Justin Lange has quickly determined that Allie Krings has got "it."
The presence, the smarts, the ambition — even the looks.
Lange is Live Production Coordinator for Gopher Digital Productions at the University of Minnesota. Krings is a Byron High School graduate and Minnesota sophomore. She's working under Lange as a Gophers sports sideline reporter, among other duties.
But it's clearly the sideline reporting that she's gravitated to most, with hopes for a future there post college.
Her idol is Erin Andrews, Fox Sports' sideline reporter who formerly worked in the same capacity for ESPN.
Can Krings be the next Erin Andrews? Tough to say that, but Lange isn't putting it past her.
"Allie has some improving to do; all students do," Lange said. "But she's got a ton of potential and always comes prepared. She is very poised and one of the best — if not the best — student that we have (at Gopher Digital Productions)."
Krings, a strategic communications major who's minoring in sports management, showed up at the University of Minnesota searching for on-air possibilities, with a special focus on sports reporting.
Krings comes from a sports-minded family. Her playing days were limited at Byron, but she has three brothers who all dove into athletics.
She spent a bunch of time watching them, and compiled a keen understanding of the nuances of sports en route.
The right stuff
Combine Krings' sports knowledge with her outgoing personality, ambition, analytical mind, and fearlessness in front of a camera, and her search for an on-air job at the Minnesota campus was a natural.
It was also immediate.
"When I was a freshman, I right away made like nine different calls looking for this kind of work," Krings said. "Then I got a hold of the guy who'd (eventually) be my boss (at Gopher Digital Productions). He told me to send him my resume and to come in for an interview."
That boss came away impressed and put Krings immediately to work.
She hasn't stopped since, picking up more and more work in the paying job as the company's confidence in her has grown.
As a sideline reporter, Krings has worked Gophers women's basketball, volleyball and hockey, as well as baseball and men's basketball. She does about two events a week. By the time she's done her pre-game research, watched the event and reported on it during and afterward, 10 hours have been gobbled up.
Between that and school, it doesn't leave her with time for much else.
"When I have free time, I usually spend it sleeping, like a lot of college kids," Krings said with a laugh.
Love of work
But the Byron graduate is not complaining. Her work at Gopher Digital Productions inspires and exhilarates her.
She's done interviews that stand out, such as with Gophers basketball and volleyball stars Rachel Banham and Paige Tapp, respectively.
"I love talking with Rachel Banham; she is my favorite athlete at the 'U'," Krings said of the senior point guard who is now out for the season with a torn ACL. "She is such a talented and fierce competitor."
Tapp, a sophomore middle blocker and all-American this season, ranks nearly as high. Krings loves her game, but also something else.
"She is from the (Hiawatha Valley League), just like me," Krings said of the Stewartville graduate. "I watched her play in high school and now I get to see her in college. That's pretty cool."
There are a whole lot of cool things going on for Krings at Minnesota. But the best result would be for the sophomore to land a job doing sideline reporting once she graduates.
That's where her heart is.
"This is cool because I can enjoy the game, be analytical about it, then talk to the players and coaches when the game is done," Krings said. "It's satisfying."