(August 12, 2016) During his eleven years as the basketball and baseball voice at a mid-major university, Geoff Haxton often wondered if a major college opportunity was in his future. The more time passed, the more he wondered. Haxton stayed faithful, though, and his optimism has paid off. An STAA member, Haxton is the new men’s basketball and baseball voice at Texas Tech University.
“This is what I love. I couldn’t give up on what I love,” says Haxton. “When I think about the investment I’ve made in this career, there’s just no way I can give up the dues I’ve paid. I also think my kids will have an even better childhood. They’ll get to enjoy some things I think most kids don’t have a chance to experience.”
Haxton and his wife Jen have an eight year old daughter and a four year old son. They live near Tulsa, OK where Haxton has been broadcasting for Oral Roberts University since 2005.
“Family always brings an interesting dynamic,” says Haxton. “I’ve had jobs I could go for, or even get, that I didn’t approach because of family situations. Family can keep you in one place for a decade. Or, it can lead to you taking a jump and following your dream. I’ve had both. In this case my wife has been incredible. She’s been supportive and encouraging. She’s been willing to risk her career for mine. Without her backing and toughness recently, none of this gets off the ground.”
At Texas Tech, Haxton replaces Brian Hanni who recently moved on to the top job at the University of Kansas. Ironically Haxton’s road to Lubbock began before Hanni knew he was leaving. It was in April. The play-by-play job at the University of Toledo opened. Haxton thought his lack of Division I football broadcasting would preclude him from consideration. He applied only after a friend suggested his talent and personality might outweigh his resume. Haxton ended up in the final three and put himself square on the radar of Tom Boman at Learfield Sports, the broadcast rights holder for Toledo and Texas Tech. When Tech opened, Boman immediately thought of Haxton, an STAA member since 2009.
“I don’t get myself involved in Toledo without STAA,” he says. “Then my STAA Talent Page did so much work for me in Lubbock. Every corner of the campus I went to, the fine folks at Tech had listened [to the demo on my Talent Page]. A few clicks let them judge whether they liked my sound or not. I felt like the page paved the way for me before I arrived. It was a real blessing to have that link.”
After being invited to interview in Lubbock, Haxton had an unexpected challenge to address. His wardrobe. Haxton’s luggage was lost on his flight from Oklahoma to Texas. With just 12 hours until his interview, Haxton raced to Wal-Mart and bought what he calls “a $9 shirt and a $25 pair of slacks.” He felt better about his attire the next morning when Tech AD Kirby Hocutt walked into the room wearing the same shirt.
In addition to calling all Red Raider baseball and men’s basketball games, Haxton will be involved with the daily “Red Raider Update” radio show at the start of football season, and other duties as assigned.
Haxton has received numerous broadcasting honors throughout his career, including Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Best Non-Metro Newscast (2003), and Oklahoma Broadcast Educators Association, two-time first place winner of the play-by-play broadcast of the year (2000, 2001).
“Bottom line for me. I know I’m blessed” Haxton smiles. “God has blessed me beyond belief. I want to thank Kirby Hocutt and Texas Tech for bringing me aboard. I’m absolutely ecstatic to go to work for the Red Raider family and in the Big 12.
(Visit Geoff’s STAA Talent Page).