Mark Sturgis is host of “Straight Up with Sturg” from 4-7 PM.
Mark has always been involved in sports, having grown up in an Upstate family that placed Clemson athletics in very high regard.
Sturg threw that family a curve ball when he announced he would be attending the University of Alabama. Mark majored in Broadcast and Film Communications, then furthered his education at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida; focusing on Specialized Recording Engineering.
Mark left the Sunshine State for his first job at Big Mama Recording Studios in Knoxville with dreams of mixing the next great rock and roll album. The reality was ole Sturg was cutting about twenty country karaoke tunes per week (did you know this is where Kenny Chesney got his start?). Stuck in “Big Orange Country” recording country karaoke, well, he thought it was purgatory.
Two years later, it was off to another studio in Atlanta, working for Harry O’Brien; the very same Harry O’Brien that had recently produced Tag Team’s “Whoop There it Is” album. Yeah, that’s right… THAT song! It seemed every hip hop group in the southeast then wanted Harry’s services. From country karaoke to hip hop; where’s the rock and roll?
Sturg found that on the road, mixing live bands from the local level to Fuel and Drivin-n-Cryin. The ironic part was something was missing… Knoxville. It turns out Mark fell in love with the city, and wanted to move back when he could. After a stop in Charlotte with JP Sports, Knoxville became a base of operations while touring with bands and working locally with others. Knoxville is also where he began his marriage to Teresa and their daughter was born.
In 2002, Mark granted his wife’s wish of moving back to the Upstate, and went to work for Edwin McCain’s company, OMG. There the sports talk bug bit as he became part of The Opening Drive, radio show. Mark started by doing drops from sites of athletic events and developing a network of contacts throughout the media. Later Sturg would develop and market the syndicated radio show, The Score, before being able to sell it (See Lowell in Wings episode when he gets a check for his wax museum burning down!!).
Mark and his wife (Teresa) have been married sixteen years and are the proud parents of their twelve year old daughter (Lessie Brooke). Outside of work, Mark enjoys hitting the course for some golf, or hitting the highway for a good road trip.
Favorite Pro Team: Carolina Panthers
Favorite Stadium Visited: Fenway Park
Favorite Sports Quote: “Rah Rah” pre-game motivational speeches are for suckers (Adrian Branch).
Weird Sports Fact about Sturg: Has attended ten different bowls for a total of 29 games (11 and 30 if you count the Senior Bowl). Twice in college was able to catch both Alabama and Clemson bowl games in the same week in the state of Florida.
Greatest Sports Achievement: A Hole in One on #2 of the Chanticleer Course at the Greenville Country Club.
Favorite Food: Italian, all of it!
Favorite Band: The Rolling Stones (still adamantly thinks K’s Choice, from Belgium, put on the best live shows he’s ever witnessed, not even questionable!!).
Price Atkinson co-hosts “Straight Up With Sturg” with host Mark Sturgis weeknights from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Price brings a passion for college sports (particularly a love for all things college basketball) and a unique perspective to the show as former four-year, student athlete and swimmer at the University of Kentucky, while also working in a pair of college sports information departments around the country. The journalism grad cut his teeth in the field as a student reporter and football beat writer for UK’s student newspaper the Kentucky Kernel (once holding the paper’s record for most stories written in a single semester). He did a pair of stints at The Greenville News, which was where Mark and Price first connected. From there, it was “game, set, match” and a radio duo was born.
If you aren’t a UK fan, Price will try and make you one before the year is up, or at least convince you that Kentucky is the greatest college basketball program of all time. But be careful – if you tap into his passion for the Olympics, especially the winter of sport of curling, prepare to be bombarded with knowledge and facts about a sport you’ll likely never use.
With a background working in political and energy policy communications, it’s the ESPN Upstate sports outlet that Price maximizes to provide opinions and analysis as well as bringing national guests, coaches, players, analysts and sports personalities to Upstate listeners. In addition to UK, he’s a diehard Braves and Panthers fan and enjoys off-air talk about Manchester United. He and his wife Rebecca and have two little ones and most of his free time is spent chasing their little Wildcats around and sometimes even out of the house!
Best sports rivalry: Army-Navy
Most overrated sports rivalry: Duke-North Carolina
Favorite event/game ever worked: Official scorer for two Army-Navy football games (2000, ’02)
Favorite event/game ever experienced as a fan: 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta (The Masters was a close second)
Bucket list events/games to experience: Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pa. (I know it’s not a sport!), Iron Bowl, 2015 U.S. Curling National Championship in Kalamazzoo, Mich., Dubai World Cup (richest horse race in the world held in the United Arab Emirates)
Favorite personal sports moment: Beating Clemson in final home UK swim meet on Senior Day (1997) because of many friends and former teammates on Clemson team.
Greatest sports achievement: South Carolina state champion in the 200 breaststroke and once ranking in UK’s all-time Top 10 fastest times for the 200 breaststroke.
Favorite star-struck moment: Meeting Ashley Judd in the summer of 1999 and picking her up and taking her to a UK basketball game at Rupp Arena a few months later.
Could have dinner with any five people: Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, The Rock, Bobby Bowden, Jenny McCarthy.
Greatest role models: My Mom and Dad
Things you probably didn’t know about Price:
-Comes from a family with a long history of talented journalists – his late-mother was a longtime columnist w/ The Greenville News (almost 30 years) and his great grandfather William W. Price is credited with helping to start the White House Press Corps while a reporter with the Washington Star.
-Once ate a 20-inch pizza at the Jersey Shore’s famous Pete & Elda’s just to win a t-shirt (2002).
-Has met three U.S. Presidents and one current foreign President (Taiwan).
-Attended all three Triple Crown horse races in 2001.
-Accidentally walked in on a private meeting between Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and his private henchmen at FedEx Field one time. Was quickly escorted out by one of the henchmen.
-Is terrible at golf.