Over the last year or so I’ve been trying to learn more and more about our new conference foes. And since I’m not a college student anymore and this isn’t considered an academic paper I went to ol’ reliable; Wikipedia. 

Littered with information about a school’s everything. Academics, Athletics, Campus Life, History, and my personal favorite section; Famous Alumni. Just as we have such famous people like Sam Ponder, Shannon Bream, the guys that sang Jesus Freak, and a bunch of politicians, other schools have claims to fame as well.

So to save you from scrolling through Wikipedia I’m going to break down the coolest Alumni from each of CUSA teams.

Before I start…

Now yes, I know this is completely objective. My criteria are simple. Do I think they are cool? Would I want to grab a bite and a beverage with them? Would they be fun on college gameday? Right off the bat that’s going to remove every politician. So I’m sorry I didn’t pick your favorite state representative or whatever. Not for me. 

I’m also mostly going to shy away from athletes because that’s too easy. I’m looking for something different.

FIU: Danny Pino (Law and Order SVU)

I didn’t have much to work with on this one so I had to go close to home. I’ve seen every episode of Law and Order SVU no less than three times. I truly believe I could get a decent score on the Bar Exam just from my experiences watching the show.

Because of that, I had to go with Danny Pino. Detective Nick Amaro, partner of Olivia Benson, fighter against predators and perverts in NYC. After reading a little more about his Wikipedia we see he graduated from FIU in 1996 and has gone on to star in movies and TV shows a plenty. He also shows his versatility by playing in Dear Even Hanson (shout out to Richie Broadways).

Honorable Mention: Andy Garcia, Dawn Ostroff (Spotify big-wig), T.Y. Hilton (an all-time guy I draft way too early in fantasy every year), and this guy, professor Sundaraja Sitharama Iyengar.

Jacksonville State: Randy Owen (Lead Singer of Alabama)

Just when I thought FIU had some slim pickings I clicked on JSU and gracious was THIS slim pickings. Their official website has a section for famous alumni and within that, is a section just for Miss. Alabama winners from the state, which they’ve had four.

However, this one was a slam dunk. Alabama is one of the biggest country bands of all time. I’ve actually heard of them before. Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 75 Million albums sold. Plus the guy is on the school’s board of trustees. 

To be honest, I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be a country music fan. The only reason I listened to Zach Brown Band and the likes when I was at Liberty was because I thought it would help me with southern girls. The irony would have it, the two girls I dated at Liberty were both from the North. All for naught.

Honorable Mention: I got nothing

La Tech: The Robertsons

Now trust me, I would 100% have gone with Joey Greco, the host of Cheaters, but I gotta play to the audience sometimes. That’s why I’m going with the Duck Dynasty guys. That show gave me and many others a look into the world of duck calling. And while I’m not planning on going hunting anytime soon, the DD guys made me at least consider giving it a try.  

Fun Fact, not only did I hear them speak at Liberty, but I was eating at a fancy restaurant in Nashville in 2014 at a Bachelor Party and they were in the private room next to us. Nice people.

The LA Tech alumni page is loaded. Might be the most stacked of any of the other schools. If they ever host a gameday I don’t who they would pick.

Honorable Mention: Trace Adkins, Linda Sucier, Jerry Grecco

MTSU: Amy Lee (Evanescence)







Easy one here. I don’t care she dropped out. The song is an all-time banger. When I’m riding on the Peloton (shout out Marsh, Mr. 55, Chad, and the rest of the LU Peloton Crew) and this comes on I could ride through a brick wall. Amy Lee forever. 

Honorable Mention: Isaiah Rashad, Lecrae, Two Noble Prize Winners

New Mexico State: Alvy Ray Smith (Pixar Co-Founder)

I didn’t know much about this guy until I read his wiki and GRACIOUS do I love the hutzpah on him. He founded Pixar which was financially backed by Steve Jobs and Apple. Now apparently there was a rule that only Steve Jobs used the whiteboard in the conference room. Alvy decided that Steve Jobs could kick rocks and use it in front of everyone. He and Jobs went at it and Alvy quit Pixar. He then stuck it to Jobs and went to work for Microsoft. Imagine the stories this guy has!?

Honorable Mention: Starbucks CEO, Reta Bebee, Baxter Black (cowboy poet??? See below)

Sam Houston State: Dan Rather

My options were quite limited here. Normally Dan Rather wouldn’t be my first choice but the guy has seen it all when it comes to America. The guy was at the Kennedy assassination for crying out loud. Now that his news career is over he might be willing to share all the fun off-the-record stuff he’s seen over the years. Again, this isn’t a fun pick but if you looked at my options you would understand why. 

Honorable Mention: The guy who screenwrote Kung Fu Panda, 1983 Miss. America, An interior designer from Trading Spaces

UTEP: Ed Hochuli 

The greatest referee of all time. I don’t think the guy has ever missed a call or skipped out on push-ups a day in his life. He’s worked a bunch of Super Bowls and is one of the most recognizable people in football. On top of that, he’s a trial judge. One of the BEST trial judges in the country at that (2023, Wikipedia). 

Everyone loves Ed Hochuli

Honorable Mention: Vicki Guerrero, Tim Hardaway, Jon Dorenbos (a magician who played in the NFL)

WKU: Nappy Roots 

Banger after banger back in the day. I’m fairly confident many of you have no idea who the Nappy Roots are so here you go.


The greatest Madden, both gameplay-wise soundtrack, was 2004 which of course featured Nappy Roots. They’re WKU’s version of DC Talk except they have more than one hit. Might be the coolest of any of the people I listed. 

Honorable Mention: John Carpenter, Billy Vaughn, Romeo Crennel