Four months after being honored as one of the top collegiate sports broadcasters in the country, Jevin Redman has a Di play-by-play gig. An STAA member, Redman is the new voice of women’s basketball at Western Kentucky.
Redman, who graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in April, served as play-by-play announcer for men’s and women’s basketball and baseball USI for all four years of his collegiate career. He has also served as the No. 2 broadcaster for the Louisville Bats, a AAA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, and as director of broadcasting and play-by-play announcer for minor league baseball’s Evansville Otters.
In November, Redman was named the top play-by-play broadcaster in the state of Indiana by the Indiana Broadcasters Association. He also ranked 16th among all college broadcasters across the United States as part of Sportscasters Talent Agency of America’s annual All-America program.
Outside of play-by-play, Redman served as the sports director for WSWI, the Southern Indiana student-run radio station. His duties included coordinating sportscasts and broadcasts schedules, managing students covering campus sports and acting as the travel coordinator for broadcasting events on the road.
(September 13, 2017) Dan Hasty might be having the best year of his career. First, he earned a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Broadcast Excellence Award. Then it was the Midwest League Broadcaster of the Year Award for his work with minor league baseball’s West Michigan Whitecaps. Now Hasty has been hired as play-by-play voice for men’s and women’s basketball at Saginaw Valley State University.
The SVSU opportunity arose when Hasty began planning his baseball offseason. “I had been talking to a few other teams about joining their broadcasts when I decided to reach out to SVSU,” he says. “I had filled in for them at different points during the last two seasons, and really enjoyed working with their staff. They then told me they had an opening as the lead voice for men’s and women’s basketball.
“I assume my two years of fill-in responsibilities served as my official interview,” Hasty smiles.
SVSU offers the opportunity for Hasty to continuing building his resume and developing his craft. “I had done high school basketball last year. To get the bump up to NCAA hoops so quickly is encouraging.”
SVSU basketball fits neatly into Hasty’s baseball schedule as he prepares for his fourth season with Western Michigan. “A few of my mentors suggested that college hoops was the ideal fit with a baseball schedule, and it makes a world of sense,” Hasty says.
Hasty is in his 10th season of sportscasting since graduating from Central Michigan University. In that time, he’s developed a reputation for treating people kindly. “90% of life’s hardships can be avoided by simply treating people well, and it will open doors for you along the way,” he advises. “Some of the best opportunities I ever received were because I was willing to fill-in — sometimes for nothing more than the experience itself.”
In addition to the SVSU gig, Hasty will continue broadcasting high school football and basketball in Grand Rapids. He’s also assisting Pro Football Focus as an analyst and occasionally filling-in on local sports talk shows.
“I’m very grateful to SVSU for allowing me the opportunity and can’t wait to get things rolling.”
(September 5, 2017) It’s uncommon for a recent college grad to land a sportscasting job in a market the size of Topeka, KS. However, Brendan Dzwierzynski has an uncommon background. The 2017 University of Kansas grad and STAA member is joining 580 WIBW as a sports talk host, anchor and reporter.
Dzwierzynski learned of the opening through a job lead that was shared exclusively with STAA members. “Already being familiar with the Topeka area made that one an easy choice to apply to,” he says.
In his new position, Dzwierzynski will co-host and co-produce a daily sports talk show, record daily sportscasts for network stations, and cover games for KU, K-State, Washburn University, the Kansas City Royals, Chiefs and Sporting KC soccer.
What makes Dzwierzynski an uncommon candidate among recent college grads is that he’s been broadcasting since his high school days in LaGrange, IL. “I’ve been doing sports talk on and off since I was in high school and consistently for my last four years at KU. I went to Lyons Township High School. WLTL-FM was our school radio station where I got my start.”
The WIBW sports staff has been comprised entirely of STAA members for the past three years. Dzwierzynski joins Jake Lebahn, Dan Lucero.
Something Dzwierzynski believes helped his application was the promise at the end of his cover letter to follow-up with a phone call. “It showed I was serious about the opening,” he says. “Also, I was completely open and honest during my interviews, so that they were aware of any other interests/conflicts I had in my mind. I think that built a bond of trust and respect right away.”
Dzwierzynski had been with STAA just two months before learning about the WIBW job. “I wouldn’t have found this opening without STAA. And getting emails with tips for resumes, cover letters, demos, etc. and having that info always available to me as a member helped prepare me for the job and present myself as a worthy candidate.
“I’ve always dreamed of covering sports for a living. Doing it in an area I love is a perfect fit.”
(August 31, 2017) Starting an ice cream truck business has helped Leo Blavin scoop up an NCAA DII play-by-play job. An STAA member, Blavin is joining KROX Radio in Crookston, MN as an account executive and the voice of University of Minnesota-Crookston football and basketball.
