial desire in me. In time, they told me they saw the dedication and the work ethic to succeed, as well.”

Harris’ first and most loyal supporters were his parents, both professional educators. Much to their dismay, as a child he preferred television – especially sports – to reading. “I was all about sports: playing them, watching them, all of the above,” he said.

Despite being an introvert by nature, he realized during his senior year in high school that he enjoyed and excelled at public speaking. And he still loved sports. His future became clear: He wanted to be a sportscaster.

“When I thought about fusing my biggest strength with my biggest passion, it was a no-brainer,” Harris said. “I also developed an affinity for words. Writing is, by far, the most fundamental skill set of what I do daily.”

After leaving UNCW, Harris continued to hone his skills by pursuing a master’s degree in at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Landing a broadcast anchor job in a sizeable market like Charlotte isn’t easy, but Harris believes he had the perfect coaches pushing him to reach ever higher.

“I certainly wouldn’t be where or who I am without the help, guidance and influence of so many,” Harris said. “I’m so thankful to my parents, professors, friends and extended family for being encouraging along the way. I wouldn’t have made it to this point in my career without each and every one of them.”

Photo by Dave Kaminsky/WSOC-TV

-- Tricia Vance