Weiderhaft to call Coastal Carolina women’s basketball

“Sam WeiderhaftA family connection and hard work has led recent college grad Sam Weiderhaft to his new job as the voice of Coastal Carolina University women’s basketball.

“I have been volunteering in the Coastal athletic department since September doing our weekly athletics podcast, news packages of our sports, PA announcing, and a segment on the football pregame show,” Weiderhaft says.

It wouldn’t have occurred to Weiderhaft eight months ago that he would now be in Conway, SC. In March, he had lined up a minor league baseball gig. Everything changed when COVID hit. Weiderhaft admits feeling lost after graduating from Butler University in May. He was working a serving job when a relative who works at Coastal Carolina told him the athletic department needed help.

“They had lost over 40 positions due to the pandemic,” Weiderhaft recalls. He moved to Conway in August and was immediately put to work as the volunteer host of their weekly athletics podcast.

“I wanted to get more involved on the media side, so I created social media video packages that went out on our athletics twitter page,” Weiderhaft says. “Thankfully, they liked my voice and started using me as the PA announcer for soccer and volleyball matches, and I was asked to do our Coastal Sports Update radio segment for the football pregame show.”

Weiderhaft was quick to express interest when he learned the Chanticleers women’s basketball job might be opening. “Because the athletic department has liked the content I’ve been putting out, I was able to get the job.”

Advice Weiderhaft received at STAA’s 2018 Play-by-Play Retreat in San Diego makes him especially excited the opportunity. “I remember [STAA Owner] Jon Chelesnik saying that getting a women’s hoops gig at a bigger school is a good way to get your foot in the door, and that was my goal.”

Saying yes to all opportunities has been one of Weiderhaft’s most valuable career building strategies.

“At Butler, I was picking up jobs as a utility worker for Big East Digital Network broadcasts, just because I wanted to be involved. Just doing something as simple as rolling cable led me to doing talent stats for FS1 and CBS Sports broadcasts for guys like Dave Ryan and Vince Welch and getting to pick their brains while doing so.”

Weiderhaft continues creating new opportunities at Coastal. “That has helped me gain some respect in this athletic department in just a few months,” he says. “Even if it’s the smallest job, never say no and try to create your own opportunities just to get involved, especially with there being few opportunities in today’s sports broadcasting environment.”

Zimmerman-Guyer embracing move to R&J Broadcasting

“Derek Zimmerman-GuyerDerek Zimmerman-Guyer is relentlessly optimistic and motivated. Investing in those traits has led to his new job as a play-by-play broadcaster and reporter at R&J Broadcasting in Ada, MN.

Zimmerman-Guyer learned of the opportunity in an STAA Job Leads email. He heard back from station GM Jim Birkemeyer less than 30 minutes after applying. “Within the next two weeks, Jim and company interviewed me twice via Zoom, making it the quickest and most beneficial response time I’ve encountered during the last eight months,” Zimmerman-Guyer grins.

He is the third STAA member to join R&J Broadcasting in the past two years. Andrew Pitkin joined their Brainerd, MN station in 2018. Matt Fowler was hired by R&J in Aitkin, MN last year.

Zimmerman-Guyer, a 2020 graduate of Missouri Western State University, is grateful that someone has given him a shot to pursue his dream. But that’s just one reason he’s excited to move to Ada. “I’ve grown up in the Northwest Missouri/KCMO area for over 22 years now — I’ll be 23 in December — and I’ve always been told I need to experience life outside of the state. As much as I love my hometown and my defending Super Bowl champs, it’ll be good for me to build more bridges and tell more stories across the country, and I’m sure Minnesota is chock-full of stories.”

Customizing his applications to each opening is something Zimmerman-Guyer believes helped him the job market. However, it was staying calm during the interviews that he thinks got him over the top. “I really let questions breathe and settle before rushing into things. I’m a very anxious person, so just like I’ve learned to do in the booth, I let things develop before running off with my words.”

When the pandemic left Zimmerman-Guyer with time on his hands, he invested it in polishing his craft. “I watched so many NFL Throwback YouTube videos, it’s not even funny. I just took a different verb or two from each video and put it in my vocabulary. I would just sit back on a few live MLB or NBA games and let loose with the teams I’m especially familiar with. I recorded most of these while some others I just did out of the spur of the moment.”

Zimmerman-Guyer has also added one broadcaster’s famous catch phrase to his own vocabulary. “After listening to Mike Breen yell ‘Bang!’ so much, I started saying it during everyday events,” Zimmerman-Guyer smiles. “After awhile, I was thinking to myself, “I know this is Breen’s signature, but I’m going to bust this out when the day comes.”

