When Keith Jouganatos recently accepted a sports talk/play-by-play job at KAHI AM/FM in Auburn, CA, the first call he made was to his dad.
“Pop has always believed in me. He’s listened to every game I’ve ever broadcasted from my time at Sacramento State to my time with the NFHS Network and NorCal Sports TV,” Jouganatos says. “Pop has always believed in me before I believed in myself so it was a special moment for both of us.”
A surprise call
The younger Jouganatos was visiting Disneyland when he received a call from his friend and longtime KHTK Sacramento Sports Director Jason Ross. Ross told Jouganatos that the KAHI position had opened for the first time in forever. “Shortly after that the owner of the station and the general manager reached out to me,” Jouganatos recalls.
Jouganatos joined STAA last year upon the recommendation of a college friend. “He was basically telling me the premise and I thought it was amazing. I saw the STAA site the first time and just fell in love.”
As it is with many sportscasters, Jouganatos’ experience with the job market has been challenging. “The hardest part has honestly been rejection. Applying time after time and coming close to jobs but never getting through the door. You know in the back of your mind you want to be patient. At the same time there is that doubt where it’s like, ‘Am I any good? Does anybody even want me?’ Things like that creep into your mind and it’s a marathon. But God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle if you stay the course.”
Jouganatos grew up in Elk Grove, CA, less than 30 minutes south of Sacramento. He graduated from Sacramento State in 2016. The KAHI studio is just over 30 minutes northeast of California’s capital city. Jouganatos has known of the station for many years.
“It has always been a dream of mine to land that [KAHI] job so I said yes without question. This job has always been on my radar.”
It’s likely that the station has always been on Jouganatos’ Pop’s radar, too. Now the father can listen to his son every day.