Furtado to call pro hockey while pursuing Masters

Play-by-play broadcaster Joseph Furtado was uncertain of his next step when he graduated from Arizona State University in May. With just two years of games under his belt, he was considering returning to school to get more experience. “After speaking with a few of my mentors, they suggest that I’ll learn more at a job than in school,” Furtado recalls.

Influenced by that advice, Furtado is joining the expansion Baton Rouge Zydeco of the FPHL as a Media Relations and Communications Specialist. He’ll be the voice of the Zydeco on Internet, radio and TV, handle media relations, produce video content and update the team’s website.

“Having the opportunity to call games on TV at a pro level, I couldn’t pass up,” Furtado enthuses. “Some games will be broadcasted locally, which was another plus.”

Help from STAA

The Zydeco opportunity is one of more than 10 unpublicized professional, junior and major college hockey play-by-play jobs that STAA has shared with its members this summer. Furtado received the Zydeco opening immediately upon becoming an STAA member in June.

“I joined STAA because I wanted to better myself as a broadcaster, so I figured what better way to do that than joining the STAA,” Furtado remembers. He also admits feeling skeptical about joining. “I really wasn’t sure what I would learn from STAA that I haven’t already been taught in school. I had the opportunity to attend Arizona State University, which is a great program.” Furtado continues, “In the end, I thought I should at least give it a try. If I don’t like it, I could cancel my membership, but I won’t know unless I don’t try. Now here I am with STAA!”

Furtado quickly adds, “In just a few short weeks, I’ve learned so much about the industry, from how to improve my play-by-play to relationship building. They provide a lot of resources.”


A major step Furtado has accomplished is rebranding himself as a broadcaster. “I applied all the tips from each of the assignments that [STAA] has given me and they helped so much! We tackled the five variables in the sports broadcasting job market: demo, resume, cover letter, presentation and follow-up.

“With all of [STAA’s] help, I found myself receiving job offers from a few employers to whom I didn’t even apply. I even got a few compliments on my resume and presentation. Not only has being an STAA member been very helpful in my success as a sportscaster, it’s taught me so much about the job market.”

While working in Baton Rouge, Furtado will continue the work on his Masters that he started this summer. Most of the classes are online. “Though I will have to return to the campus at some point to take one class in person to complete my professional program requirement. I am looking to complete that over the summer in 2024.”

After just two months of membership, Furtado now understands what people can learn from STAA that they aren’t taught at even the nation’s best sports broadcasting schools. “[STAA] is a great place to learn the ins and outs of the industry,” he states. “From broadcasting to building relationships, STAA can help take your broadcasting career to the next level, which is why most join – that’s why I did. Plus, they have a great community, which makes it fun to be a part of!”

Also fun to be a part of will be the first-year Zydeco organization. “I just felt the like Zydeco were a really good fit for me, especially with what they offer coming out of college.”

Mauro hired to co-host on SportsMap Radio Network

Luke Mauro has been a play-by-play broadcaster who also hosted sports talk shows. While he still wants broadcasting games to be part of his career, Mauro is now putting sports talk first. He’s joining SportsMap Radio Network in Houston.

Mauro will co-host The Sports Kings weekdays from 4 to 6 pm EDT. “I look forward to working alongside Gene Thompson and continuing to build the great brand,” Mauro enthuses.

Mauro spent the past five years in Charleston, SC as the play-by-play voice of The Citadel and as a host on the local ESPN Radio affiliate. The SportsMap opportunity arose when the network’s COO and PD Craig Larson asked STAA to help fill the opening. Mauro becomes the 14th STAA member hired by Larson in STAA’s 17 years.

“Luke is a tremendous broadcaster,” says Larson. “He’s someone who’s been on our radar for quite some time. I think pairing him with Gene will be a perfect mix of hard hitting sports talk with extremely charismatic personalities.”

“The opportunity to work with Gow Media, and take my voice to the national level, on one of the most affiliated networks, was a no-brainer,” said Mauro.

Unexpected referral leads Ryan to Blue Ridge Bobcats

A job for which Charles Ryan unsuccessfully applied has led to an opportunity with a different employer. Ryan is the new Media Relations/Communications Specialist for the Blue Ridge Bobcats, an FPHL expansion team in Wytheville, VA.

“I originally saw the job posting in an STAA Job Leads+ email but did not apply because they were asking for someone local to the area, Ryan recalls. “But then I was referred to them by the [FPHL expansion] team in Baton Rouge after applying there. So I reached out and was able to snag the job.”

In addition to broadcasting the Bobcats’ games, Ryan will handle media relations and social media for the team. That includes video content and graphics.

“I am able to continue calling hockey and making feature sports stories like I had been doing in college. But now I get to build on my skill set and add social media skills to it, which will help me down the road,” Ryan enthuses.

