(May 23, 2012) It’s been said that a goal without a plan is just a wish. Brian Hanni’s goal was to be the next basketball play-by-play voice at Texas Tech University. The plan he executed to achieve it borders on remarkable. An STAA client, Hanni is moving to Lubbock to broadcast Red Raiders basketball.
“In all my years working with sportscasters, I have never seen anyone pursue an opportunity with the passion and creativity with which Brian pursued this one,” says STAA CEO Jon Chelesnik. “I won’t share all his secrets here, but suffice it to say, he made getting this job a full-time job.”
Hanni comes to Texas Tech from the University of Kansas, where he has spent the last decade broadcasting KU athletics, including eight seasons working the women’s basketball broadcasts, 10 seasons with KU baseball, and has been the primary backup for men’s basketball play-by-play over the last eight seasons. He has also called spring football on the Jayhawk Radio Network for the past four years.
When Hanni learned of the opening, he immediately set his plan of polite persistence in place. He first expressed his interest to everyone who might be part of the hiring. Next, he invested considerable time and creativity doing things to demonstrate the skills and the passion he would bring to the job. He also tapped into his personal network to ask several influential people to make some well-timed calls to key decision makers on his behalf. But Hanni didn’t stop there.
Through research, Hanni learned what the primary challenges were going to be with the position, then made sure to address them throughout his campaign. He even took an internship in Lawrence to learn the skills necessary for a second job he was targeting in Lubbock.
“Brian truly left no stone unturned,” says Chelesnik.
In typical fashion, Hanni is quick to share praise.
“Jon Chelesnik and his services at STAA have been immensely helpful in landing this job. His coaching and counsel over the past two years aided me in positioning myself favorably and accentuating the best of what I have to offer. With such significant insight into our industry and what employers are looking for, he’s a fantastic resource for sports broadcasters seeking that next job.”
A two-time recipient of the Oscar Stauffer Sportscaster of the Year Award presented by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, Hanni becomes just the fifth voice of Red Raider Basketball since 1953, joining Jack Dale (1953-2003), John Harris (2003-06), Steve Dale (2006-07) and Mark Finkner (2007-12).
“It’s a tremendous thrill to join the Texas Tech men’s basketball program and Learfield Sports,” said Hanni. “While Mark Finkner will be a tough act to follow, it’s a really exciting time to get to be a part of what Coach (Billy) Gillispie is building. I’m hoping the new sound I’ll bring to Red Raider game days will compliment all the impressive talent he’s been cultivating.”
“We are excited to welcome Brian Hanni to the Red Raider family,” said Kirby Hocutt, Director of Athletics at Texas Tech. “He will provide our fans with an exceptional experience as they join the Texas Tech basketball program on its rise back to the elite level.”
Texas Tech men’s basketball head coach Billy Gillispie added, “We’re extremely excited to have someone as good and exciting as Brian to continue the very proud tradition of broadcasting Red Raider Basketball. He has a vast array of experiences that will help make Red Raider Basketball a lot of fun.”
A native of Topeka, Kan., Hanni has also served as the voice of the Topeka Capitals, a semi-pro baseball team, as well as many area high school football, basketball and baseball games. He has been a part of the Jayhawk Radio Network since 2003, hosting pregame and postgame shows, as well as KU coaches shows. Hanni, who has won over 20 Kansas Association of Broadcasters awards, created and hosted a syndicated sports talk show on the Jayhawk Network for the past four years. The show, “Rock Chalk Sports Talk,” has aired locally in Lawrence for 10 years. He has worked at radio stations in Topeka, Lawrence and Kansas City, Kan.
Additionally, Hanni, a 2002 graduate of Kansas, has served as a senior writer for Jayhawk Illustrated. He co-founded and served as a youth leader for the Lawrence Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is the founder and director of the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, an annual celebrity basketball game raising money for children fighting cancer.
(Visit Brian’s STAA Talent Page).