The pandemic has also helped Zimmerman-Guyer reinvent himself. “Quarantine gave me a lot of spare time when I wasn’t working in an Amazon or FedEx warehouse, so I decided to start up a podcast, The Optimistic Guy. With it being pre recorded and everything, I really scripted the daylights out of it, and what I mean is that I wrote it to my strengths and weaknesses. I touched on topics I wanted to shed more light on, so I wrote my takes or thoughts in a way that sounds like me and is me, but I also pushed myself to let more emotion and character fly in my voice.”

Zimmerman-Guyer has even used the podcast to improve his weaknesses. “Sometimes when I adlib, things can get messy. I’d really think about every way I can spin this talking point, so I’d have multiple adlibs ready. Once the time came, however it may be, I would set up my own punch lines that I consider a part of my personality. This way, I can get my message across in a clear way, but I still remember to be me.”

Zimmerman-Guyer joined STAA in April. “I remember after everything COVID-19-wise went down in March, I’m basically an early graduate, and it was time to ramp up the job search a bit more. I originally found something on my own in Nebraska, but it was frozen and fell through. I decided to reach out to others in my field more on Twitter, and I saw STAA in one of their bios. I was pretty thrilled to say the least.

“I joined STAA because I knew someone would say yes, and the more applications I put out there, the high the odds would get. This career field is my dream, and it’s not going to come about all on its own. It’s tough to do it alone, and I knew if I wanted to invest in this career for real, I’d really have make a financial investment and join.”

Zimmerman-Guyer’s investments in himself and STAA are paying dividends.

Ferchland finds NCAA play-by-play opportunity in New Jersey

“Jim FerchlandJim Ferchland cold contacted more than 70 schools looking for a college play-by-play job. He found one yes and is the new voice of Felician University men’s basketball.

Felician is a NCAA DII program in Rutherford, NJ.

“It’s been a really rough wave of adversity after I graduated [from Stony Brook University] but I feel this is the start of something great,” Ferchland grins.

Ferchland may also have opportunities to call Golden Falcons volleyball, soccer, women’s basketball, lacrosse, and baseball. He adds with a smile, “I’ll do whatever they ask me to do.”

When Ferchland decided last spring to seek opportunity rather than waiting for it to find him, he contacted more than 70 schools to inquire about play-by-play opportunities. Wanting to stay close to home, he searched for all Division I, II, and III schools in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Ferchland received several replies. “Felician was one of them, and the SID gave me an elaborate response, unlike other schools. We kept exchanging emails over the summer and into the fall.”

Ferchland’s list had grown to six by the end of summer. “But Felician kept in touch while the others did not,” he recalls. “I went to visit the campus in the early October and met the Felician athletic department staff. After visiting the campus in Rutherford and driving an hour and 45 minutes back to Long Island, I received an email saying I got the job.”

Felician is an especially good opportunity for Ferchland because it takes him out of his comfort zone. “I’ve always stayed in Long Island because I liked being close to home,” he says. “I felt like I would limit myself if I didn’t take the chance. I’m so glad I did. I want to prove to others but mostly to myself that I’m capable of doing this.”

An especially frustrating job market challenge for Ferchland was that nobody would give him a chance. “I was thinking, ‘what do I have to do to get noticed?’ I decided to make a website to show off my portfolio. It took me two days to create.

“Plus, I never used a spot chart prior to the pandemic. Now, I’ve created several spot charts for future Felician broadcasts and I thank my broadcast coach Dan Gillman for helping me with that.”

Ferchland joined STAA in 2018 upon the recommendation of Stony Brook men’s basketball/football radio broadcaster and fellow STAA member Josh Caray. “He recommended I try it back when I was back in college but I couldn’t afford it at that time. I decided to try it after college and I’m happy I’m a member of the STAA community.

Tiemann new U. of Montana women’s basketball voice

“Shawn Tiemann — Press Release — Shawn Tiemann has worked hard to earn a Division I play-by-play job. Now he’s landed one. An STAA member, Tiemann is the new voice of University of Montana women’s basketball.

Tiemann takes over the mic for Tom Stage, who announced last spring he was retiring after calling Lady Griz action for 25 seasons.

“I’m so grateful to have been chosen for this opportunity with the Lady Griz. It’s been a long-held dream of mine to serve as the regular voice of a Division I program, and to be able to do that for a tradition-rich women’s basketball program at such a prestigious university is highly rewarding,” said Tiemann.