Blavin will also broadcast high school football, volleyball, basketball, hockey, baseball and softball.
“I’ll be calling NCAA Division II college football and basketball, which I didn’t anticipate being able to do so fresh out of school,” the recent University of Michigan grad smiles. “I know these opportunities wouldn’t have been presented to me if it weren’t for STAA.”
Blavin learned of the Crookston job while broadcasting for the Fayetteville SwampDogs summer collegiate baseball team. “The Crookston job came to me from an STAA job lead, while I was doing seasonal work for a baseball job I also discovered through STAA,” Blavin grins.
Blavin gained considerable sports broadcasting experience during his time on Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus. While that helped his Crookston application, it is a love for ice cream and entrepreneurship that Blavin believes got him over the top. “The fact that I had sales experience having started an ice cream truck business while I was in high school set me apart from a sales perspective,” he surmises.
Tidying up his personal website also helped Blavin’s application. “Having my own website that I created thanks to advice I’d seen on both the STAA message boards and the monthly [STAA Member Makeovers] Jon hosts, helped me make sure I had everything I needed ready for when the opportunity at KROX presented itself.”
As much as Blavin is eager to broadcast play-by-play, it isn’t what he is most looking forward to. “I’m more excited about the sales part of the job than anything else,” he says. “I knew I would have to contribute in other ways outside of play-by-play regardless of where I ended up after graduating. The sales aspect of my position with KROX will provide me with further experience to help me market myself down the road, while also allowing me to earn extra income.”
Blavin has been an STAA member since he was a junior at Michigan.
“STAA provided me a game plan for attacking the job market, especially before I graduated, while also providing plenty of information and critiques throughout the site that have already drastically improved my own broadcasts,” he says.
“Simply put, I would not be calling college football professionally this year if it weren’t for STAA.”
(August 22, 2017) Growing up in Cincinnati, Scott Carpenter would announce Reds games in his parents’ living room, complete with a scorebook and toy microphone. “I just had a passion for sportscasting all my life and now I get to work in a place where the people have the same passion for their teams and the area,” he says.
An STAA member, Carpenter has joined NBC WLTZ in Columbus, GA as a sports anchor.
Carpenter found the opportunity through STAA. “It’s a great market to be in and the people really care about their sports in Columbus,” he smiles.
A 2017 graduate of Heidelberg University in Ohio, Carpenter believes that showcasing his personality in his demo, cover letter and interview helped him land the WLTZ gig. He also credits his STAA membership.
“The STAA membership kept me fresh,” says Carpenter. “The daily tips helped and so did the ability to call [CEO Jon Chelesnik] and discuss a thought or topic that was on my mind. Additionally, it was great for tweaking the resume and cover letter to ensure that I was making a good first impression during the application process.”
(August 16, 2017) In May, John Fanta was honored as the 9th most outstanding collegiate sportscaster in STAA’s annual All-America program. Shortly thereafter, he graduated from Seton Hall University. Now, Fanta has earned a high profile job.
An STAA member, Fanta has been named host of Big East Shootaround on FOX Sports GO. The program is a live weekly online show that focuses on men’s basketball in a full digital-forward approach. The first episode will air on Thursday, Aug. 10, and continue weekly over the coming year.
A native of Westlake, Ohio, Fanta gained considerable studio host experience in his four years at Seton Hall. He also demonstrated uncommon versatility as a sideline reporter and play-by-play broadcaster for many sports. He’s been a digital correspondence and broadcaster for the Big East Conference Digital Network since 2014.
“From talking to mentors, they told me to really try as hard as I could to stay on live events. Bringing that desire back to the conference led to them working out a plan for me to do the show, Shootaround, every Thursday, and then move throughout the conference on games each weekend,” says Fanta.
Relationship building was critical in this opportunity to coming to fruition for Fanta. “Interning at FOX Sports last summer, one of the coordinating producers said that they want to hire people that they will enjoy working with. ‘We don’t want to hire guys that are going to be a pain,’ he said to me. There is a lot of talent out there, but his message that it goes beyond that is why I try to be the best person I can be each day, because it makes a difference in so many ways,” says Fanta.
Big East Shootaround will be interactive as fans can submit questions for Fanta and guests on Twitter and on Facebook.
(August 10, 2017) Mark Inserra wanted a full-time job that included sports play-by-play. He found it through an STAA job lead. Inserra is joining Texas A&M University-Kingsville as a Play-by-Play Broadcaster/Sports Information Assistant.
“I was looking for an SID job that was full time and would also give me the chance to be the No. 1 play-by-play broadcaster. This was a job that offered me both of those opportunities,” Inserra says excitedly.
