(Editor’s note: A new feature, Off Campus, highlights former Loyola student-athletes who play sports professionally, played sports in college or are former high school athletes making a mark in the world.)
WGN’s Mike Lowe one of Chicago’s top broadcast journalists: Every morning during his senior year at Loyola, Mike Lowe (Class of 1997) greeted his fellow classmates over the school’s intercom system and informed them of the latest news regarding the Ramblers. A three-sport athlete, he said he especially enjoyed the sports segment. Lowe quickly resonated with his audience, and people suggested he consider a career as a broadcaster.
Two decades later, Lowe, an Evanston native and product of St. Athanasius, is in his fourth year as a general assignment reporter for WGN. In November, he won two Emmys to run his total to 23. Lowe owns a Walter Cronkite Award for political journalism and is three-time recipient of a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
Lowe said Loyola prepared him to be successful in life.
“High school is when you transition from childhood to adulthood and start to become who you are,” he said. “My time at Loyola was an unforgettable experience and resounds to this day. Anytime they ask me for something, I will make time for them. I will always be a cheerleader for the school.”
Lowe said playing running back for the Ramblers is among the highlights from his time at Loyola. In his two varsity seasons, the team went 20-7 and won two Prep Bowls under head coach John Hoerster.
“It’s a brotherhood,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you played in the 1960s or 1990s. We all share similar experiences.”
Lowe attended Northwestern University, where he double-majored in journalism and political science and later earned a Master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism. While in college, Lowe served as sports director for WNUR, Northwestern’s student-run radio station.
After spending seven years at the local Fox affiliate in Milwaukee, Lowe joined WGN in April 2015. He interned at the local station while at Northwestern.
To date, Lowe’s most memorable moments at WGN came during the Chicago Cubs’ 2016 season when they won the World Series for the first time since 1908.
“Most of the time, I’m showing up in the worst moments of people’s lives, whether it be a murder or a fire or some scandal,” he said. “That Cubs postseason was so overwhelmingly positive. It was a joy ride for the city. I really enjoyed talking to the fans as the team made its run.”
As someone who grew up in the Chicago area, Lowe is grateful to tell stories about his hometown.
“I’m out there rolling up my sleeves and mixing it up,” he said. “It’s never boring. No two days are alike. I’m always learning something new and meeting interesting people. I then try to teach the viewers something about the city they didn’t know.”
Dylan Remick ready for next chapter following pro soccer career: Less than a week after announcing his retirement as a professional soccer player, Loyola graduate Dylan Remick (Class of 2009) was at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Dec. 8 to watch the MLS Cup. In front of a record crowd of 73,019, the hometown Atlanta United beat the Portland Timbers.
Founded in 1996, the MLS has experienced exponential growth in the last decade, and Remick takes pride knowing he contributed to the sport’s increased popularity in the United States.
“It was an incredible atmosphere,” he said of the final. “I’m excited for the future.”
After a four-year varsity career at Loyola, Remick (pictured above) starred at Brown University, where he was a three-time All-Ivy League selection. He was picked by the Seattle Sounders in the second round of the 2013 draft.
Remick, a defender, spent four seasons with the Sounders. He appeared in 44 games, starting 32. Remick was part of the team’s MSL Cup in 2016. The following season, Remick joined the Houston Dynamo. He started 13 of the 14 games he played.
An injury forced Remick to miss the entire 2018 season and played a role in his decision to retire.
“I am very lucky to have had six great years with two great organizations,” he said. “I absolutely loved every minute of it. I have no regrets about anything, and I look forward to whatever comes next.”
A native of Inverness, Remick is back in the Chicago area and said he plans to go to business school in the fall. He majored in biology and pre-med at Brown.
“When I was a kid, I remember writing down that I wanted to play professional soccer,” Remick said. “I’m so happy I got to live out that dream, and it’s awesome to see how big the sport’s become.”
Danny Woodrow takes another step toward baseball’s major leagues: One of the top players in the Detroit Tigers minor league system, Danny Woodrow (Class of 2013) proved he’s among the best prospects in the game at this year’s Arizona Fall League, an invitation-only collection of the sport’s up-and-coming talent. Founded in 1992, nearly 60 percent of former AFL players have made it to the majors, producing 25 Rookies of the Year, 12 MVPs and four Cy Young Award winners.
A 12th-round pick in 2016 out of Creighton, the outfielder was second in the AFL with a .371 batting average and finished with an on-base percentage of .420. Woodrow stole 11 bases in 16 games.
“Some people may be surprised by Woodrow, but maybe not us,” Dave Littlefield, the Tigers vice president for player development, told The Detroit News.
Despite his 5-foot-10, 160-pound frame and his mid-round draft selection, Woodrow has risen through ranks quickly. He hit .313 with an OPS of .764 in Double-A and was an Eastern League All-Star selection. Woodrow also started at least 15 games at each of the three outfield positions.
“He’s played exceptionally well at all levels, and the biggest thing is he’s hit,” Littlefield said. “It’s hard to find hitters.
“But he does a lot of positive things. He swings the bat, he runs, he steals bags. He has above-average speed, he’s a good defender and he’s a good bunter, as well.”
In 283 games since 2016, Woodrow has a batting average of .297 and an OPS of .719.
According to Littlefield, Woodrow needs to get bigger and stronger. He has three home runs and 55 extra-base hits in 1,246 plate appearances.
“What sometimes gets lost in the shuffle is simply that competition gets significantly better as you go up the ladder,” Littlefield said. “It becomes exponentially more difficult.”
Photo credit: Jane Gershovich/Seattle Sounders FC