Ryan is a 2023 graduate of Bowling Green University. He joined STAA in June on the advice of fellow BGSU alumnus and STAA member Brandon Loe. Shortly after, Ryan interviewed with the Baton Rouge franchise.

“After my interview, they told me they had decided to go a different way,” he recalls. “But they had sent my information to this new team in Wytheville. They gave me the email of the person they forwarded my info to, so I decided to reach out and introduce myself. I think that really helped me land the job — taking that extra initiative.”

Justin Allegri is the new Cal Bears voice

Justin Allegri’s move to his new job will be a short one. Allegri is leaving San Jose State to be the new voice of Cal Bears football and basketball. The two campuses are roughly one hour apart.

Allegri is an experienced broadcaster and a Northern California native. At Cal, he succeeds legendary voice Joe Starkey.

“This is a role that’s highly coveted, not only because of the university and the academic integrity that it has, but the athletics it has as well,” Allegri said. “This is a job that Joe Starkey held to such a high standard for a long, long time. I’m never going to use the phrase, ‘filling his shoes’ or ‘taking his job.’ I’m always going to use the phrase, ‘hoping to carry the baton.’ Joe is Cal football and forever will be.”

Allegri is in his 12th year as an STAA member. He grew up in Santa Cruz and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Jose State.

Cal Athletic Director Jim Knowlton and the Cal community are excited to welcome Allegri aboard. “Justin is a multi-talented broadcaster and a Northern California native, and is the perfect fit to tell the story of our football and men’s basketball programs.”

Allegri is the 10th STAA member to accept a DI play-by-play job in the past 14 months:


* Justin Allegri, Cal
* Luke Martin, Southern Illinois
* Reily Chestnut, Western Kentucky


* John Fitzgerald, Illinois State
* Keaton Gillogly, Montana State
* Rob Hipp, North Dakota State
* Blake Olson, Northern Colorado
* JW Cox, Northern Iowa
* Zach Mackey, Virginia Tech
* Brad Klein, Western Kentucky

Celli joins WJFW-12 in Wisconsin

Broadcasting for Drew Celli started early in his teens. “I would do the PA for Little League All-Star games at local fields in Massachusetts,” he recalls. “In high school I did high school hockey play-by-play. After that I knew that the sports field was where I wanted to be.”

The sports field is, indeed, where Celli continues to be. His next stop: WJFW-12 in Rhinelander, WI as a sports anchor/reporter.

The applicant pool for the WJFW position was deep. The content Celli chose for his reel helped set him apart. “I could have added a package of a local athlete announcing a commitment, but that could be on every single reel an employer views,” Celli states. “You’re never going to stand out sending in a basic reel. My package was of a 55 year old local who competed in the World Curling championships. I can all but guarantee you I was the only applicant with a package like that. What that shows is an ability to go out and find a good story that isn’t in your every day popular sports.”

Celli joined STAA two months before graduating from Bryant University in Rhode Island in May, 2022. Upon accepting his diploma, he joined the sports staff at WBKB in Alpena, MI. He’s grateful for the growth he experienced there. “I found my voice in a way I never had before,” he recalls. “From a confidence point of view, I am miles from where I was when I started. But most importantly I’ve learned that not all the viewers are going to like you. Don’t let it ruin your day. Just keep doing what you think is best for the job.”

Doing what is best for the job is what Celli did as a PA announcer at the ball fields of Massachusetts. And it’s what he’ll do next for his viewers in Northern Wisconsin.

Competitive Hesse joins KCHI AM/FM in Missouri

The roots of Brent Hesse’s competitiveness and his love for sports are obvious. “I am the oldest of five boys, he reminisces. “We have our own basketball team, and played every sport imaginable in the driveway or backyard growing up!”

Now, in addition to playing sports, Hesse is broadcasting them. He is joining KCHI Radio in Chillicothe, MO as Sports Director and Afternoon Host — a position that includes plenty of play-by-play.

“The job at KCHI began thanks to checking the STAA job listings and applying from there,” Hesse recalls. “I had a Zoom interview and then made the seven hour drive the following week for an in person interview. I was offered the job shortly after that.

Valuable opportunities

Hesse moves west to Chillicothe after five years at WOCC AM/FM in Corydon, IN. “At WOCC I was only part-time on a day-to-day basis as the mid-day on air talent. Now I am full-time as the afternoon host [at KCHI]. Plus I was only calling basketball and football games. Now, along with basketball and football, I will get to try my hand at baseball, softball and soccer.”

One key to Hesse earning the Chillicothe opportunity was making clear that he wants to be there. “Being from out of town, you have to prove that it is worth the risk to make the hire. I am a superfan of the KC Chiefs and have visited that city quite often in recent years. I have friends that live there and it was a draw that Chillicothe is only about 1.25 hours away. I made that known right away when meeting with [KCHI GM Patti Leatherman]. I think that gave her confidence that I would be able to fit in and be happy in a new town.”