“Todd Rahr, Riley Corcoran and the UM athletic department staff that I visited with made me feel like this was a place I needed to be. I have a big mic to fill with the departure of Tom Stage, but I’m so honored to follow up on what he built.

Grizzlies football and men’s basketball broadcaster Riley Corcoran was an STAA member when he took over that role in 2016.

Tiemann has been an STAA member since 2009 and has a robust play-by-play portfolio. He has called games for television and served as a talk-show host for various radio sports programs and college coaching shows.

He has been the play-by-play announcer for the Great Falls Voyagers of the Pioneer League (MLB Chicago White Sox) the last four seasons.

Additionally, he has been the voice of Rogers State University men’s and women’s basketball in Oklahoma and called college basketball for Oral Roberts, South Dakota State and John Brown.

Tiemann also has been color analyst for the NCAA Division II Heartland Conference basketball tournaments.

“We are thrilled to have Shawn join our broadcast team as the play-by-play announcer for the Lady Griz,” said Greg Sundberg, Montana Senior Associate AD for External Operations. “Shawn will bring a great deal of experience and excitement to the broadcast.”

John Mallory back in Boise, this time at 93.1 The Ticket

“John MalloryJohn Mallory says he was an active, loud and obnoxious kid. In other words, he was born to be a sports talk host. An STAA member, Mallory – also known as Johnny Ballgame — is the new co-host of “Idaho Sports Talk with (Mike) Prater and the Ballgame,” afternoons from 3 to 6 on 93.1 The Ticket in Boise, ID.

It’s a return to The Gem State for Mallory. “I had previously worked for ESPN Radio in Boise form 2013-2016 which gave me a familiarity in the market,” he smiles.

Inside info

The KTIK opening was emailed to STAA members on July 15th, three weeks before Cumulus posted it publicly. Mallory, though, knew about it before all of that.

“I was contacted by [Cumulus Market Manager] Don Morin in regards to [the opening], Mallory recalls. “We had a great conversation. Don then had Pat Metzger, the Program Director, call me to discuss the potential position as well.”

Mallory is the third STAA member to advance his sports talk career in the past eight weeks. Last month, Dan Lucero joined Rocking M Radio in Colby, KS. In late July, Denton Day earned a new Saturday and Sunday evening show on SportsMap Radio Network

Great fit

Mallory had other sports radio job options, but Boise was the right fit personally and professionally. “My girlfriend lives in Boise and we had been commuting 145 miles to see each other over the last few years, so yeah, I’d probably be single had I not taken the gig,” Mallory laughs. “All kidding aside, the opportunity to become a team member at Cumulus and work for a heritage show (Idaho Sports Talk) and sports talk station (KTIK) was too good to pass up.”

After leaving ESPN Boise in 2016, Mallory moved to La Grande, OR. He spent most of the past four years as a sports director and talk show host. COVID-19 made those duties especially challenging. “When sports basically entirely shut down in March of 2020, finding content daily in the sports talk industry was incredibly challenging,” Mallory laments. “I focused on interviews and tried to find subjects from all walks of sports life. I found the interview subjects were easier to book on my show because most people were home and not working. So it worked out ok for me.”

Born to talk sports

Mallory’s sports passion is rooted in his childhood. “As a kid I couldn’t sit still. I was always active, loud, obnoxious, etc. Sports always seemed to fit those characteristics for me,” he recalls.

Mallory has also always loved talking sports. “I’ve never wanted anything more than a sports talk radio gig, so I really pushed hard to make it happen and listened to people who were willing to teach me,” he says. “When I listened to other sports talk programs, I would always pay attention to what I felt worked and what didn’t. And heck, talking and entertaining folks luckily has never been a problem for me.”

Another thing that has never been a problem for Mallory is the personal relationships that have set the foundation for Mallory’s professional success. “I’ve had a super support system throughout my life — parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, friends and teachers.”

The active, loud, obnoxious kid those people loved and supported is now an active, loud and no longer obnoxious sports talk host. And he’s back in a market he loves.

Christian Katt new Sports Director at Chisholm Trail Broadcasting

“Christian KattJob applications rarely move faster than this one. Christian Katt is joining Chisholm Trail Broadcasting in Enid, OK less than 24 hours after applying.

He learned of the Sports Director/Country Music Morning Show Host opportunity through STAA.

