Top 30 Sportscasters Under 30

January 29, 2014
By Jon Chelesnik

When we first tweeted about putting together the Top 30 Sportscasters Under 30, we thought we might get a handful of responses to consider for one list. A week later, you had generated more than 2,000 tweets, and a nominee list with more than 100 names. Therefore, we compiled two lists. The first list is compiled by STAA. The second is compiled by our Twitter followers.

We never could have anticipated the overwhelming reply, but we sure enjoyed the ride. It was nice to watch the sportscasting community come together for something fun like this. We all need a little encouragement that our hard work has been noticed. Hopefully the 30 Under 30 provided you with such a compliment, even if you didn’t make the final lists.

I am the first to admit the list is highly subjective. Also, we did our best to confirm that everyone on the list is indeed under 30 years old, but we can’t guarantee it is 100% accurate. Honorees are listed alphabetically by last name, except for the first name on List One. In my humble opinion, Ryan Ruocco is clearly the top person on this list.

Now, on to the lists!

STAA’s 30 Under 30

Ryan-RuoccoRyan Ruocco
There was never any question that Ruocco was going to be No.1 on this list. Does everything from hosting daily on 98.7 ESPN Radio New York, to play-by-play of NBA, NFL, WNBA, college football and even a TV show. When Ruocco was coming out of Fordham in 2008, he was the best collegiate sports broadcaster we had ever heard. Still is. In fact, hearing his work prompted the idea for STAA’s annual Jim Nantz Award and All-America program honoring the nation’s top collegiate sports broadcasters. We wondered how many other collegians are out there who are similarly talented to Ryan. He’s still our all-time best.


Kristina Akra
Host/Reporter, MLB Network.

Adam Amin
ESPN college football, basketball, softball, tennis, volleyball and baseball play-by-play broadcaster.

Amanda Balionis
Host/Reporter, PGATour.com.

Jason Benetti
Play-by-play announcer at ESPN Regional TV.

Jeremy Branham
Yahoo! Sports Radio Network anchor, University of Houston women’s basketball and baseball play-by-pay voice.

Brendan Burke
College football: Fox Sports Net/Fox College Sports; Hockey: Big Ten Network, Fox Sports North/FS2, and the Utica Comets (AHL).

Ken Carman
Evening host on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.

Ed Cohen
College basketball play-by-play broadcaster for CBS Sports Network, ESPN Regional, and Rutgers University women’s basketball. Also does various play-by-play for MSG Varsity and is a sports update anchor on Sirius XM.

Aiyana Cristal
Sports Anchor/Host/Reporter for Comcast SportsNet in Chicago.

Joe Davis
ESPN football, basketball, baseball and hockey play-by-play broadcaster.

Steve Gelbs
Sports anchor and reporter at SportsNet New York.

Aaron Goldsmith
Seattle Mariners radio play-by-play broadcaster.

Guy Haberman
Co-hosts a daily show on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. His extensive play-by-play work includes calling games for the Fresno Grizzlies (AA), college basketball for the WAC Sports Network, and Fresno State women’s basketball and softball.

Chris Hassel
Anchor of SportsCenter and Highlight Express on ESPNEWS.

Josh Innes
Evening host on WIP in Philadelphia. Previous hosted at Sports Radio 610 KILT in Houston where he hosted afternoon drive for three years. Has also been a host on CBS Sports Radio Network and was a recurring fill-in host on the Jim Rome Show.

Steve Layman
Lead sports anchor and reporter at WTVF-TV in Nashville, TN.

Adam Lefkoe
Bleacher Report host. Formerly a Sports Anchor at WHAS-TV in Louisville, where he won two Emmys. 2013 AP Kentucky TV Sportscaster of the Year.

Mike Meltser
Co-hosts a midday show on 610 Sports Radio KILT in Houston. Former ESPN Radio Network SportsCenter update anchor.

Kyle Montgomery
Sports Anchor/Host/Reporter for Fox Sports and NFL Network in Los Angeles.

Chris Mueller
Afternoon host on 93.7 The Fan Pittsburgh.

Danny Parkins
Host Afternoon Drive on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City.

Grant Paulsen
Talk show host on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C.. Prior to that, he was a Washington Redskins beat reporter. In grade school, Paulsen was a recurring sports reporter on WUSA. Later, he covered the Super Bowl for the David Letterman Show.

