MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO-TV’s all-star sports director is saying goodbye to a legendary career.
Mark Rosen will retire after nearly 50 years at WCCO. The broadcasting hall of famer will finally get to spend evenings with his family — but he will not be far away from the communities he has covered since the late 1960s.
Rosen grew up in St. Louis Park and giving back has always been a priority. And he has given a lot of himself in service of Athletes Committed to Educating Students, or ACES. The nonprofit uses sports to teach math and social-emotional learning skills to fourth through eighth graders in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
“It just really means a lot to us as a small nonprofit that he has chosen to support our cause,” said ACES Executive Director Christina Saunders. “He has stated that education is really important to him and he wouldn’t be where he is today without several mentors and all the opportunities that he was given.”
Last year, with the help of Rosen and WCCO, “Fishing for ACES” raised more than $120,000. Saunders says attendance has more than doubled at the nonprofit’s signature gala largely due to Rosen’s leadership.
“I think Mark Rosen is just very magnetic, and he has a very powerful personality, which … has been really instrumental for our organization and for my leadership, personally,” Saunders said. “He just wants to do the best he can for the most people possible.”
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Rosen took ACES graduate and now-ninth grader Kalid Ali under his wing, mentoring him — which now includes the occasional fantasy football advice.
“He obviously has in-depth sports knowledge and historical knowledge that is a perfect fit for us. Our curriculum is all sports based. He’s been a particularly excellent sports mentor to me and some of our staff in helping us get up to speed with the happenings, as well as some of our kids,” Saunders said.
As Rosen prepares for the next chapter in his life, the ACES family wants him to know how grateful they are for his commitment to their organization.
“We’ve really connected about the journey that his family is going through, and we offer him our ultimate support because, you know, he’s supported us and ACES through many, many times, and we want to support him as well,” Saunders said.