Eric Spillman’s career aspirations of being a reporter began just a little over six miles from KTLA.

It all started at Hoover High School in Glendale.

“I think I knew I wanted to be a reporter when I was here in high school,” he confessed. “We had a student newspaper. I was a writer on the newspaper. I just enjoyed finding out about what was going on. I enjoyed writing. I enjoyed telling stories.”

At Hoover, Eric also ran track, served in student government and was one of the school’s 10 valedictorians.

“He still holds the record for the 330 yard hurdles,” explained his former track coach, Bill Irace. “He’s one of the top 10 330 yard hurdle runners in Hoover history.”

Those good grades and extracurriculars paid off as Eric took the trek up north to go to college at UC Berkeley.

After college, he worked at a radio station in Sacramento. However, he was laid-off and had to change course. That move brought him to television. He started in San Luis Obispo, then worked in Las Vegas for three years. Then one day, he read something in the newspaper that eventually brought him back home.

“I saw a little tiny blurb in the L.A. Times, and it said KTLA was starting a morning news show for the first time,” he said. “So on a lark, I sent in a tape thinking I had no chance to get the job, and they called me back!”

“The whole thing of working here in my hometown and covering stories in the geography that I grew up with and meeting people who I grew up admiring, is just — I feel so lucky,” he gushed.

“I watch him now all the time on TV,” said Irace. “I tell all my friends ‘I know that guy!'”

My Very Own Story series will air Thursdays at 8 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5 p.m.

Track the stories online at ktla.com/mystory.