Joey Kaufman is the USC beat writer for the Orange County Register and 10 other newspapers included in the Southern California News Group. He joined the Register in March 2015 and has also reported on UCLA sports and Major League Baseball.
Kaufman’s work at the Register has been recognized by the Football Writers Association of America and Orange County Press Club for profiles of top college quarterbacks, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and USC’s Sam Darnold. He has also written a variety of other human-interest stories and enterprise features, and broken news.
Previously, he was a reporter at the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Ill., where he covered local sports in the northwest Chicago suburbs with a focus on enterprise projects. He frequently wrote about concussions in youth football, the realignment of high school athletic conferences, sports-related legislation and lawsuits brought against the Illinois High School Association.
He received a fifth-place award in project reporting in the national Associated Press Sports Editors 2014 contest for a three-day series on declining participation in area youth tackle football leagues, in addition to state journalism awards. His story on a class-action lawsuit against the IHSA concerning the management of concussed football players received a third-place award for enterprise story in the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors contest.
He has a BA in Print and Digital Journalism from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and in Religion from the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
After graduation from USC in May 2013, he spent six months as a sports reporting intern at The Columbus Dispatch. He was a de facto general assignment reporter for the paper, reporting on a variety sports across Ohio such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Columbus Blue Jackets, PGA Tour and more. Additionally, he assisted with the paper’s beat coverage of Ohio State and Big Ten football.
As an undergraduate, he interned at the Register (spring 2013) and USA Today (spring 2012) through its collegiate correspondent program.
From 2010-13, Kaufman covered USC football as a beat writer for the Daily Trojan, USC’s student newspaper. On the beat, he wrote takeout features, profiles, game stories and a weekly Monday column.
In April 2013, Kaufman received two California College Media Association first-place awards for best sports column and best sports story. The column, “‘Arrogant’ message has run its course,” questioned students’ use of “arrogance” as a rallying point for the 2012 football season. The judges’ comments described it as, “darn near the perfect college newspaper sports column.” The award-winning story profiled then-USC assistant head coach Monte Kiffin, presenting a behind-the-scenes look at the defensive coordinator and father of then-head coach Lane Kiffin.
He has also won an Allan Malamud Scholarship for sports journalism.
His freelance writing has appeared at Sports on Earth, in The Oregonian, the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune, the Stockton (Calif.) Record, the Los Angeles Times Community Newspapers and more.
Photo credit: Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register