(September 9, 2016) When Brian Hanni (pictured) accepted the play-by-play job at the University of Kansas this summer, it was the first domino in a remarkable chain featuring six STAA members.
Upon moving to Lawrence, Hanni vacated the men’s basketball and baseball job at Texas Tech. Geoff Haxton replaced Hanni, leaving the men’s basketball and baseball job at Oral Roberts. Adam Hildebrandt left Wright Radio in Weatherford, OK to replace Haxton at ORU. Mike Hammett left KSAL in Salina, KS to replace Hildebrandt. Pat Strathman left WIBW in Topeka to replace Hammett. Finally, Dan Lucero left KSTC/KATR in Sterling, CO to replace Strathman.
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For Haxton, getting the Tech job started with applying at the University of Toledo. He finished runner-up. However, like Tech, Toledo is a Learfield Sports property. “I don’t get myself involved in Toledo without STAA,” Haxton says. “Then my STAA Talent Page did so much work for me in Lubbock. Every corner of the campus I went to, the fine folks at Tech had listened [to the demo on my Talent Page]. A few clicks let them judge whether they liked my sound or not. I felt like the page paved the way for me before I arrived. It was a real blessing to have that link.”
Like Haxton, Hildebrandt values his STAA Talent Page. He says that keeping it updated is “big” because it allows him to apply for jobs immediately. “My resume and demo [are] ready to go.”
A notable fact about the sports broadcasters in this employment chain is their longevity with STAA. Each of them joined between two and six years ago. Hanni’s first of two stints with STAA was in 2010. (He discontinued his membership upon receiving the KU job). Haxton also joined in 2010, Hildebrandt in 2011, Lucero in 2013 and Hammett and Strathman in 2014.
Lucero says, “From selecting good demo material, to building a website with relevant information, to how to get, and prepare, for an interview. It’s all come together thanks to the advice I’ve received from STAA.
“Now, I enter the market feeling confident that I’m prepared to achieve the best possible outcome.”