(August 25, 2015) James Madison University football and basketball will have a new voice this season. STAA member Dave Thomas has been named voice of the Dukes.
“We are looking forward to this expanded relationship with Dave and the energy that he will bring to our radio broadcasts,” JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said. “He gave our Athletics programs a great presence on local radio in his first year in the valley, and has already forged a strong relationship with many of our coaches and staff. We are excited about working with Dave and our partnership with the Harrisonburg Radio Group under its new ownership with Saga Communications.”
JMU football and men’s basketball will continue to air on WSVA 550 AM and 92.1 FM in the Shenandoah Valley. The stations are part of the newly named Harrisonburg Radio Group after Saga Communications acquired Verstandig Broadcasting over the summer.
“I feel blessed to take the radio play-by-play role at JMU,” Thomas said. “The direction and future is exciting for the Athletics Department and the teams at Madison, and to be able to be a part of that future is thrilling. My goal is to paint the best picture possible for JMU Nation and to connect them to their players and coaches. I want to thank the management and ownership at Harrisonburg Radio Group, along with Mr. Bourne and the entire Athletics Department at James Madison University, for the opportunity and for all the assistance they’ve given me to this point. My wife, Kim, and I are elated to be wearing purple”.
Thomas will occupy the Mike Schikman Broadcast Booth in Bridgeforth Stadium this fall after most recently serving as the broadcast voice at Lenoir-Rhyne College in North Carolina. There he covered football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball. Thomas began his broadcasting career as a senior at McDowell High School (N.C.) and has been in the industry for 27 years. He moved to Harrisonburg in 2014 and filled in on several JMU broadcasts last year. He also provided the play-by-play talent for two seasons of cable television coverage of Western Carolina University and served as the backup for an NBA D-League team in Asheville, N.C.
A Marion, N.C., native, Thomas is a 1992 graduate of Isothermal Community College with a concentration in radio broadcasting. He is the brand manager for the Harrisonburg Radio Group of Q101, MORE 96.1 and REWIND 105.1, all FM stations.
Thomas will be joined by Clint Estes for color commentary during home games in Bridgeforth Stadium. Estes is entering his sixth year in the role. Karl Magenhofer will be Thomas’ sidekick for home men’s basketball games. JMU Director of Multimedia Communications Curt Dudley will continue to provide commentary for all road contests for both football and men’s basketball. During home games, Dudley steers JMU’s video streaming production, MadiZONE HD SportsNet presented by the JMU Alumni Association.
In the play-by-play role, Thomas replaces fellow Harrisonburg Radio Group broadcaster Mike Schikman, who spent 29 years as the voice of the Dukes for football and men’s basketball with occasional assistance to women’s basketball. The home radio broadcast booth in Bridgeforth Stadium was named in Schikman’s honor late during the 2014 football season.
JMU women’s basketball will continue to be called by veteran play-by-play voice David Taylor with color commentary from former player Nikki Newman. Broadcasts will be available on ESPN 1360 AM in Harrisonburg.