In his new role, Inserra will serve as the radio play-by-play broadcaster for Javelina football and select home and post-season games in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball softball and volleyball. He’ll also host a weekly football coaches show, work in media relations, help maintain the department website and assist with streaming, video editing, graphics, statistics, and social media.
Many of the responsibilities are similar to what Inserra has been doing for the past year as Associate Athletic Director-Communications at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, TN.
“It was not easy to decide if I should take [the TAMUK position] because I really enjoyed my time at Carson-Newman, but after talking to several people who I trust, it became apparent that the best thing for me to do was to accept the offer,” says Inserra.
“I learned so much at Carson-Newman and improved in so many areas and it gave me the confidence to take on a new challenge. I’m very grateful to Adam Cavalier, Michael Wottreng, Eric Cain and Billy Spunkmeyer. I wouldn’t have gotten this job if I hadn’t spent so much time learning from them over the past 12 months.”
Broadcasting games is what Inserra has always wanted to do. “A job like this involves a number of different responsibilities, but the chance to do play-by-play for football, basketball, baseball and some of the other sports that Texas A&M-Kingsville offers was one of the things that really excited me.”
A 2011 graduate of Marist College, Inserra’s resume includes stops with minor league baseball’s Charleston RiverDogs and Beloit Snappers, and one season calling Wilkes University football and basketball in Pennsylvania.
Inserra has been an STAA member since 2012.
“I wouldn’t have found out about this opportunity if it wasn’t for STAA,” he says. “I wouldn’t have gotten my first job in this field five years ago if it wasn’t for STAA, so I guess you could say it’s been an invaluable resource for me.”
(August 4, 2017) STAA member Will Palaszczuk started 2017 in one of the worst ways possible – getting laid off. Now, he is celebrating being back in the full-time sports talk game. Palaszczuk is joining the South Carolina Radio Network (SCRN) as a sports talk show host and reporter.
Palaszczuk will co-host a daily, two-hour sports talk show with veteran Phil Kornblut and report on college and pro sports for the statewide radio network.
“This opportunity is a gold mine for me, because it provides some of the best parts of the business. Hosting a daily talk show and reporting on location from games are my bread-and-butter and I couldn’t be more excited,” Palaszczuk smiles. “Covering a team in the SEC where I have some familiarity, in addition to covering the defending national champions at Clemson, makes this job one I can’t wait to start.”
The roller coaster began in February when Palaszczuk found himself unemployed after almost two years at Gow Media’s SB Nation Radio.
“I wouldn’t wish a lot of the emotions over the last 5+ months on my worst enemy, but I did learn a great deal from this experience. The absolute key is to keep yourself busy, but also to budget the time each day looking for your next job, so that it does not completely consume you. The first thing I did was I left the country — got off the grid immediately to recharge. I had a trip to Cabo planned previously for after the Super Bowl and it honestly was the best thing for me.
“Then I used my network of program directors and executives in the industry to have them listen to my work and seek advice for how I should present myself. None of these people had openings, but the fact that I’ve kept in touch with them over the years meant I could trust them to tell me when a friend or colleague at another station has a need and can recommend me.”
Happily, Palaszczuk’s network came in clutch. The SCRN opening was never posted on the STAA job board, but the lead was sent to STAA members. Palaszczuk knew about it even sooner.
“Getting this job was a textbook lesson of, ‘Connections mean everything.’ I’m going to be working for a very dear friend, Learfield’s Bill Pollock. He told me very early in the process about the potential opening, and how he could envision me working with my new partner, Phil Kornblut. When I was in Missouri, we did some tandem shows and Google Hangouts with the South Carolina show, so I was already familiar with them and their network, as they were with me. Our station also did work with Bill through our Learfield relationship, including riding together on a pair of cross-country car rides to cover Mizzou football in Atlanta and Dallas for the SEC Championship and the Cotton Bowl.”
When it came to building relationships, Palaszczuk used STAA to establish connections.
“I can’t stress enough to use the STAA directory to build yourself a network. Think of yourself as a company, you need a “Board of Directors” filled with people outside of your workplace that can not only give you honest feedback and recommendations, but also know you’re not just calling them when you need work.”
Palaszczuk also values the job leads and access to STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik.
“I learned that a lot of jobs posted publicly are already filled, or a lot of times there’s already someone in a PDs mind or someone already there getting promoted. STAA brings you unpublished openings and opportunities to get jobs others never see. I took freelance work for Blueframe technology and the NJCAA that originated from an STAA Job post email.
“Jon’s advice and encouragement throughout my years as a client continues to be the best part of where my money goes (and will continue to go) every month.”
With the events of February now fading in the rearview mirror, Palaszczuk is grateful and excited for what lies ahead.