Hesse’s candidacy was further boosted by several strong referrals. “The people that I asked to give me recommendations for this job are individuals that have not only been great colleagues and mentors, but are friends. They want to see me succeed and gave honest, detailed and personalized responses for why I am the right candidate for the job.”

Helpful recommendation

Speaking of recommendations, it was upon one from a fellow Ball State University alumnus that Hesse joined STAA this year. “In trying to figure out what I wanted to do as my next step in my career, and in how to get there, I reached out to Mick Tidrow who is a fellow 2018 graduate of Ball State University, and now the voice of the Cardinals! He is a fantastic broadcaster and he clued me in to STAA as a place to go for new job openings and also as a place to improve my craft.

“I joined because I was serious enough about giving my all to advance in this competitive job market. I felt with the tools, resources and connections that STAA provides, it was worth the investment.”

Hesse’s career motivation is similar to the drive that fueled him in the family driveway basketball games. “I don’t like to lose, so I won’t take it easy on anyone be

Cripps finds perfect fit with Emporia State

Blake Cripps fits Kansas like wheat fields and rolling hills. He grew up in Topeka and graduated from Kansas University. His parents live in Burlingame; his sister in Kansas City. And Cripps has spent the past 11 years working in Wichita. He has accepted a new job, but one that will keep him in the Sunflower State. Cripps is joining KVOE Radio in Emporia as Operations Manager and Voice of the Emporia State University Hornets.

“I accepted the job because of the amazing reputation of the staff and stations in Emporia,” Cripps enthuses. “The community is heavily interested and invested in the Hornets. And the Emporia State athletic department is a consistent contender for MIAA championships and postseason appearances. I truly believe this is one of, if not the best, Division II jobs in the country.”

Fast hiring process

Cripps learned of the ESU opportunity through a Jobs Leads+ email. “I applied the same day and received a message from Emporia’s Radio Stations GM Ron Thomas the same day that he’d like to talk the next day,” Cripps recalls. “Things progressed quickly from there!”

In addition to play-by-play, Cripps will be in charge of operations for KVOE. “Basically making sure that all of the content we are planning to air is getting to where it is supposed to go. I would say that, and ESU coverage, will combine for 85% of the job. The rest is normal odds and ends stuff like sports anchoring, production, website writing, hosting our Saturday sports show, etc.”

Cripps has big shoes to fill as Voice of the Hornets. He succeeds Greg Rahe, a Kansas broadcasting icon. “It is an incredible honor to follow an ESU Hall of Famer like Greg Rahe in this role,” Cripps states. “He’s been such a huge part of the Emporia community for 35 years and I’m incredibly grateful for all of his help during this transition. Greg is a true gentleman in this profession and an impossible act to follow. And while I’ll never be able to replace it, I hope that I’ll be able to continue his legacy in the booth and in the community.”

Love for Wichita

Cripps moves to Emporia from Wichita, less than 90 minutes southwest of Emporia on Interstate 35. He’s held various play-by-play roles in Wichita since 2012, including calling games for Wichita State University and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. For the past four years, he’s been the voice of Newman University (NCAA DII) men’s and women’s basketball.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Wichita and the many personal and professional friends I have made there over the last decade, but I won’t be too far away and I’ll definitely be visiting when I can!

Cripps has been an STAA member since 2012. “STAA has been a tremendous resource for me, from helping to construct my talent page to job updates that you just can’t get anywhere else.”

Cripps’ new hometown of Emporia is the birthplace of college basketball legend Dean Smith. And it’s a great fit for Cripps. “Emporia is literally the perfect middle ground right in the middle of my home state. I’m looking forward to getting settled in the community. My grandma grew up in Emporia so I have ties there as well!”

Luke Martin the new voice of Southern Illinois U.

PRESS RELEASE — STAA member Luke Martin is the new director of broadcasting and radio voice of Southern Illinois University. He follows Saluki Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Reis.

For the past six seasons, Martin was the voice for Indiana State football, men’s basketball and baseball, while also producing news and features for GoSycamores.com and the school’s digital platforms.

Martin is a 2014 graduate of Ball State’University. After graduation, he served as the broadcaster for UNC Greensboro for one season, where he also hosted weekly coaches shows, produced the school’s video content, and produced/directed ESPN3 telecasts.

SIU’s search committee screened more than 90 applicants for the position before selecting Martin, according to Tim Leonard, director of athletics for the Salukis.

