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.”


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.”


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.”

Nick Springer to broadcast for NCAA Incarnate Word

“Nick SpringerConducting a sportscasting job search during a pandemic has been anxiety inducing for Nick Springer. He’s landed on his feet, though. An STAA member, Springer has accepted a Broadcasting Graduate Assistant position at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX.

Incarnate Word is an NCAA FCS football program and DI basketball (Southland Conference).

Springer’s duties will include play-by-play for all football games, and for home men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball.

“The opportunity came about for me after I saw it in an STAA job leads email,” Springer says. “At the time I was struggling to find jobs that I was really interested in because of the pandemic. I had been considering going to graduate school but I also wanted to continue to improve my broadcasting abilities so it seemed like a win-win.”

Pandemic poses challenges

Conducting a sportscasting job search amid COVID-19 presented unique challenges for Springer. “I graduated from the University of Kansas in May in the middle of a pandemic. It was demoralizing. It was frustrating. The industry I had dreamed of going into right out of college was suddenly contracting and the opportunities for exciting jobs in play-by-play were few and far between.

“Some days were very difficult, but I maintained a positive attitude when I could and started to focus more on graduate school as an opportunity to continue my education. I knew I wanted to keep my broadcasting skills fresh, which is why this particular opportunity seemed like the perfect fit for me.”

Following up was key

Following-up his application multiple times was a key to Springer earning the Incarnate Word opportunity. “I learned that sometimes a sharp cover letter and impressive resume don’t always convey the level of interest in the position. I knew I was very interested in continuing my broadcasting career while also earning a masters degree and I wanted to convey that interest prior to an interview.”

Springer joined STAA in January. “I found out about STAA from STAA member and my former roommate Jackson Schneider,” he recalls. “We worked closely together at KJHK (KU’s student radio station) and we both wanted to get into the sports radio and broadcasting industry. Shoutout Jackson!”

Finally, Springer tips his cap to STAA. “Thank you so much for everything you do. I’m proud to be a member of STAA!”

(Visit Nick’s website).

Hartbeck to broadcast inaugural season of Maryville U. women’s hockey

Tom Hartbeck’s first post-graduate season as a hockey play-by-play voice will also be the first season for his new team. An STAA member, Hartbeck has been hired as the broadcaster for the inaugural season of Maryville University women’s hockey in St. Louis.

The Saints play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

Eager to work in a passionate hockey town

“Maryville Hockey is part of surging hotbed of the sport here in St. Louis,” says Hartbeck. “The job not only gives me a local opportunity to build relationships with media, but also gives me lots of experience in a communications market that many would like to end up in, as opposed to starting in.”

Another reason Hartbeck appreciates the opportunity is because sportscasting jobs are hard to come by in the area. “In St. Louis, TV, sports, and radio jobs tend to not turn over very much,” he says. “This is largely in part to affordable living costs in the area. Many broadcasters and athletes like Bob Costas and Wayne Gretzky have ended up making their homes in town.”

Local roots helped

Hartbeck learned of the Maryville job in an STAA Job Leads email. His candidacy was helped by the fact he knew several of the decision makers and they liked the energy of his play-by-play. “I would recommend to any broadcaster entering the job search to be as bright and as positive as they can while calling a game. Call a 6-0 blowout the same way you would call an overtime winner,” Hartbeck suggests.

The St. Louis area is home to Hartbeck. He lives in nearby O’Fallon and graduated from neighboring Lindenwood University in 2019. He called hockey, basketball, baseball and soccer on Lindenwood’s student radio and TV stations.

Joined STAA on the recommendation of a Cardinals employee

Upon graduating, Hartbeck joined STAA on the recommendation of Brett McMillian, a multimedia reporter for the St. Louis Cardinals and fellow Lindenwood alumnus and STAA member.

“I also had heard that STAA was a very active and effective outlet for finding a high number of applications,” Hartbeck recalls. “I find that STAA is much more efficient than aimlessly searching Google or Indeed. While ultimately getting a job may come down to who you know or how early you get into the application process, the volume of applications you can get with STAA will give you a great start.”

One frustration Hartbeck continues to experience in the sportscasting job market is the feeling that he is a fish in a very big pond. “You have to apply so many times and be prepared to be rejected just as much. I’ve had the experience of applying to the same job six times and been rejected six times. To overcome this, I have taken on the mentality of ‘any experience you can get is good experience.’

“Looking for the perfect job shouldn’t be the first resort,” Hartbeck advises. “Instead, you need to look for the job that will give you the most experience and build your portfolio as a broadcaster.”

Hartbeck has found what he was looking for right in his own backyard.

(Visit Tom’s LinkedIn page).

Cochran lands play-by-play gig in Colorado

Mark Cochran loves play-by-play and will now have plenty of opportunity to do it. Cochran is joining Media Logic Radio in Sterling, CO to call football, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball and wrestling.

He learned of the opportunity in an STAA Job Leads email. It was not posted publicly on the STAA job board.

Cochran is no stranger to the Rocky Mountain region. He worked at Hub City Radio in Aberdeen, SD from 2018-2019.

