Making a Difference in Professional Sports

Many members of the Colby community are making their mark on the world of professional sports. As part of the Colby Home Opener on Oct. 15, the College hosted a discussion featuring perspectives from the general manager’s office to sports medicine to the media. Panelists provided an insider’s look at how major professional sports organizations are adapting their operations to address COVID-19, recognizing and supporting racial justice activism, and how the Colby experience shapes our graduates to become successful leaders during even the most challenging times.


Charlotte Wilder ’11, a reporter at FOX Sports, is making her presence known in the male-dominated world of sports media. As one of the youngest-ever senior writers for Sports Illustrated, she put her own spin on everything from her in-depth magazine articles to her tweets about watching Tom Brady play in the Super Bowl. Her unending authenticity has drawn people to her and has contributed to her success. Wilder is not afraid to speak out about bigger issues, emphasizing the importance of giving back, especially during these difficult times, and having your voice heard.

Eric DeCosta ’93 has worked his way up through the Baltimore Ravens system since he started with the organization three years after leaving Mayflower Hill. DeCosta, who is described by many as a dedicated and hard worker, propelled through the ranks to his current position as executive vice president and general manager of the Ravens. Now, in his second year as GM, he is faced with the unexpected challenges that come with leadership during a global pandemic. Due to COVID-19, DeCosta was forced to rethink his draft strategy to fit into a virtual world. In addition to a health crisis, social unrest has been on the forefront of many conversations around the NFL and nationwide. The Ravens have taken a unified stance and spoken out about racial injustice in this country. 
Brian O’Halloran ’93 graduated Colby with a degree in government and Russian language and culture and spent his early career in Russia before starting a successful baseball career in 2002. His first few years with the MLB were spent working as an unpaid intern with the San Diego Padres before moving home to Boston where he shared a desk with an intern and worked late nights charting games. His willingness to do the hard work without complaint paid off as he landed his dream role working for the team he grew up cheering for. Now, as general manager of the Boston Red Sox, O’Halloran is tasked with safely carrying out a baseball season during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Riley Williams P’20 is an is an award-winning orthopedic surgeon, professor of orthopedic surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery – Weill Cornell Medical College, and head team physician for Brooklyn Nets Basketball and NY Red Bulls Soccer. Throughout his career, he has worked with multiple professional athletes including the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. Dr. Williams ensures his patients are taking care of their bodies to prevent injuries. In recent months, he has transitioned to telehealth communication to provide the same quality of care to his patients as he could during in-person appointments. While much of his work has changed this year, Dr. Williams continues to prioritize keeping players safe and at the top of their game.