Local radio host Corigliano celebrates five years at WKAL

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It’s a year of celebration at 1450 WKAL as radio host Rocky Corigliano marks his fifth year at the station.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years already,” Corigliano said. “I’m a local guy and I did a little bit (of radio) in college.”

Corigliano, who graduated Rome Free Academy in 1998, started out hosting the Mohawk Valley Sports Watch show on Sunday mornings, but it was taped. Now he’s live for two hours on Saturday mornings.

“What we do is feature local sports and athletes,” Corigliano said. “We talk about some high school and Division I through III athletics and we have some local guests on who have made it to the professional ranks.”

The show has hosted names like Major League Baseball commissioner and Rome native Rob Manfred, Jacksonville Jaguars strength and conditioning coach and Rome native Tom Myslinski Jr., former college basketball coach and current ESPN college basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes and Westmoreland native, the University of Texas co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Herb Hand.

Corigliano went to Fordham University to play football, where he also worked some Atlantic-10 basketball games while he was there. He graduated from Fordham in 2002.

Corigliano said the show has built quite an audience over his five years.

“It’s my fun job,” he said, “But it’s a lot of work.”

For his full-time job, Corigliano is the vice president of operations for Birnie Bus Service. He’s also taking on another project of running a podcast out of his basement, talking about college football.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mohawk Valley Sports Watch show went on despite far less sports to talk about.

“Radio and TV were considered essential when everything was shut down,” Corigliano explained. “So I was in the studio doing the show by myself.”

Since sports were a no-go during the peak of the pandemic, Corigliano said he relied on local coaches calling into the show to talk. But now, Corigliano said he’s gotten the band back together with RFA boys varsity basketball coach Nick Medicis, Eric Coleman and Pete Pagliaro.

“Eric and Pete were there with me in the beginning,” Corigliano said. “Coach Medicis has come on to the show. He was the guy I could call and he would fill in. I’d call him a guest host. Now, he’s a big part of the show.”

Corigliano said he’s always had a passion for sports broadcasting.

“As a former coach, I would say to never stop chasing your dreams,” Corigliano said. “And it’s about giving back to the community that has given so much to me and my family.”

Corigliano spent five seasons as the head coach of Sauquoit Valley varsity football team. He also spent six seasons as an assistant coach on his father’s staff when he was the head coach at Waterville. Corigliano’s sister Shannon McPheron, is also Camden’s varsity field hockey head coach.

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