Spencer McLaughlin graduated from college last year. He made his national sports talk radio debut this spring. Now he’s adding NCAA Division I play-by-play to his resume. McLaughlin is joining the broadcast team at Southern Utah University.
The Thunderbirds start play in the Western Athletic Conference this Fall after many years in the Big Sky Conference.
“I will be doing play-by-play for soccer, gymnastics, and softball. I will also be involved on-air for women’s basketball and volleyball, probably doing a mix of play-by-play and color commentary,” McLaughlin explains.
McLaughlin’s rise in sports broadcasting has been fast. He was mentored as a student at Santa Clara University by Bronco alumnus and fellow STAA member Jack Benjamin. Benjamin was part of NBC’s play-by-play team for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and is the play-by-play voice at Nicholls State University.
McLaughlin joined STAA midway through his senior year. Upon graduating, he accepted a play-by-play/morning show host position for Mountaineer Radio at Eastern Oklahoma State College. He started doing fill-in host work for SportsMap Radio Network after STAA introduced him to the network’s COO/PD Craig Larson. Now McLaughlin is leaving Wilburton, OK for USU in Cedar City, UT.
“A friend of mine is a women’s basketball assistant and pointed out they didn’t really have a secondary play-by-play broadcaster for a lot of sports,” McLaughlin recalls. “That is the role I’ll fill. I emailed them to ask about it and there was mutual interest.”
He continues, “I am thrilled about this opportunity because it is the first time I will be broadcasting DI Athletics since I entered the workforce out of college. I honestly didn’t think I would land any sort of DI job so early in my career.”
Potential tough choice
McLaughlin will continue his fill-in work on SportsMap Radio Network. It begs the question, though, whether McLaughlin see his future in talk radio or play-by-play.
“There might come a day where I have to choose between play-by-play and sports talk hosting. But with technology allowing me to do sports talk remotely I’m hoping that’s not the case. I would love to do both as long as I can.”