The stadium is electric with the cheering crowd’s energy. In the stands, the freshman’s eyes are glued to the football field, observing each play of the game with rapt excitement. Beside her, though, several friends struggle to keep up with the action on the field. To help them join the fun, she explains to them, play by play, how the Pitt Panthers are winning yet another game.
It’s the fall of 1976, and Diane Powell is absorbed in what will be a historic, undefeated championship season for University of Pittsburgh football. The young writing student is also enraptured by her studies and a growing interest in sports journalism.
“I always knew I wanted to write,” she says. For Powell, a high school cheerleader and member of a sports-loving family from Philadelphia, Pa., it seemed natural to blend her passion for athletics with a career in communications. But first, she would learn the ropes of news journalism, writing for The Pitt News and studying nonfiction.
After earning a Pitt degree with a focus in English and political science, she became a news reporter for the New Pittsburgh Courier. Since then, she has worked in public relations, radio journalism, and sports reporting, covering both college and professional athletics for regional newspapers. She’s one of a growing number of women in a field typically dominated by men.
“When I first covered the Super Bowl, in 2002, there was only one other woman in the press box with me,” she recalls. “Now there are more. Not many more but a few more.”
Married and living in Atlanta, Ga., Diane Powell-Larché (A&S ’80) is the CEO of her own sports and entertainment publicity firm. She continues to report on sports, including Panther football, as a freelance writer. “I love covering sports because I understand the game,” she says. And she especially loves the game when it involves former Pitt athletes.
“I check the rosters, and if I see a former Pitt player, I always wait for them after the games and try to at least take a picture and do a short interview,” she says. “When I say I’m from Pitt, they light up.”
This article appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of Pitt Magazine.