LAURENTIAN PORTRAIT
BRIAN MCCARTHY ’90
by Ryan Deuel
Having grown up in Saranac Lake,
N.Y., Brian McCarthy ’90 still tends
to think of himself as a small-town
guy who has always believed that hard
work, patience and a bit of luck eventu-
ally pay off.
Those tenets have served him well.
After working for years at various
small newspapers — including
The
Hill News
McCarthy eventually
found himself in the National Football
League’s public relations office, where
he has spent the past 20 years.
Today, he carries the title of vice presi-
dent for communications for the NFL.
He has attended the past 18 Super
Bowls and is already getting ready for
Super Bowl XLVIII. He has helped or-
ganize the game’s halftime performances
and introduced artists such as U2, the
Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney
during the halftime press conference.
It’s weird to think that I was once just
this kid from Saranac Lake sitting in
my room at St. Lawrence, listening to
their music,” he says. “Now I’m meeting
them in person and introducing them
to the country.”
McCarthy also had the powerful
experience of helping to reopen the
Superdome in New Orleans, after its de-
struction by Hurricane Katrina in 2005
and the national media spotlight on the
football stadium as an evacuation site.
One of my most memorable moments
was seeing the (New Orleans) Saints run
back onto their home field,” he says.
I’ve never experienced anything like
that.”
At St. Lawrence, McCarthy majored
in English and history. He played four
years of baseball and two years of JV
hockey. It was also at St. Lawrence
where he met his future wife, Tammy
Davidson ’90. Today, the Laurentian
couple has a 9-year-old son and a
6-
year-old daughter; they live in Ridge-
wood, N.J.
Attending St. Lawrence sparked
McCarthy’s curiosity to challenge his
assumptions and to challenge the status
quo. The classes he took allowed him
to sample different subjects that often
pushed him out of his comfort zone.
That broad-based education I re-
ceived at St. Lawrence carries through
to my work at the NFL today,” he says.
I look at situations through different
prisms, and pay attention to the diver-
sity our fans, such as race, gender and
even geographic.”
While working for the NFL may
sound thrilling, McCarthy keeps hum-
ble about his position and his success.
“(
My job is) just one part of who I am
today,” he says. “There is much, much
more to life than just work.”
SMALL-TOWN GUY IN
BIG-TIME SPORTS PR
Ryan Deuel is St. Lawrence’s
director of media relations.
photo provided
FALL 2013 | ST. LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 19