Jim Ferchland cold contacted more than 70 schools looking for a college play-by-play job. He found one yes and is the new voice of Felician University men’s basketball.
Felician is a NCAA DII program in Rutherford, NJ.
“It’s been a really rough wave of adversity after I graduated [from Stony Brook University] but I feel this is the start of something great,” Ferchland grins.
Ferchland may also have opportunities to call Golden Falcons volleyball, soccer, women’s basketball, lacrosse, and baseball. He adds with a smile, “I’ll do whatever they ask me to do.”
When Ferchland decided last spring to seek opportunity rather than waiting for it to find him, he contacted more than 70 schools to inquire about play-by-play opportunities. Wanting to stay close to home, he searched for all Division I, II, and III schools in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Ferchland received several replies. “Felician was one of them, and the SID gave me an elaborate response, unlike other schools. We kept exchanging emails over the summer and into the fall.”
Ferchland’s list had grown to six by the end of summer. “But Felician kept in touch while the others did not,” he recalls. “I went to visit the campus in the early October and met the Felician athletic department staff. After visiting the campus in Rutherford and driving an hour and 45 minutes back to Long Island, I received an email saying I got the job.”
Felician is an especially good opportunity for Ferchland because it takes him out of his comfort zone. “I’ve always stayed in Long Island because I liked being close to home,” he says. “I felt like I would limit myself if I didn’t take the chance. I’m so glad I did. I want to prove to others but mostly to myself that I’m capable of doing this.”
An especially frustrating job market challenge for Ferchland was that nobody would give him a chance. “I was thinking, ‘what do I have to do to get noticed?’ I decided to make a website to show off my portfolio. It took me two days to create.
“Plus, I never used a spot chart prior to the pandemic. Now, I’ve created several spot charts for future Felician broadcasts and I thank my broadcast coach Dan Gillman for helping me with that.”
Ferchland joined STAA in 2018 upon the recommendation of Stony Brook men’s basketball/football radio broadcaster and fellow STAA member Josh Caray. “He recommended I try it back when I was back in college but I couldn’t afford it at that time. I decided to try it after college and I’m happy I’m a member of the STAA community.