Asbury ESPN Producer Collaborates with Composer John Williams for CFP National Championship Open – Asbury University
Shapemaximize playTriangle
Watch The College Tour
Contact Us

Asbury ESPN Producer Collaborates with Composer John Williams for CFP National Championship Open

March 17, 2023

As Managing Producer for ESPN’s Creative Content Unit, Amanda Paschal ’12 coordinated the shoot production for the CFP National Championship Open (in January) which included a piece (“Of Grit and Glory”) by composer John Williams (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones).

“It was exciting to see this idea come to life,” Paschal said. “Our team sent crews throughout the U.S. to talk with players about what made their evenings ‘the greatest night.’”

Players that shared their thoughts during the montage included Tony Dorsett, Vince Young, Tommie Frazier, Peter Warrick, and Tim Tebow.

Paschal reflects on working with the 90-year-old composer who holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for a living person (52) and ranks only behind Walt Disney (59) as the most-nominated person in Academy Awards history.

“I remember walking into the studio and hearing the music for the first time,” Paschal said. “It was amazing to see that John Williams still writes out his music by hand.”

Williams shared his thoughts on the ESPN project (via Variety).

“Intercollegiate football has been at the heart and soul of our nation’s life for so long that the opportunity to musically salute this great tradition has been a particularly meaningful joy for me,” Williams said. “The invitation to write this music constitutes a great honor for me, and I feel especially privileged to make a small contribution to one of our country’s most treasured traditions.”

During her time at Asbury, Paschal worked as a runner for ESPN at games for the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. Upon graduating with her degree in media communication from Asbury in 2012, Paschal freelanced in New York City, worked for Al Roker Entertainment, and then accepted a position working at ESPN, where she has worked for eight years.

“Asbury helped me to succeed through the accessible professors, hands-on courses, and community,” Paschal said. “D.T. Slouffman helped me to get my internship, and I owe much to Dr. Doug Walker (now retired), Greg Bandy, and Don Mink.”

Paschal offers words of encouragement to current students.

“Soak it in,” she said. “You learn that your classmates become your colleagues. So, go after opportunities, and even though they can be scary, take risks, because they are rewarding. But most importantly, keep the faith. God’s got a plan for you.”

The Asbury University Media, Journalism, and Digital Storytelling department has alumni working all over the globe, from Los Angeles and Atlanta to Poland and China. Learn more about Asbury’s traditional undergraduate, online, and graduate programs in Media, Journalism, and Digital Storytelling: