Herrick takes sports job in Oklahoma

John Herrick(September 7, 2011) STAA client John Herrick has been hired as News Director/Play-by-Play Broadcaster at Chisholm Trail Broadcasting’s four station cluster in Enid, OK.

The job is the second full-time position Herrick has landed in the past four months. In April, Herrick joined New Media Broadcasters in Havre, MT as a broadcaster and play-by-play announcer. As much as Herrick enjoyed working in Big Sky country, he says the Enid position was too good to pass up.

“With the amount of play-by-play opportunities I [will be] getting, being closer to some bigger markets like Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and the fact that I am significantly closer to my family, it was an impossible opportunity to turn down,” says Herrick.

A 2010 graduate of DePauw University in Indiana, Herrick twice ranked in the Top 20 of all collegiate sportscasters in the United States in STAA’s annual ratings. He joined STAA following graduation.

As excited as Herrick is to get started in Enid, he appreciates his time in Montana.

“I am very thankful to New Media Broadcasters for all of the help and guidance they have given me in the last four months,” Herrick says. “They have been fantastic. I will be forever indebted to the station.”

Cox new voice of St. Cloud State

JW Cox(September 2, 2011) Southern California native JW Cox is going to have to get used to Minnesota winters. An STAA client, Cox is joining Leighton Broadcasting as play-by-play voice for St. Cloud State University (NCAA Division II) football and basketball.

In addition to Huskies athletics, Cox will broadcast a variety of high school play-by-play. Leighton Broacasting’s KNSI 1450 AM is the radio home for well over 100 games with SCSU and area high schools.

“The job is going to expand what I can do,” Cox says. “I always tell people I can broadcast just about anything but this is really going to let me sink my teeth into some football and add it to my tape and resume.”

A native of Southern California, Cox has become quite familiar with the state of Minnesota. He has spent each of the past two summers broadcasting baseball for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters of the summer collegiate Northwoods League.

Cox was first tipped-off to the possibility of the St. Cloud State job by an alumnus of the university. After he saw the job officially posted on the STAA website, Cox emailed his cover letter and the link to his STAA Talent Page. After Cox was invited to interview for the position, STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik did a mock interview with him to help Cox prepare.

“The mock interview was great,” Cox says. “It definitely put me at ease going in. I didn’t know what to expect necessarily. I knew having the mock interview would prepare me for what the traditional interview would be like.”

As for staying in Minnesota for the winter, Cox is prepared.

“I’ve always ended up back [in Southern California] after my summers up here,” Cox smiles. “I have some friends up here who have given me a checklist of things I need to do and items I’ll need for the winter. Until I go through it, though, I don’t know what to expect. People tell me it’s a whole different kind of cold up here.”

Cox understands the cold winter is part of the price he must pay to advance his career.

“This job is a big step for me towards making myself a much better, more versatile, broadcaster.”

(Visit JW’s STAA Talent Page).

STAA's Elken joins ABC TV Eugene

Erik Elken(September 1, 2011) After living his entire life in the Northeastern U.S., Erik Elken is giong to see what life is like on the other side of the country. An STAA client, Elken is joining KEZI ABC TV in Eugene, OR as a sports reporter/anchor and play-by-play broadcaster.

KEZI 9 is the single strongest television station in Oregon outside of Portland. According to the station’s website, nearly 500,000 people throughout 12 counties watch KEZI 9 each week.

Elken moves to the Pacific Northwest after spending this summer as play-by-play broadcaster for minor league baseball’s Tri-City ValleyCats. A 2010 graduate of Syracuse University, Elken’s TV experience includes play-by-play for Time Warner Sports in Albany, NY. He has also served internships at ESPN, XOS Digital and NBC Olympics during the network’s coverage of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

Recently Elken said, “I can’t overstate how easy [the STAA Talent Page] makes the application process. It’s nice to be able to send a link to any potential employer and have them be able to see my Talent Page.”

(Visit Erik’s STAA Talent Page.)

