(July 6, 2016) John Liddle knew that if he was going to realize his dream of major college football and basketball play-by-play, he had to take a chance. With that in mind, he has moved his family to Texas for a pair of part-time jobs.
Liddle will be doing sports updates at The Ticket in Dallas and women’s basketball play-by-play and studio hosting for football at his alma mater, the University of North Texas.
An STAA member, Liddle has spent the past eight years as the voice for NCAA Division II Southwestern Oklahoma State University. However, that experience wasn’t opening doors at the DI level as he had hoped.
“I’ve seen how getting involved in a DI program leads to bigger opportunities, either within that program or with other Dis,” says Liddle. “Even in the last few years, many women’s basketball/baseball voices have moved up the ladder to those football and men’s basketball positions. Being at the DI level in any sport gives you the opportunity to make contact with other DI broadcasters, coaches, administrators and decision makers.
“I’ve seen it pan out for others and I believe if I prove myself on that stage, it will happen for me.”
After being passed over for several recent DI jobs, Liddle did some soul searching. He spoke to many people about how he might change his career approach.
“One of those people I called was my college friend Sean Bass, Sports Director at The Ticket. I had no idea at the time that he had an opening. He mentioned that he did and that got my wheels turning.”
In April, Liddle also contacted North Texas. They didn’t have anything but told him to keep in touch. “Once I knew The Ticket was a possibility, I talked to North Texas again [in May], proposing that I could move back and take over the women’s basketball broadcasts. They said ‘yes’ and the plan came together! And because the opportunities have presented themselves in such a complicated, yet perfect way, it gives me even more confidence that we’re doing the right thing.”
Liddle admits that leaving full-time work and moving his wife and three young children to Texas for part-time employment is a big risk.
“That’s the scariest part of this decision, no doubt,” he says. “But it would be a bigger risk if we weren’t moving back home to DFW. We have family there. We spent the first 25 years of our lives there. I have dozens of contacts there and there are hundreds of opportunities, large and small.”
Liddle is confident that he will parlay part-time work into full-time opportunities. “Even if I don’t, I’m excited about free-lancing because that’s something I haven’t been able to do in many years. I already have a high school football gig lined up with a tremendous broadcast crew, and even some high school baseball in the spring.”
Of course, Liddle is most excited to finally be the voice of a Division I team – women’s basketball at UNT. “I love the women’s game — it deserves as much care and attention as its men’s basketball counterpart. I’m going to give Mean Green women’s basketball everything I’ve got and see what happens. It’s an exciting step!”
(Visit John’s website).