“When [the position description] said ‘hiring immediately,’ I told them I could be there in 12 hours (the length of the car ride),” Katt grins.

“They had hired a guy for the job and he left after two days,” Katt continues. “The guy I am replacing was leaving in four days, so they had no choice but to hire someone that day. [The hiring manager] said my resume and Sirius XM reference stood out.”

Katt interned last year with Mad Dog Sports Radio on Sirius XM. He is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University. In fact, Katt is the second consecutive STAA member from Penn State’s Class of 2020 to land a sportscasting job. Brian McLaughlin was recently hired to broadcast NCAA DI men’s basketball at the University of Vermont.

Four STAA members have now been hired by Chisholm Trail Broadcasting to work at their Enid location. Katt follows John Herrick in 2011, Chris Morales in 2015 and Zachary Bryan last year.  (Bryan was relocated to Enid after initially being hired to work for Chisholm Trail Broadcasting in Weatherford, OK).

Katt’s new job combines his loves of sports broadcasting and country music. “I get to broadcast more than 100 games a year and perfect my craft,” he says excitedly. “I also get to DJ and voice track for country radio — something I’ve never gotten to do.”

Since graduating, Katt has been tenacious in his pursuit of a broadcasting position. “I woke up every weekday as if my full time job was getting a full-time job,” he recalls. “It gets pretty depressing not hearing from potential employers, but I didn’t give up. It reminds me of fishing. All it takes is one catfish to make 12 hours on the riverbank worth it.

“A little bit of hard work, a little bit of luck, and a TON of emails sent in the last several months, and I was bound to land somewhere full-time.”

Recent PSU grad Brian McLaughlin to call Vermont men’s basketball

Though it’s hard for a recent college grad to land a DI play-by-play job, it’s not impossible. Brian McLaughlin has proved that. The 2020 Penn State grad and STAA member is the new voice of University of Vermont men’s basketball.

“I am incredibly fortunate to be at a Division One program almost directly out of college. That was really almost beyond my wildest dreams just a few months ago,” McLaughlin smiles.

STAA members now broadcast both men’s and women’s basketball at Vermont. Maura Sheridan is entering her third season as the voice of Catamount women’s hoops.

In 2016, then-STAA member Tyler Terens was hired to call UV women’s games.

Unpublished opportunity

The Catamounts broadcasting job opened when McLaughlin’s fellow STAA member Jake Marsh left to work full-time at Barstool Sports. “There wasn’t an official opening or posting, and I thought it would be a long shot, but I thought ‘why not send my information in?'” McLaughlin recalls.

He contacted people at UVM he thought might be involved in the hiring process. “I was just kind of taking a shot in the dark,” he says. “They let me know they were forwarding my information to Learfield/IMG College, who would be conducting the search.”

McLaughlin continued to keep his name in front of the decision makers. “I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks and I sent a video follow up. Another few weeks and another follow up. I still didn’t hear anything back for a while.”

When McLaughlin didn’t receive a reply after two follow-ups, he assumed they had found someone else or weren’t yet hiring. “That’s how a lot of my applications had gone honestly, just not hearing back because so many places can’t hire right now because of the pandemic,” McLaughlin says. “But then kind of out of nowhere I got a call from Learfield saying they were interested.”

Frustration

The sportscasting job market is always hard. The pandemic has made it harder. “It can feel pointless at times, just applying for jobs and not hearing anything. It’s hard to be patient. I like to be busy, constantly prepping for the next game so I’ve had to find ways to spend my time and enjoy the moment while still being productive.”

One way McLaughlin invests his free time is by studying other broadcasters. “Once sports came back, I tried to pick one game a day where I really focused on the play-by-play guy and listened intentionally to the call. Whether that’s been basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, or even golf, I have loved having the time to listen to so many people I normally wouldn’t get the chance to. I have loved listening to [ESPN Radio’s] Marc Kestecher in the bubble. Don Orsillo with the Padres has been absolutely delightful with their recent run.”

When the job market feels especially difficult, McLaughlin leans on the support of family and friends. “I am so lucky to have so many incredible friends, peers and mentors that encouraged me and answered any questions, listened to my frustrations and encouraged me to keep going when times were tough.”

Job market strategies

In the job market, McLaughlin tweaked his application for every position to which he applied. “I was constantly trying to find the best way to show how I could fit that particular role,” he reasons.

