MEET THE TEAM

Executive

Aaron Babcock
Founder & CEO
Aaron founded Hail Varsity in 2012 with the goal of building a premium media experience for Husker fans. He has enjoyed a career in sports for over 20 years, working for the Kansas City Royals, UNK and UNL athletic departments and for the New York Yankees. An accomplished photographer, Aaron’s photos have been published in Sports Illustrated and ESPN magazine. When not roaming the sidelines with his camera, he’s probably planning his next trip to Europe.
Jen Babcock
Chief Operating Officer
Jen officially joined Hail Varsity full-time in April 2016, but has been working behind the scenes since the launch in 2012. Jen manages the operations side of Hail Varsity. When she’s not nose deep in a spreadsheet or organizing sticky notes, she loves to binge watch Netflix and has been known, on occasion, to enjoy a nice glass of wine or two.

Staff

Mike Babcock
Editor
Mike is in his 39th year covering Husker athletics, after seven years of community-college teaching. He has written and edited a dozen books, all on Nebraska football except one, a brief history of Husker basketball. He previously wrote for the Lincoln Journal and Star and Huskers Illustrated. He enjoys music, from the Grateful Dead and Jack Johnson to Van Morrison, Bob Wills, Glenn Miller and pretty much anyone else.
Eric Francis
Staff Photographer
As part of a 25+ year career, Eric has covered Husker sports for magazines, newspapers and international wire services. He has been a regular contributor to Hail Varsity for the past few years and officially joined the team as a staff photographer in August 2016. Eric’s photos have appeared in Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine and nearly every major sports media in the country. Away from the action, Eric enjoys coaching and teaching young men how to compete and occasionally a nice lager around the fire pit with friends and family.
Mark Kraynak
Radio Co-Host, Video Producer
Mark is the creator and voice behind Hail Varsity’s “No Huddle” video series, and co-hosts Hail Varsity’s Saturday morning radio show. While earning his broadcasting degree from UNL, Mark took Tom Osborne’s “Coaching of Football” class as an elective. He got a “C”. Don’t judge. Mark is a 3-time chili cook-off champion, has abnormally deep thoughts about IPA and single-origin coffee, and lives in Omaha with his wife and 2 kids.
Quentin Lueninghoener
Design Director
Quentin has spent the past 10 years designing, illustrating and art directing magazines and sports sections of daily metro newspapers. He likes seeing vintage type in use, especially on sports ephemera. He’s been on board since the launch of Hail Varsity in the fall of 2012. His work has been recognized by the Society for News Design, the American Institute of Graphic Arts and his mother’s refrigerator door.
Jacob Padilla
Staff Writer
Jacob is in his second year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He is also the basketball editor-in-chief of NebHSSports.com and has written extensively for SB Nation's Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he's probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.
Chris Schmidt
Radio Host
Chris teamed up with Aaron and Mike Babcock back in 2008 and has been working the radio ever since. Originally from Lincoln, Chris grew up going to Husker games with his family. "Schmidty" loves talking sports and the chance to interview and visit with coaches and players. Chris is married to Erin and they have one son, Carson.
Erin Sorensen
Online Editor, Director of Digital Marketing
Erin has been with Hail Varsity since its first season. She is in her sixth year of covering Nebraska athletics. In that time, she has been featured on the Big Ten Network, Sports Illustrated’s Campus Union, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and a variety of college football blogs nationally. When not writing and talking about sports, she’s probably at Chipotle.
Brandon Vogel
Managing Editor
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity's first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.
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