Pete McCarthy
On-Air Host/Reporter for MLB.com. Also a talent for SportsNet New York.

Britt McHenry
Sports Reporter, Channel 7 WJLA Washington, D.C.

Wayne Randazzo
Sports anchor and talk show host for 670 The Score in Chicago. Play-by-play voice of minor league baseball’s Kane County Cougars. Has also done play-by-play for the Big Ten Network, the World Baseball Classic, and Arizona Diamondbacks spring training games.

Gary Striewski
Sports Anchor/Host/Reporter at NESN in Boston.

Kelli Tennant
Studio Anchor/Reporter with Time Warner Cable SportsNet, covering the Dodgers, Lakers, Sparks, and Galaxy.

Pablo Torre
A panelist on ESPN’s Around the Horn and The Sports Reporters; a sometime contributor to Outside the Lines and Olbermann; and a regular on-air guest on National Public Radio’s Tell Me More.

Nick Wright
AM Drive host on Sports Radio 610 in Houston.

Honorable Mention:
Jordan Bernfield (WGN), Mike Couzens (ESPN Networks, Fort Wayne TinCaps), Jenny Dell (NESN), Andrew Fillipponi (93.7 The Fan, Pittsburgh), Joel Godett (Ball State University), Drew Hoffar (95.7 The Game, San Francisco), Mike Lefko (U. of South Florida), Jeff Levering (Pawtucket Red Sox), J Leman (Big Ten Network), Julia Morales (CSN Houston).

People’s Choice: 30 Under 30

Robbie Aaron
Daytona Cubs baseball play-by-play.

Adam Amin
ESPN college football, basketball, softball, tennis, volleyball and baseball play-by-play broadcaster.

Brian Boesch
Winston-Salem Dash play-by-play.

Jeremy Branham
Houston IMG Sports Network.

Mike Couzens
Play-by-play voice of the Fort Wayne TinCaps baseball team. Has broadcast college basketball, college football, volleyball and ultimate frisbee for the ESPN family of Networks the Big Ten Network, and Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

JW Cox
St. Cloud State University football and basketball play-by-play.

Joe Davis
ESPN football, basketball, baseball and hockey play-by-play broadcaster.

Kevin Dexter
CBS Sports Radio, Molloy Lions PBP.

Chris Edwards
Duke University baseball play-by-play.

John Fanta
89.5 WSOU, Seton Hall University.

Zack Fisch
Dubuque Fighting Saints hockey play-by-play.

Jonah Goldberg
University of Texas-Pan American play-by-play.

Will Grubb
Sports Radio 610 KILT Houston.

Christian Heimall
Play-by-play voice of the Rockland Boulders and Manhattan College.

Adam Hildebrandt
Central Methodist University football play-by-play.

Jake Hromada
Elyria Catholic High School.

Jon Lauder
WSJRadio/FDUKnights/TenaflySchools.

Steve Linzmeier
Play-by-play voice, Jamestown College.

Pete McCarthy
MLB.com.

Aaron Morse
Florence Freedom baseball play-by-play.

Matt Noonan
Editor/Founder of NoontimeSports.com.

Wayne Randazzo
Play-by-play voice of minor league baseball’s Kane County Cougars, sports anchor and talk show host for 670 The Score in Chicago. Has also done play-by-play for the Big Ten Network, the World Baseball Classic, and Arizona Diamondbacks spring training games.

Mike Riley
WEEI Boston.

Jared Sandler
Sports talk host, ESPN 100.9 in Midland, MI and play-by-play broadcaster for Great Lakes Loons baseball.

Matt Shortis
MSG Varsity.

Scott Sudikoff
WEEI Boston and Harvard, UMass Lowell & Boston Breakers play-by-play.

Greg Talbott
Sports Anchor/Reporter at KNDU, Tri Cities, WA.

John Thayer
Sports Director, KVHT/KVTK in Yankton, SD and voice of University of South Dakota women’s basketball.

Michael Westbrook
Voice of the Great American Conference.

Adam Young
Gateway Grizzlies baseball play-by-play.

Jon Chelesnik

Jon Chelesnik

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Founder & CEO of Sportscasters Talent Agency of America. Jon has been a sports talk host on ESPN Radio Network and Sporting News Radio Network, and a sports update anchor/reporter and host on XTRA Sports 690 in San Diego. He has extensive radio and TV play-by-play experience, including a variety of college football and basketball, minor league basketball and the Arena Football League.