ESPN's Ryan McGee reveals he wrote under pseudonym 'Al Covington' in early 2000s

·2 min read

Ryan McGee loves working at ESPN so much that he did it secretly under a different name for two years.

McGee said he wrote for ESPN The Magazine under the pseudonym "Al Covington" in the early 2000s while also working for a company that produced NASCAR TV programming.

He’s never talked about it publicly.

But as McGee signs a multi-year contract extension with ESPN and he visits his alma mater University of Tennessee on Saturday, it seems like be a good time to spill the beans on Al Covington.

"My wife (Erica), her maiden name was Allen. And my mother’s maiden name was Covington. So the bosses at (ESPN) The Magazine came up with that name," McGee said. "It lasted just long enough to say that my streak of working for ESPN was never broken."

Ryan McGee, a 1993 University of Tennessee graduate, has agreed with ESPN on a multi-year contract extension.
Ryan McGee, a 1993 University of Tennessee graduate, has agreed with ESPN on a multi-year contract extension.

McGee said writing under another name was the idea of ESPN The Magazine general manager John Skipper, who later became president of ESPN and resigned in 2018.

"Years later, Skip said I could tell people about it, so this is breaking news," McGee said. "And, you know, Al Covington did a great job. I’ve always been proud of him."

McGee — not Al Covington — will continue his work as ESPN.com senior writer, co-host for SEC Network and ESPN Radio and leading contributor for college football and NASCAR coverage.

"For me, it’s just the extension of getting to stay with the family," McGee said. "I have literally spent my entire adult life with ESPN. So to know that’s going to continue is the greatest feeling.

"My goal every day is to make all those people proud that took a chance on me back in 1994 (after graduating from Tennessee)."

McGee, a 1993 Tennessee graduate, was a member of the Tennessee football video crew as a student under Johnny Majors and Phillip Fulmer.

McGee will return to Knoxville for the Vols’ homecoming game against No. 1 Georgia on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS). His show "Marty & McGee," along with co-host Marty Smith, will broadcast live from Ayres Hall lawn at 9 a.m. ET on SEC Network.

"SEC Nation" will follow at 10 a.m. ET from the same location.

Follow Adam Sparks on Twitter @AdamSparks.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: ESPN's Ryan McGee reveals he wrote under pseudonym 'Al Covington'