Sports Director/Managing Editor
WJXT TV 4 Jacksonville, Florida
Recently named one of the "50 Most Influential People in Jacksonville," Sam Kouvaris is the Sports Director/Managing Editor at WJXT-TV, Channel 4 in Jacksonville, Florida.
As Sports Director/Managing Editor, Sam's responsibilities include the presentation of the daily newscasts and the leadership of the sports department. Along with the News Director and General Manager, he helps determine the sports coverage policy throughout the year.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland and a graduate of the University of Maryland, Sam began his broadcasting career in Charleston, S.C. as the Sports Director at the ABC affiliated station, WCBD.
In June of 1981, Sam joined WJXT and was promoted to Sports Director in March of 1982. January 1, 2000 Sam was given additional duties as Managing Editor of the sports department at WJXT. Previously, he was an intern sports reporter in the Washington/Baltimore area.
Since the inception of the franchise, Sam hosted a weekly review of the Jaguars game called "The End Zone" on Monday nights during the football season from 1995-2010. He currently is the host of "Jaguars All-Access" on Monday nights.
Sam also anchors any other sports specials throughout the year covering the Daytona 500, The Super Bowl, March Madness, The Players, The Masters, The NBA Finals, The World Series, The BCS National Championship, The Gate River Run, The Florida/Georgia game and other local events.
Sam's play-by-play experience stretches from football to polo and he has called events for CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN, SportsChannel and the Sun Sports Network.
He is the pre-season television play-by-play voice for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and served in that capacity as well in 2001 and 2002, and as the sideline reporter for the Jaguars Radio Network during the 2000 season.
A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, Sam is one of 44 selectors asked each year to vote on candidates eligible for induction into the Hall. He also is a designated voter for the Heisman Trophy and the College Football Hall of Fame.
Sam's web site Samsportsline.com is a very popular destination for sports fans looking for commentary, information, scores and sports on the Internet and navigation. Sam also maintains a Facebook page (Sam Kouvaris, Samsportsline) and regularly posts on Twitter (@samkouvaris) to keep viewers informed of the latest sports updates.
Sam is an Emmy Award winner and has won the Associated Press Broadcast Award as well as other honors including Sportscaster of the Year by numerous organizations
A 3-sport varsity athlete in High School, Sam also participated in football and baseball in college and on the semi-professional level. He still stays active in sports, mainly cycling, golf, weight training and the occasional fantasy baseball camp.
As part of his sports coverage, Sam has tried out for the Jacksonville Tea Men and the USFL Jacksonville Bulls. He served as the voice of the Tea Men of the NASL in 1983.
A popular feature on WJXT's Eyewitness News at 5:30 was Stump Sam. Viewers were invited to send in their sports questions to see if they can "Stump Sam." Sam maintained about an 90% correct answer rate since the feature's inception in 1990 through 2010.
Sam calls his experience in Navy tactical aircraft the highlight of his career. After a flight with the "Blue Angels," Sam completed six weeks of training administered by the U.S. Navy at NAS Jacksonville and Cecil Field and received his "up-chit" (backseat qualified) to fly in the F/A-18.
He has done stories with several squadrons in the Atlantic Fleet and has three carrier arrested landings and launches. Sam is one of a handful of people who have also flown with the USAF Thunderbirds in the F-16, earning his "9-G" pin, and has flown in the L-39 experimental jet training aircraft. He currently is a FAA Certified Pilot.
Music and drama are among his hobbies; Sam plays several musical instruments including the trumpet and guitar. He has appeared as the lead vocalist for the St. Johns River City Band, the UNF Jazz band, The Douglas Anderson Jazz Band and The Les DeMerle Jazz Festival at numerous "Big Band" concerts.
He serves on the Board of Directors for several charities in North Florida, including the MS Society. Sam's annual golf tournament is held each May and benefits Dreams Come True, a Jacksonville based wish granting organization for children with life threatening illnesses. He is also active at St. Joseph's Parish.
Sam lives in the Mandarin area of Jacksonville with his wife Linda. They have three grown children.