In January, the University of Georgia native moved to the University of North Georgia to broadcast Nighthawks baseball and softball.

(Visit Marks website).

Day earns new hosting role at SportsMap Radio

Denton Day has a new Saturday and Sunday evening show on SportsMap Radio Network (formerly SB Nation Radio). The story of how he has gone from newspaper sports editor to national sports talk host just three years out of college is improbable.

After graduating from Liberty University in 2017, Day went to work as the sports editor at a local newspaper. He’d worked on Liberty’s campus radio station, though, and maintained a passion for broadcasting. When Day got a USB microphone for Christmas in 2017 he started a podcast, “In My Opinion with Denton Day.”

“The podcast originally started as weekly 15-20 minute episodes discussing whatever happened to be relevant at the time,” he recalls.

An Internet radio station offered Day a lineup spot if he could expand his show to an hour. “I did that for about 10 months before the site folded in May of 2018,” Day says. Afterward, he continued the show as a podcast.

Day joined STAA in June 2018. One month later, he messaged SB Nation Radio through their website to ask, “What are the qualifications for having a podcast linked with SB Nation? If I don’t meet the qualifications just yet or if you’re not searching for a podcast, are the any ways that I can get my foot in the door?”

Network COO and PD Craig Larson replied.

“I sent him my two most recent shows – one of which featured my dad as a guest, which Craig really enjoyed,” Day smiles.

The timing of Day’s email proved fortuitous. “Originally, I planned to reach out in April. I had a message all typed out and ended up not sending it. A few months later I did send the message and it just happened to be at a time when they were looking at making adjustments to their schedule. Talk about right place right time.”

Day hosted his first show on Sunday August 26, 2018, just over a month after contacting the network. For nearly two years, he hosted on Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings. With the new schedule, though, Day’s show is airing Saturday and Sunday evenings.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to build a consistent audience,” he says. “As much as I loved my previous slots it was tough to build consistency amongst listeners when one slot is late Tuesday nights and the other slot is early Sunday mornings. Now being in the same slot on both Saturday and Sunday it offers a really great chance to be able to have the same people listening and ultimately interacting with the show either via call-in or on social media.”

After joining the radio network, Day left newspaper for SiriusXM in Washington D.C. He’s currently an Associate Producer with the ESPNU channel. He hosts his SportsMap Radio show from home and is especially excited for his new time slot.

“It’ll be exceptionally fun to once football gets underway – assuming we have a season – to be able to react live to plays and results.”

(Visit Denton”s STAA Talent Page).

Pandemic leads Shelley to St. Cloud Norsemen

The COVID-19 pandemic nearly pushed Mark Shelley out of hockey broadcasting. Instead, it has ended-up moving him forward. An STAA member, Shelley is the new Director of Broadcasting/Media Relations for the St. Paul Norsemen of the NAHL.

He moves to Minnesota after an abbreviated season with the NAHL’s Amarillo Bulls. When the pandemic resulted in Shelley being laid off by the Bulls, he thought his days of calling hockey might be over. “I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to remain in hockey until I saw an STAA Job Leads email that had some potential openings.”

The St. Cloud job was among those potential openings. When a subsequent STAA email stated that members could send their applications to St. Cloud GM Tom Chorske, Shelley moved quickly. “I had an email sent to the GM within five minutes and was on the phone with other broadcasters and GMs in the division to see if they could offer advice and help,” Shelley recounts.

Besides broadcasting and media relations, Shelley will produce videos and other social media and website content. “Additionally, I will take on a large corporate and ticket sales role,” he says.

Shelley joins St. Cloud as they rebrand following their first year in Minnesota. “The team moved to St. Cloud in August of last year and only changed from the Brookings Blizzard to the St. Cloud Blizzard. Now, they have a new color scheme, logo, a long-term staff, and a base of advertisers. It’s basically a ‘start fresh and build something strong’ type of mindset, and that is awesome,” he says excitedly.

Shelley joined STAA in 2017 on the advice of Hershey Bears broadcaster Zack Fisch. Months later, Shelley attended an STAA Play-by-Play Retreat in San Diego. Shelley says contacts he’s made through STAA aided his pursuit of the St. Paul position.

“STAA has helped me meet a lot of other broadcasters who have all been unbelievably helpful. I would reach out to guys at higher levels and we would bond over STAA while they helped me work on my play-by-play,” he says.

Prior sales experience also boosted Shelley’s St. Paul application. “My sales experience played a huge role in getting this job. Having that background, while I’m no sales expert, certainly made sure that I met every need of the ownership.”

Shelley adds, “I want to thank [STAA] for all that you do. The job leads are life changing, and the emails about strategies, experiences, and advice are so helpful. STAA creates a community that wants to see everyone succeed and does so by having them help each other.”

With St. Cloud being in the NAHL’s Central Division, Shelley will work with other broadcasters he also calls friends. He sees great potential for the Norseman. “With this being the team’s second season in the city, I have an opportunity to work alongside a dedicated staff and for great ownership that all have the same goal of turning this team into a powerhouse organization on and off the ice.”

(Visit Mark’s website).