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Gophers fan digs deep for breaking news

By Loren Nelson, 09/08/14, 2:15PM CDT

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Webmaster Rob Litt helped build GopherHole.com into bustling destination.

Webmaster of the Week: September 8-14

Name

Rob Litt

Site 

GopherHole.com

Position 

Co-Publisher

Background 

Litt attended the University of Kansas, where he worked in the Sports Information department and earned a public relations degree. He helped assemble KU media guides, among other tasks, and became comfortable interviewing the school’s athletes. He was a prolific contributor on the site’s message board in the early 2000s before he was recruited to become one of its writers and, eventually, signed on as a co-owner. By day, he works in Minneapolis as the director of communications for a global food company.

What he does

Litt, who co-owns the site with Nadine Babu, oversees much of GopherHole’s day-to-day operations. He manages the site’s writing staff, monitors its message boards, writes and posts articles and handles the placement of its advertising. Four years ago he helped migrate the site onto the Sport Ngin platform, a project that included a design makeover and the integration of the site’s massive history section (there are links to every Gophers football game dating back to the 1800s). His dedication to site over the years has helped it become the preferred destination for passionate Gophers fans, and it has been noted as such by the New York Times in its college football previews. The site, which has just less than 18,000 Twitter followers, has enjoyed year-over-year growth in traffic every year since its inception in 1996.

Making his mark

Litt was just minutes from climbing into bed last Friday night when he noticed that Gophers men’s basketball recruit Jonathan Nwankwo had announced his commitment to play at Minnesota on GopherHole’s message boards. Litt quickly posted a story on Nwankwo’s commitment, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, among other media outlets, followed with its own story -- crediting GopherHole for breaking the news -- later in the evening. Two years ago, the news of Gophers men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith’s firing first broke on GopherHole’s message boards, and Litt said the site had 1.1 million page views over the ensuing 72-hour period.

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About Loren Nelson

Loren Nelson is Community Manager at SportsEngine. He is also the National Media Editor and has served in a variety of other customer facing and media roles since 2009.

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