O’Rourke new voice of Charleston Southern

Kevin O’Rourke(August 29, 2011) As recently as four days ago, Kevin O’Rourke figured to be parked in front of aTV for the start of college football season. Now, though, he’ll be broadcasting play-by-play from a stadium filled with 45,000 thousand screaming fans. An STAA client, O’Rourke has been named football and basketball voice at Charleston Southern University.

The Bucs kick-off their season Saturday at the University of Central Florida.

“I’m excited about doing Division I sports and having a chance to do both football and basketball,” O’Rourke says.

Following this weekend’s visit to UCF, the Bucs play at Florida State. “That is going to fun,” O’Rourke says excitedly.

O’Rourke was named a 2010 STAA All-America after finishing as the second ranked collegiate sportscaster in the country during his senior year at Rutgers University.

The CSU hiring process certainly was unusual. Shortly after the position was made public in July, the person in charge of hiring left for a job at another school. With that, the hiring process at CSU came to a screeching halt. As recently as last Friday, the school did not know who they would hire.

“I applied in July but didn’t hear back,” says O’Rourke. “Then Friday, the Athletic Director [Hank Small] called me. We met on Saturday and that was it.”

During their meeting, Small went out of his well to tell O’Rourke how helpful his STAA Talent Page was during the evaluation process.

“I didn’t think I was going to get [the CSU job] but it worked out well for me,” O’Rourke grins.

O’Rourke’s ties to Charleston helped his candidacy. He spent this summer as a broadcasting intern with minor league baseball’s Charleston RiverDogs.

“I really love Charleston from getting to know [the city] with the RiverDogs. It would be a great area to stay,” says O’Rourke.

(Visit Kevin’s STAA Talent Page.).

Surprising twist leads Volkmer to job

Ross Volkmer(August 23, 2011) Ross Volkmer applied for one job and ended up with another. An STAA client, Volkmer is joining Rocking M Radio’s five-station cluster in Colby, KS as a play-by-play broadcaster, sports update anchor and account executive. He will also assist with other on-air duties.

A recent graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, Volkmer says, “I kind of get to do a lot of everything, which is good for someone in my position.”

The Colby opportunity came to Volkmer only after he applied for another job with a Rocking M Radio station in another city. The station ended up hiring somebody local but asked Volkmer about his interest in the Colby job.

“It’s a great opportunity because of the chance for me to learn,” Volkmer says. “They say a lot of folks who work in Colby are great teachers and show you how to do things. I believe they are more than willing to show me the way and help me become a better broadcaster.”

Volkmer says his STAA Talent Page was quite helpful during the application process.

“It brought my resume and audio together in one spot,” Volkmer says. “When I applied for another job [with Rocking M Radio] and didn’t get it, they were able to go back and review at my stuff on STAA [when the new opportunity arose].”

Root to Hub City Radio in Aberdeen

Ben Root(August 19, 2011) Ben Root has found his next sportscasting opportunity without leaving South Dakota. An STAA client, Root has accepted a play-by-play / DJ position with Hub City Radio in Aberdeen, SD. Among other responsibilities, Root will be broadcasting high school sports and be part of a one-hour daily sports talk program.

Root relocates from Milbank, SD where he spent the past year at Big Stone Radio. It’s the fourth job Root has gained since first joining STAA in 2007.

“As usual, I definitely wouldn’t have had this opportunity if not for STAA. The guys at Hub City Radio saw my STAA Talent Page and called to see if I was interested in a move 90 miles west, and I went for it.”

A 2006 graduate of Fullerton (CA) College, Root has broadcast football, basketball, baseball and softball at the college and high school levels. He has also served as a program director, news director and sports talk host. He is excited to relocate to Aberdeen.

“It’s a definite move up, and [my wife and I] are glad to be in a bigger city.”

(Visit Ben’s STAA Talent Page.)

Hersch named Texas Tornado voice

Corey Hersc(August 9, 2011) For many college grads, landing a full-time sports broadcasting job takes a lot longer than it took STAA client Corey Hersch. Just three months after graduating from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, Hersch has accepted a full-time position as Broadcaster/Media Relations Contact for the Texas Tornado of the NAHL.