“The committee reviewed countless hours of demo reels from some of the best radio talent in the country, and Luke was our top choice, not only for his distinctive on-air delivery, but for the passion he brings to this important position,” Leonard said. “Luke is an outstanding storyteller, with a love of sports and people. Much like Mike Reis, he has a warm, genuine personality that shines brightly during his broadcasts.”

Martin said it was an honor to be chosen to follow Reis, who stepped down from the broadcast chair last May after completing his 44th season of radio play-by-play for SIU.

“I won’t be filling his shoes, as only Mike could wear them,” Martin said. “I owe it to Saluki fans to honor his legacy by being who I am, while instilling the relentless work ethic I learned from watching him in my career. I can’t wait to earn the respect and trust of Salukis everywhere.”

Bowling lands radio job in Oregon resort town

Matt Bowling’s first full-time broadcasting job is in an Oregon vacation destination. He is joining Basin Mediactive in Klamath Falls as sports director.

“There are far worse places I could be doing this kind of job than a resort town in the Pacific Northwest,” he grins. “Klamath Falls is an hour and a half from both Crater Lake and Mount Shasta and there are plenty of parks and trails around the town itself. The climate is great, and the town gets 300 days of sunshine per year. It’s also a certified Blue Zones Community.”

Growth opportunity

Bowling learned of the opening in an STAA Job Leads+ email. He applied the same day, made a follow-up call one week later, interviewed and was offered the job. “In addition to play-by-play, I’ll be doing daily sports reports, contributing to the morning talk show, writing web articles, and helping with social media,” Bowling enthuses. “This job will greatly expand my career options by giving me a strong portfolio and skill set beyond play-by-play.”

Changing his approach

Even with undergrad and Masters degrees from the University of Oklahoma, Bowling found the sportscasting job market to be challenging. “I applied for full-time jobs last summer — my first out of college — and came up totally empty,” he recalls. “Only a couple even emailed me back.”

That frustration prompted Bowling to take advantage of a job market makeover package offered by STAA. “I knew it would be smart to let someone [like STAA Owner Jon Chelesnik] who’s been in this industry longer than I’ve been alive show me the best way to present myself to potential employers.

Bowling continues, “Words are a big strength of mine…visuals, not so much. The resume and reels Jon created for me were massive upgrades over what I had before and included things that I never would have thought to (or been able to) design myself. The proof is in the results. Like I said, almost nobody even emailed me back last summer. This summer, I was on track to be interviewed for a few other jobs before I accepted Basin Mediactive’s offer.”

In Klamath Falls, Bowling will be working for a locally-owned company with a small staff. “I’m not going to be in a corporate setting where I’d have to worry about potentially being caught in a wave of layoffs, among other things,” he states with relief. “In [General Manager] Rob Siems’ words, they are ‘a close knit group that helps each other,’ which is an ideal environment for someone navigating a new job and a new town.”

Choosiness pays off for Ivery in sports director job at KJAM

Drew Ivery didn’t know what the future held when he left his sportscasting job in August 2022. He wanted to stay in sports but decided to be choosy about his next opportunity. Ivery bought himself time by working as the media director for a local country club. Now, he’s found the right next step in his sportscasting journey. Ivery is the new sports director at KJAM Radio in Madison, SD.

“[KJAM] will provide me with valuable experience,” Ivery enthuses. “I missed radio and was looking to take the next step and broadcast regularly in the collegiate ranks. This position provided that. It has a very friendly staff that has been great in the interview process and in helping find housing in the area. I believe we can all help each other for the better.”

Good fit

Ivery will broadcast Dakota State University (NAIA) football and basketball, high school sports and amateur baseball play-play. He will also host a weekly, hour-long sports talk show during college sports season, and a daily air shift.

Ironically, Ivery follows fellow STAA member Caleb Gill at KJAM.

“I learned about this opportunity through the STAA website where I’ve been primarily been looking for jobs and to get better at my craft,” Ivery states. He adds, “STAA’s tools were motivation to go harder in my pursuit. It’s the best place for sports broadcasting opportunities.

Experience, patience

Ivery is a 2020 graduate of Texas A&M University-Commerce. He has extensive sports writing experience for platforms like Winsidr, FanSided and HighPostHoops. Ivery is also the former sports director for East Texas Broadcasting in Sulphur Springs, TX., and has considerable podcasting experience.

Patience served Ivery well in his sportscasting job search. “Just trusting the process, to not settle for anything less than the type of job I wanted and working consistently to pursue that,” he recalls. “A lot of jobs from all over came through, but I only applied for the things I was looking for and not just everything that popped up. The job search process is never fun, but I stuck with it and had great support along the way.”

Now, Ivery’s fortitude during his 11 months away from sportscasting is being rewarded. “I had my mind made up that broadcasting is what I wanted to do. And though KJAM is a change of scenery for me, I believe it will be a great opportunity in a new environment.”