About Hail Varsity

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Hail Varsity is the new magazine for Husker fans, produced by names Husker fans have grown to respect.

Click here to see where you can purchase the latest copy of Hail Varsity on a newsstand near you. 

Publisher/Owner Aaron Babcock and Editor Mike Babcock have combined for over 55 years in the business.

Hail Varsity’s unique approach will make it the premier publication for Husker fans. Our publication will pave a new path for Husker content, with high quality materials, ensuring our readers will see the Huskers as never before. In addition to the highest quality Husker publication on the market, Husker Nation can follow the Huskers anywhere, anytime.

Subscribers to Hail Varsity magazine will receive free access to digital editions, which can be read across multiple digital formats, including iPads and notebooks.

Hail Varsity.com provides free daily content with the latest Husker news, features, columns and analysis. In addition, HailVarsity.com features some of the most dynamic Husker photo galleries on the web.

To learn more about Hail Varsity, read more about our staff:



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Aaron Babcock has 20 years of experience in the sports industry. Before launching Hail Varsity, he served as the General Manager/Editor of Huskers Illustrated for the past four years.

Prior to taking over Huskers Illustrated, Babcock served as the director of public relations for the Kansas City Royals. During his six seasons with the Major League club, he oversaw team publicity, coordinated interviews with players and front office staff, designed team publications and oversaw the team website, royals.com. He also traveled with the club, attending the majority of home and road games each year.

Babcock worked for the University of Nebraska athletic department from 1998-2000, serving as the sports information contact for volleyball for three years, and also handled baseball, basketball and track and field during his tenure.

A native of Auburn, Wash., Babcock moved to the Midwest to attend the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where he graduated with a degree in mass communication in 1996. A four-year student assistant in the sports information office, he was hired as UNK’s sports information director, handling publicity for the school’s 16 varsity sports.

Babcock is an avid photographer and has been contracted by the New York Yankees to produce, design and publish the team’s media guides for the past six seasons. Aaron and his wife, Jen, live in Lincoln and enjoy traveling in their free time.



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Mike Babcock has covered Nebraska athletics for 34 years, the first 17 as a beat writer and then columnist for the Lincoln Journal Star. He is no stranger to magazines, writing for Nebraska: Inside Cornhusker Sports and Huskers Illustrated. He has written/edited a dozen books about the Huskers, among them Nebraska Football Vault; Stadium Stories: Nebraska Cornhuskers; The Nebraska Football Legacy; Heart of a Husker and Huskers on the Hardwood.

Babcock was a communications instructor at Parkland (Ill.) Community College for seven years and began his journalism career working part-time for the Champaign-Urbana (Ill.) Courier, covering a high school beat as well as contributing to coverage of University of Illinois football.

His undergraduate degree, in English, is from Chico State College, his master’s degree, also in English, is from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His interests include all manner of music, that of the Grateful Dead, in particular; reading, John Grisham and James Lee Burke, in particular; and movies, those of Woody Allen, in particular, but just about any romantic comedy will do.

Mike’s stabilizing influence is his wife Barb.


Staff Writer

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Brandon Vogel has more than seven years experience writing about sports for local and national publications. In 2006 he won FOXSports.com’s “Next Great Sports Writer” competition, earning a featured column for the site where he covered everything from the Kentucky Derby to the television debut of Friday Night Lights.

Prior to joining Hail Varsity, Vogel wrote extensively about Nebraska athletics as a featured writer at BigRedNetwork.com as well as a contributor to all four editions of the season preview magazine Cornhusker Kickoff.  In 2011, he covered the Nebraska football beat for CBSSports.com.  Vogel also serves as a contributing sports editor for The Reader in Omaha.

A native of Hemingford, Neb., Vogel played basketball at Hastings College before graduating with a BA in English in 2002. In 2005 he received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, Mass.

Vogel lives with his wife, Christina, in Omaha.


Radio/TV Host

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Chris Schmidt is a Lincoln native, graduating from Lincoln Southeast High School. He has been covering the Huskers since his radio career began in 1998.

During his career, Schmidt has conducted a number of popular interviews, talking to some of the biggest names in the games during that time. Through his efforts, he has built a loyal audience, with his show on 1480 AM in Lincoln topping the charts from the 4-6 p.m. He previously hosted the Huskers Illustrated Radio Show, which debuted in 2008 before moving to Hail Varsity Radio. Hail Varsity Radio, co-hosted by Nick Handley, can be heard Monday-Friday, from 4-6 p.m. in Lincoln (1480 AM) and Columbus (900 AM). The show is also broadcast live with Schmidt and Mark Kraynak on Saturday mornings from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on 1620 AM in Omaha and 1480 AM in Lincoln. Prior to joining Hail Varsity, Chris worked as program director and host of an afternoon radio show at ESPN 1480 in Lincoln for several years. He currently does high school play-by-play in Omaha with The Cox High School Game of the Week and can also be seen doing area games in Lincoln as well.

Schmidt has been fortunate enough to see nearly every home Nebraska game in person since 1991 and attended his first Nebraska game in 1987. He enjoys spending time with his family when he’s not working. He and his wife, Erin, have been married for nine years and have a five-year-old son, Carson.