McLaughlin’s aggressive follow-ups also separate him from other applicants. “The goal was to make it seem like I was more than just a resume and demo reel, by attaching some of my personality to the follow ups,” he says. “I wanted to really sell my character and personality, and show how I’m much more than just a broadcaster. It was clear during the interview process that these follow ups were important and showed what I could bring to the table aside from just play-by-play.

“By showing what type of person I am, and emphasizing how I could be a strong teammate, I think allowed the people who were in charge of hiring to feel comfortable bringing me on.”

Broadcasting Penn State basketball on the campus radio station last season helped fuel McLaughlin’s desire to move forward in the sport. “College basketball’s passion and energy is really only matched by college football. Being in the arena for a massive college basketball matchup is pretty addicting,” he grins.

Now, McLaughlin will be part of that passion and energy at UVM. “Vermont is such a successful program on the court, and I can’t wait to get the chance to broadcast such high quality basketball!”

Opportunity finds Dan Lucero at Rocking M Radio in Colby, KS

“Dan LuceroOver the course of just seven days, Dan Lucero went from having no job prospects to accepting his next opportunity. An STAA member, Lucero is joining Rocking M Radio in Colby, KS as operations manager, sports talk host and play-by-play broadcaster.

He replaces fellow STAA member Jackson Schneider, who left for a position in Junction City, KS.

With high school football starting soon in Kansas, Rocking M was in a hurry to find Schneider’s replacement.

“Their GM Chad Jones called a mutual acquaintance, [fellow STAA member] Adam Kadavy, who I’ve gotten to know covering K-State games and high school sports over the last four years,” says Lucero. “Kadavy knew I was looking for work and put in a good word for me, and Chad reached out to me to gauge my interest. The very next day I drove to Colby and interviewed, and I accepted the job a few days later.”

Lucero is the third STAA member hired by the Colby station in recent years. Ross Volkmer in 2011 was the first and is still with the company,

Laid off

Lucero spent the past four years at the legendary WIBW in Topeka, KS before being laid-off, and eventually, let go earlier this year.

“I was furloughed in mid-April. It caught me a little off guard at the time, but I figured a furlough was better than a lay-off and certainly anticipated being able to return. August 3rd was when I found out I wouldn’t be returning.”

Lucero recalls August 3rd as an especially hard day. “I wasn’t looking to leave WIBW. I loved my co-workers and the work I was able to do there. It was tremendously disappointing to fall victim to a corporate lay-off but that’s the reality of these unprecedented times in our world. And it’s also not the first time I’ve found myself unexpectedly unemployed in my career. So I never let myself get too low. There are a lot of people out there who have it worse than I do. I have my health, and a great support system. So it was important to me to avoid bitterness and frustration, be grateful for what I did have, and make sure I was ready for whatever might come next.”

Resiliet

Through everything, Lucero maintained faith in his talent, experience and resiliency. He also made sure his demo and resume were up to date. “And in this I have learned that there are people I have encountered along the way that are willing to put in a good word for me. I was networking all this time while I didn’t even realize it – and all the while I had thought I wasn’t very good at networking!”

Something Lucero especially appreciates about his new job in Colby is the security that comes with being in management. “I’m very happy to have the Operations Manager title so that whether or not there’s a fall sports season, and whatever shape sports schedules take for the 2020-21 academic year and beyond, I’ll still have a steady job. I’m looking forward to adding some administrative responsibilities, as I think that will only bolster my understanding of the radio business.”

Striving to be his best

Lucero has been an STAA member for eight years. He joined for the purpose of maximizing his ability and opportunities. “When I started my professional broadcasting career I knew that no matter where it took me, whether it was doing the World Series or doing high school football for 50 years, I wanted to be the best broadcaster I could possibly be. I think I owe that to the athletes whose stories I get to tell, that I tell them to the best of our ability every single time. And STAA is unmatched when it comes to providing resources so that I can continue to hone my skills and be the best broadcaster I can be.”

Another reason Lucero keeps his STAA membership is because of what he believes it says about his commitment to success. “It’s an invaluable as a networking tool,” he says. “I believe that just having an STAA membership in common with someone is a signal that this is a person who takes the craft seriously and who is worth getting to know.”

Now a chain involving three STAA dominoes – one leaving a position, one making a recommendation and one filling a position – has led Lucero to his next opportunity.

“Colby is a great sports town, so I’m ecstatic to be the play-by-play voice of what look to be some very good Eagles teams this coming season, especially during hoops season with the opening of their brand new arena,” he says excitedly.

“This opportunity has come together so fast that it feels like it was meant to be.”