“It really excites me that I was able to get [an on-air] job in broadcasting,” Hersch says. “I know a lot of people in my field settle for producing jobs and off-air stuff, and I was ready to do that too, but my heart was set on broadcasting. To get a job so quickly — just three months after graduation — and in hockey as well, that really excites me.”

At Quinnipiac, Hersch broadcast men’s and women’s hockey for the Bobcats. Last fall, he severed a radio intership with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and their outstanding veteran broadcaster Phil Giubileo.

Hersch joined STAA immediately after receiving his diploma. “It was kind of a graduation gift from my parents,” he says. “I told them before graduation that the website was something I was interested in. I got the [Tornado] job posting sent to me by STAA before it went public. I sent [Tornado Vice President] Ben Webber a cover letter and link to my STAA Talent Page and the very next day, he emailed me back expressing interest.”

Coincidentally, Webber and Hersch have a mutual acquaintance who works at Quinnipiac. Webber made a phone call and received a positive endorsement about Hersch.

“It’s funny how small of a world it is,” Hersch grins. “It just goes to show how much you should develop relationships with everyone you come into contact with because you never know how it is going to help you.”

“Thank you again for the service you provide with STAA,” Hersch says. “Being a client gave me the opportunity to apply for the position before it went public and gave me a leg up on the competition. It certainly was an advantage for this job, and I’m sure it will be again in the future.”

(Visit Corey’s STAA Talent Page.)

Spencer named voice of WIU

Beau SpencerVeteran radio broadcaster and STAA client Beau Spencer is joining the Western Illinois University Leatherneck Sports Network. An award-winning broadcaster with the Illinois Broadcasters Association, Spencer will serve as the play-by-play voice for Leatherneck football and will broadcast men’s and women’s basketball games.

He will also continue work on building the Leatherneck Sports Network radio affiliate membership.

“We are fortunate to have Beau Spencer join the Athletics Department as the ‘Voice of the Leathernecks’. Beau created an impressive broadcasting schedule of high school sporting events with play-by-play experience at the collegiate level. He is a well-recognized personality in the region who does an outstanding job calling the game for fans,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Tim Van Alstine. “Our goal is to expand the Leatherneck Sports Network. Beau is working on doing just that so our fan-base throughout the state and the tri-state area can listen to the Leathernecks.”

Spencer has worked the last 10 years in the region calling college and high school football and basketball games, high school volleyball, baseball and softball contests. Since 2008 he worked as the Sports Director for the radio stations in the Monmouth/Galesburg area (WAIK, WMOI, WRAM). Spencer served as the Monmouth College play-by-play announcer, called Monmouth-Roseville HS boys basketball and nearly half of the girls schedule in addition to other area high school basketball games.

In 2008 he received the Illinois Broadcasters Association runner-up award for ‘Best Play-by-Play’. In 2004 and 2005 he was chosen first place in ‘Best Community Service’ by the IBA. Spencer also received a first place award for ‘Best Local Morning Show’.

Two years ago, Spencer created the Illinois High School Sports Network (www.ihssn.net) as a source for all Illinois high school athletics. During his first two months broadcasting part-time, Spencer’s broadcast ranked in the ‘Top 10’ among listeners on Network1sports, among 250 radio stations.

He founded the IHSSN Coaches Polls (football, boys basketball, girls basketball), served as a newspaper correspondent, sports columnist, and created his own blog “The Quest 2: 150”. Spencer chronicled his time broadcasting 150 high school basketball games during the 2010-11 season. The Quest was published in Sports Illustrated online, WGEM-TV and five regional newspapers.

He worked as Sports Director for a group of radio stations in the Macomb/Rushville area (WKAI, WLMD, WLRB, WKXQ) from 2003-08. Spencer added a High School ‘Athlete of the Week’ for three schools, created an All-Area team and redesigned a local sports website. He added Macomb High School girls basketball broadcasts to the stations’ schedule.

