STANZI: Grandpa, I made it.

“I wish you’d pick a major that you can make a living in.”

Those were the words of my late Grandpa back in the summer of 2012. I had just graduated from high school and I was setting my eyes on my freshman year at Simpson College.

I wish he was here to see me now.

This weekend I’ll graduate from Iowa State University and close the final chapter of the adventure I chose (so cheesy, but I love it). I don’t think I could really put into words what this school, the people and the city of Ames have meant to me.

I chose this school without even taking a visit. I’d never been on campus before. My buddy just said, “You should come to Iowa State.” Somehow, I knew he was right

I found my second home, or I guess my new home. A lot of people have been asking me what’s next. The answer is simple. I’ll be right here.

I’ve accepted a full-time position with Cyclone Fanatic to cover football, men’s basketball and so much recruiting it will make your head spin.

I’ve cherished the role as the Cyclone Fanatic intern. The last three years working for this site have been absolutely amazing, and I’m not sure that description does it justice. Not many interns get videos they made on ESPN, go to the Big 12 Tournament or cover the Sweet 16.

I did.

That’s why the first person I have to thank is Chris Williams. He’s taught me more in three years than I learned in the first 19 years of my life combined. He is a more competent, less ridiculous (sometimes) Michael Scott. Truly the world’s best boss.

Next, I’ve got to thank my friend, co-host and mentor Rob Gray. He took the time to edit my stories even when they weren’t any good. He was always available to help at a moments notice and he’s one hell of a road-trip partner.

I wouldn’t be even close to where I am without my Mom and Dad. They’ve been my rock since day one and never complained once when I told them I couldn’t be home because I had to work. They are my biggest fans and I don’t know what else to say except that I love them. I wouldn’t be here without them.

I’ve got to thank my sister, Taylor, for pushing me to be smarter than I’ve ever been. She’s a freaking genius and I’m not fond of being the dumb child.

Thanks to Trey Alessio, Mike Randleman, Alex Crowl, Blake Acri and TJ Reed for helping me hone my radio voice on KURE on every week. Thanks to Alex, Tyler, Davey, Max, Mike and Leif for being the best friends and roommates a busy journalist could ask for.

Thank you to Krista for liking me even after Adam Gray and Mark Charter put you on blast on the FAWcast.

Thank you to Derek Martin and Bryan Clark at KMA Radio for giving a 17-year-old that didn’t know anything his first job, then throwing me into the fire as a live football reporter. Thank you to KASI’s Dave Sprau for teaching me more about writing with voice in one summer than anyone else ever has.

Thank you to Tommy Birch, Travis Hines, Bobby La Gesse, Randy Peterson, Dylan Montz and Alex Halsted for accepting me into this little fraternity and making it fun to go to work everyday.

Lastly, I want to thank my Grandpa. Even though he isn’t here to see me today, I know he’d be proud. I know he’d be one of my biggest fans.

I’m going to make a living. Now, it is time to go to work.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.