Where Are They Now - Ben Baby
Posted on 12/15/2020

The GCISD “Where Are They Now” series features graduates of GCISD schools who have gone on to make a positive impact in their communities and/or have interesting, inspiring stories that deserve to be shared. This can include alumni with unique professions, noteworthy accomplishments, incredible obstacles to overcome, etc. We are always looking for alumni to feature, so if you want to nominate a GCISD graduate, fill out the nomination form here.

Where Are They Now - Ben Baby

image of ben baby A 2009 Colleyville Heritage High School graduate, Ben Baby is now a reporter for ESPN. His love for journalism started as a young kid, and it blossomed while writing for the Roaring Red, the CHHS student newspaper. 

Baby went on to attend the University of North Texas, and officially began his journalism career in 2011 at the Denton Record-Chronicle. From there he worked at the San Antonio Express-News, The Dallas Morning News and now ESPN, where he’s been since July 2019.

Baby is currently ESPN’s NFL Nation team reporter focused on the Cincinnati Bengals, and GCISD’s Where Are They Now has caught up with him to talk about his time in GCISD, his passion for writing, and much more...

In high school, did you know what kind of career you wanted or what you wanted to study? Did your mind change anywhere along the way or did you stick to those plans?
I’ve known this is what I’ve wanted to do since I used to read the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as a kid. When I was at Heritage Middle School, I was already plotting my schedule out to make sure I was able to be with the CHHS newspaper the Roaring Red, for as many years as possible. I ended up being with the Red for three years, the maximum amount, and I think I ended up being the sports editor my senior year.

If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give your high school self?
To be honest, I probably didn’t apply myself as much as I could have, which definitely limited my options coming out of CHHS. By God’s grace, everything ended up working out perfectly, but I definitely regret not being more committed to my classwork.

What advice would you give to a student preparing for college or the working world?
The biggest thing I tell high school students, or those in college, is to work hard. There are always people out there who are unwilling to put in the work required to be successful and shortchange their own potential. Also, this should go without saying, but it’s also very important to be kind to others and do things the right way in all aspects of life. That is just as important as all the work-related components required for success. 

What was your favorite high school memory and why?
We had a lot of fun at the Roaring Red. Our senior year, we really went all-out and started shooting videos at football and basketball games. I’ve had people bring them up more than a decade later. Once we did a spread on a few seniors who had competing “music groups.” It was all a bit silly, but it was still fun and interesting to the student body. We ended up jumping on lunch tables during lunch to get a couple of shots. To this day, I’m not really sure how we got away with that.  

Who was your favorite high school teacher and why?
It’s impossible to pick a favorite. People like Ben Metcalf, Toni Byam-Pirotte and Andrea Cook-Schelpphorst deserve recognition, even though they’re no longer at CHHS. Of those who are still there, Amanda Vargas, who was the newspaper teacher at the time, and Amy Griggs were really great teachers. They did a great job of helping us reach our potential and make the curriculum fun and engaging. CHHS is lucky to have people like Vargas and Griggs there.
What role did GCISD play in your success in the real world?
It was huge. I got to Grapevine in fourth grade and stayed in the district all the way through graduation, and I had great teachers and administrators the entire time. I was very lucky to have an outlet like the Roaring Red, which used to publish print editions once every six weeks. I still have the copies from my senior year and even the rough drafts of stories with me. That experience confirmed the belief that I should be a reporter when I got older. And that belief has not wavered since I graduated from CHHS.