In 2001 Spencer entered the broadcasting field when he was hired as Sports Director for WHHK/WGEN sports, first serving as board operator and within six month taking over as the director. He scheduled high school sports broadcasts and called play-by-play in addition to daily sports duties.

“I am excited to join the Department of Athletics at Western Illinois University and work alongside many people I have known for several years, both at the university as well as potential radio affiliates,” said Spencer. “I am eager to build upon a nice base that has been created in the Leatherneck Sports Network, and expanding it to reach the western Illinois region and beyond.”

Alex Reed new Everblades voice

Alex Reed(August 4, 2011) Alex Reed has always had great respect for the Florida Everblades hockey club. Now, he is going to work for them. An STAA client, Reed has been hired as Public and Community Relations Manager/Broadcaster. He moves on after one season with the Wheeling Nailers.

Both the Everblades and Nailers are members of the ECHL.

“The Everblades are one of the model franchises in the ECHL,” Reed says. “They are well respected in everything they do on and off the ice. It is also chance to get involved in other areas of the organization than just broadcasting.

In addition to play-by-play, Reed’s duties will include public relations and ticket and sponsorship sales.

“I saw the Everblades job on the STAA website and sent my tape and resume right away. I followed up with emails, including my STAA Talent Page. I always provided that so [Everblades President Craig Brush] always had it fresh in his mind,” Reed says.

During the job interview, Brush mentioned to Reed that STAA was a big help in the team receiving more than 100 applications, adding that STAA did a good job getting the word out about the position.

The Everblades job is the third Reed has earned since joining STAA in 2007. That same year, he accepted the play-by-play job with the Lewiston Maineiacs Hockey Club (QMJHL), and then moved onto the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) last fall.

Reed emphasizes following up as a key to success in the job market.

“Follow up with the employer and let him know your interest,” Reed suggests. “Just shoot an email after you send your stuff in — just kind of keeping your name out in the forefront really helps. If you have references, don’t be afraid to ask them make a call as well.”

Listen here to STAA’s interview with Alex:


(Visit Alex’s STAA Talent Page.)

Hemeyer new voice at Campbell U.

Chris Hemeyer(August 4, 2011) When Chris Hemeyer decided he was ready to move from minor league baseball play-by-play to collegiate sports, he didn’t have to look far for his opportunity. An STAA client, Hemeyer has been hired as Director of Broadcasting at NCAA Division I Campbell University.

Hemeyer moves to Buies Creek, NC from down the road in Kinston where he has spent the past six seasons as Director of Broadcasting with the Class-A Kinston Indians. At Campbell, Hemeyer replaces fellow STAA client Robert Harper who recently accepted a similar position at the University of North Florida.

“I’ve been in North Carolina for 10 years now,” Hemeyer says. “Its home for me and now I get to stay in the state I love.”

Hemeyer learned of the Campbell opening through STAA.

“The first hint I got of it was in an email from STAA,” he says. “I’ve been a premier client with STAA forever. Those stealth job opportunities come right into my inbox and that’s when I first heard about the job.”

Hemeyer has been an STAA client since July 2007.

“STAA has always been there to answer any questions that I have. I appreciate everything so much in this long journey,” he says.

This isn’t Hemeyer’s first college Division I broadcasting experience. In recent years, he has been the voice of East Carolina University baseball and been a regular fill-in on Pirates men’s basketball. Now, Hemeyer looks forward to being a full-time employee of a university.

“I grew up in a college town and have been around college athletics all my life,” he says. “And the recent work I’ve done with ECU has brought that hunger back to be part of a university.

“The [Campbell] job looked good on paper, but once I went down there and met everybody it was unbelievable. It is truly a family atmosphere, from the coaches to the sports information department. It feels like home.”

Hemeyer’s advice to others in the job market is do not give up. “Look for anything you can in your area to get more experience in broadcasting,” he suggests. “I slowly built my resume by taking advantage of other options and being a fill-in. That allows you to get your name out there and get to know people. Networking is very important.”

(Visit Chris’s STAA Talent Page.)