Sports Information Specialist Bill Norris Gets a Kick Out of SBVC
Growing up in Anaheim, “just a hop, skip, and jump away from Angel Stadium,” Bill Norris could usually be found on the baseball or soccer field, or watching a game on television with his dad.
“I was a sports kid,” Norris said, and that continued through high school. During his senior year, Norris for the first time didn’t make the baseball team, but he found a new role, playing music between innings and reporting game statistics. He made a name for himself, and Anaheim’s daily afternoon newspaper came out and wrote a story about him.
From there, Norris’ focus shifted toward sports journalism, and he became a newspaper stringer in 1990 while attending Fullerton College. His responsibilities grew after he took a part-time job and began gathering scores, which led to him writing captions and headlines, and it wasn’t long before he was laying out the sports section of the newspaper.
This launched Norris’ career in journalism, which saw him writing about sports in The Orange County Register, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, and The Press-Enterprise. He was one of the many reporters who lost their jobs during the Great Recession, and he had to pivot, writing freelance articles about the Ontario Reign and becoming communications and media relations director for the Ontario Fury. His wife Gina, also a journalist, enrolled at San Bernardino Valley College not long after, and Norris started thinking about following her.
“I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back,” he said, adding that he was afraid he’d be “older than the teachers.” Norris took the plunge and enrolled, and through CalWORKs, received assistance, including gas cards, book vouchers, and educational counseling. His counselor found that some of his credits from Fullerton College could transfer, and in 2017, one year after his wife graduated from SBVC, Norris earned his associate’s degree in English.
That wasn’t the end of Norris’ SBVC story. In February 2017, he applied for the sports information specialist position, and received a job offer three weeks before graduation. He’s been in the role ever since, and is a “jack of everything”.
Norris takes photos, records statistics, creates graphics, writes press releases, updates the SBVC Athletics website with rosters and team pictures, posts to social media, and more. “I’m having fun and I love my job,” he said. Norris earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Cal State San Bernardino in 2020, and when he meets student-athletes, he encourages them to finish school and “not take this time for granted.” He knows firsthand how fulfilling it is to stick with something and reap the rewards. “I’m doing what I love,” Norris said. “If you’d have told me when I was at Fullerton that I’d become a sports information specialist, I would have been ecstatic.”