Identifying his “only” has helped 2022 Syracuse graduate Brad Klein to a Division I play-by-play job. He is joining the broadcast team at Western Kentucky University.
The position includes play-by-play for soccer, softball, volleyball and women’s basketball. There will also be radio and TV show hosting duties and Broadcast/Digital Assistant responsibilities with Hilltopper Sports Properties.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for so many reasons,” Klein raves. “For one, everyone in the Learfield office and the athletic department is unbelievably welcoming and kind. I have come to realize that, regardless of the business you’re in, you need to enjoy working with the people you work for.”
Klein calls his WKU application a Hail Mary. “I know how highly coveted collegiate jobs are, especially for such a versatile program like WKU. I saw the opening through the STAA membership, and decided to throw my hat in the ring. The truth is, I have had my eye on WKU since well before I graduated from Syracuse this past May.”
Finding his “only” was helpful to Klein in his application. “Something I would constantly tell underclassmen at Syracuse is that you have to find your ‘only.’ When you go into a job interview, you need to be able to say that you are either the best at something or that you have a unique skill that separates you from the rest of the applicants, in a respectful way. For me, the opportunities at WAER and the Newhouse Sports Media Center were invaluable. I got the chance to do about 30 full-scale TV broadcasts before I graduated. I happened to fall in love with volleyball, and WKU is a powerhouse in the sport. That’s why I had my eye on the program, and I would like to think that my passion for the sport was my ‘only.'”
Klein earned Second Team STAA All-America honors this spring as a Syracuse senior. He joined STAA midway through his junior year. “STAA has a strong reputation at Syracuse,” he states. “I learned about it after arriving on campus. Many of my mentors ahead of me had success finding good leads. So, when it was time to apply for jobs, STAA seemed like the way to go.
“There are so many talented broadcasters out there,” Klein continues. “One of the appeals of Syracuse is that there is always someone right next to you working his or her tail off. That pushes you to outwork them. STAA is like a nationwide Syracuse in the sense that instead of a campus of hard workers, it’s an entire country. How can you take a day off knowing that there is someone one click away that will be outworking you if you kick back?”
Kicking back is not in Klein’s DNA. But finding his “only” is, and it’s landed him a job calling Division I play-by-play athletics.
Six STAA members have accepted DI play-by-play jobs this off-season; five have been announced. They are:
- John Fitzgerald, Illinois State
- Blake Olson, Northern Colorado
- JW Cox, Northern Iowa
- Zach Mackey, Virginia Tech
- Brad Klein, Western Kentucky