Familiarity greets Mason Horodyski at WVVA in Bluefield

“Mason HorodyskiMason Horodyski’s new job includes a sense of familiarity. Horodyski is the new sports anchor/reporter at WVVA in Bluefield, WV where one of his friends from Syracuse University is sports director.

“I was already pretty aware of the station as my former CitrusTV sports director and now current WVVA Sports Director, Nick Dugan, had already worked at the station the past few years,” says Horodyski.

The sportscasting job market was challenging for Horodyski, even after ranking as the 15th most outstanding collegiate sportscaster in the country in STAA’s 2020 Jim Nantz Award and All-America program.

“We are in one of the toughest times to get employed in any field of work in American history,” he says. “Pandemic or not, sports reporting jobs are highly sought after and extremely competitive. With that said, you have to be ready to deal with failure. You are not going to land every job that you apply to.”

Horodyski applied to more than 50 positions after graduating. “I even worked part time as a bank teller just to get some extra money in my pocket,” he says. “But all I needed was one ‘yes,’ and I was able to finally get that ‘yes’ by staying confident and patient.”

Polite persistence was important to Horodyski landing at WVVA. “Constantly following up is something everyone should be doing with their job hunt,” he suggests. “Persistence is key when it comes to getting noticed by employers, and my constant follow ups with the news director is what helped separate me from the pack.”

Additionally, Horodyski suggests being genuine. “Whether it’s your cover letter or your interview, your employer wants to hire YOU. Don’t pretend to be someone that you’re not just because you think it will impress a news director. Keep it real — it can go a long way.”

Horodyski is the fourth STAA member to join WVVA in recent years. The others:

Horodyski joined STAA in May of this year. “I already knew several people who were members of STAA thought my four years at Syracuse and had nothing but good things to say about it so it seemed like a no brainer to help me kick start my career.

“What separates STAA from everyone else is how personalized your membership is. Jon and company get to know you as a person and find the best ways for you to succeed based on who you are. They truly want to see you succeed.”

Horodyski’s excitement for joining WVVA is rooted in the community he will be covering. “Bluefield and its surrounding towns have such a passionate local sports fan base from their local minor league Bluefield Blue Jays to Friday night lights high school football rivalries. When you have a community that is as invested in coverage of local sports as much as a place like Bluefield is, it makes the job so much more enjoyable.”

Cullen Holt to call play-by-play for Cook Brothers Broadcasting in Wyoming

“Cullen HoltHigh school sports in Wyoming are starting as scheduled this month and Cullen Holt will be there to call play-by-play. An STAA member, Holt is joining Cook Brothers Broadcasting in Evanston. The full-time position includes radio and video play-by-play streaming and hosting a local talk show.

“I came across the job lead in one of STAA’s emails and applied almost immediately,” Holt grins. “I’m super thankful for STAA. The job leads are invaluable, and the resources and advice make leaving STAA virtually impossible at this stage of my career.

“In the middle of uncertainty surrounding sports and COVID-19, this position offered me the opportunity to work on my craft and cover a community that is passionate about and dedicated to its local sports.”

Baseball disappointment

Holt thought he would spend this summer traveling to Minor League Baseball ballparks. In the spring, he accepted a broadcasting position with the Augusta GreenJackets. COVID-19, though, put an end to that after Holt spent several months in the team’s front office. Still, he is positive about the experience.

“I can’t thank the GreenJackets enough for the opportunity they gave me. As tough as it was to not call a game for them, they allowed me to work with them for over five months and it was an absolute blast helping to engage their fans in new and creative ways.”

The support of family and friends helped Holt through the disappointment of not getting in a full season in Augusta. “Finding a great opportunity with Cook Brothers didn’t hurt either,” he adds.

Smart planning

Holt believes two things gave him an edge in his pursuit of the Evanston job. “First, I’ve been blessed to get a wide variety of opportunities in broadcasting and journalism over the years, which has given me a diverse skillset. Second, I showed genuine interest in both the company and in Bridger Valley sports.”

A Southern California native, Holt graduates from Cal Baptist University in December. Smart class planning enables him to move to Wyoming before he’s even earned his diploma. “I took all of my major classes in my first two and-a-half years so I would be able to switch to online classes if a good career opportunity came up.”

Holt joined STAA in 2018 as a college sophomore. “[Longtime STAA member] Ghizal Hasan was the first to recommend STAA to me, Holt says. “Other broadcasters in Southern California were also using STAA to advance their careers, so joining was a no-brainer.”