MEET THE TEAM

Mike Babcock

Mike Babcock

Editor

Mike is in his 40th 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

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

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

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

Jacob Padilla

Staff Writer

Jacob has been covering Husker basketball, football and volleyball for Hail Varsity since 2015 and during that time he’s gotten to cover a couple national titles, which is pretty cool. He spent four years writing about sports for Creighton’s student newspaper, he’s been covering Nebraska prep sports since 2012 and he has extensive blogging experience, primarily about the Phoenix Suns. 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.

Derek Peterson

Derek Peterson

Staff Writer

Derek has covered Husker athletics for Hail Varsity since 2017. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.

Chris Schmidt

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.

Greg Smith

Greg Smith

Recruiting Analyst

Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.

Erin Sorensen

Erin Sorensen

Deputy Editor/Digital Marketing Strategist

Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska Athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a variety of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.

Brandon Vogel

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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