“I greatly appreciate the opportunities and events I covered while at Gow Media. What I achieved there makes this next great step possible.”
(July 27, 2017) John Ramey is a talented broadcaster. He’s been part of the broadcast team at UCLA since 2010. He’s called basketball on ESPN3. He’s filled-on on Virginia Tech and Boston College broadcasts. Still, Ramey was not invited to interview for several DI football/basketball jobs for which he applied.
An STAA member, Ramey is the new football and men’s basketball voice of the University of Nevada Wolf Pack.
“I get to be the lead voice of a D1 program. This is a goal I’ve worked towards for my entire career,” Ramey says excitedly.
In recent years, Ramey had repeatedly been told about regionality and fit when trying to understand why he was coming up short in his pursuits. Now, he understands that those things do, indeed, matter.
“Not getting a job, not getting an interview, is NOT an indictment of one’s professional merit,” says Ramey. “It’s merely a by-product of so few jobs, and so many qualified candidates.”
Ramey’s play-by-play career started with high school games in 1994. Since then, he’s broadcast basketball and baseball for UC Riverside, and baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and water polo for UCLA. He’s also filled-in on Bruins men’s basketball, and has been hosting UCLA pre and post game shows and the Bruins Insider Show.
Broadcasting rights at the University of Nevada are managed by Learfield Sports. Ramey believes his relationships with Learfield, and with people currently or formerly associated with UCLA broadcasts, aided his pursuit of the Nevada position.
“I think the relationship I cultivated with [Learfield Sports VP-Broadcast Operations] Tom Boman (doing fill-in work for St. Cloud State, for example), the very strong working relationships I enjoyed with UCLA broadcasters Chris Roberts, Bill Roth, and Josh Lewin, and my friendships and good working relationships with administration folks both at UCLA and UC Riverside were the biggest weapons in my arsenal.”
Ramey has been an STAA member since 2016.
“STAA was great in making my professional brand complete,” he says. “The one-stop shopping for a web presence, advice on details, presentation, insight into the fluctuations of the marketplace…all of the smaller details I personally found challenging to constantly track, STAA was a great solution.
“It’s important folks know STAA does make the difference,” says Ramey.
(July 26, 2017) Brian Crozier gambled by leaving a job without having another to go to. The gamble has paid off. An STAA member, Crozier is joining Keystone Media’s four-station cluster in Durant, OK.
“I will have an on-air shift Monday-Friday afternoons. I will also be doing play-by-play for high school football and be a sideline reporter for Southeastern Oklahoma State University football. Finally, I will be part of the coverage team for Southeastern women’s basketball, men’s basketball, baseball and softball.”
Its possible Crozier will handle play-by-play for SEOSU women’s basketball and do color on the men’s broadcasts, though those roles haven’t been finalized. He will also likely have a role on SEOSU baseball and softball broadcasts.
Most recently, Crozier worked at WMMC Radio in Marshall, IL where he handled play-by-play and a variety of office duties. He resigned in May after nearly two years at the station.
“I decided that I really needed a new challenge, and I was hoping to find something with college sports included as part of the position,” he says.
Though Crozier’s experience handling a daily air shift is limited, he is eager for that part of the job in Durant.
“Broadcasting, for me, is all about connecting with the audience,” he says. “An on-air shift will allow me more chances to do that, just in a different way than a sports broadcast does. Another positive is the fact that Durant is a growing community of about 15,000 people with Dallas-Fort Worth about 90 miles away. So I get to still live in a nice ‘small’ town while the big city life is less than a two-hour drive away.”
Crozier is in his 17th year as a play-by-play broadcaster. His resume includes six cities in Illinois and stops in Sturgeon Bay, WI, Lebanon, MO and Burlington, IA. Besides play-by-play, he’s done news and sports reporting, sports talk show hosting, copy writing, commercial production and administration.
Crozier cites two things about the sports broadcasting industry that he wishes he knew 10 years ago. One is that radio jobs are now more than just broadcasting. Being skilled in audio, video and social media are critically important. The second thing Crozier wishes he knew a decade ago is how tough the competition is for sports broadcasting jobs.
“The good news is with streaming becoming more and more of a realistic option for sports broadcasts, I think young broadcasters, or out of work broadcasters, may be able to ‘hire themselves’ by selling ads for games that are streamed on the Internet. That option wasn’t really available 10 years ago,” he says.
Crozier is a charter member of STAA.
“One of the biggest [benefits of STAA] is the understanding Jon Chelesnik has for his members,” says Crozier. “Jon knows what it is like to be looking for a job and what it feels like to be frustrated by the process. He works with STAA members to build a resume and demos that get results. Jon is also honest about the member’s work. If members listen and take the advice to heart, they will get better and eventually have a chance to get the job they want.”