Glenn Capeloto still recalls the score of the very first professional sporting event he ever attended: Supersonics 146, 76ers 136. It was 1969, and it was love at first sight.
Later, while attending the University of Washington, Capeloto did radio play-by-play for Huskies Football. And he has managed to keep his toe in the sports industry ever since, working as a statistician, copywriter, salesman and just about anything else that keeps him in the front row.
“I didn’t make it as a sportscaster — which was my initial dream — but I still got to be side-by-side with Vin Scully. There’s just an inexplicable energy to being in the press box. It’s a special fraternity,” he explains. “I did dozens of jobs in pro sports, and none of them require that you be 7’2” or hit a baseball 450 feet.”
Capeloto’s first book, “You’re In the Front Row: How to Kick Off Your Career in Sports, Even if You’re Not a Star Athlete,” will be released this month. In 368 pages, he profiles dozens of behind-the-scenes careers in sports, picking the brains of many industry professionals — from referees to equipment managers — to find out how to get one’s foot in the door.
“The sports information office at your local college is a great place to start breaking in,” explains Capeloto. “These places thrive and survive off of contributions from volunteers and interns. But mostly you just want to get involved anywhere you can. Think of it as a tryout. You’re trying that particular specialty on for size, and you’re looking for a fit.”