(September 19, 2012) Work ethic, persistence, and sacrifice are a few of the ingredients that, when added to a solid stock of experience, can secure an NCAA Division-I broadcasting job. Of course, it isn’t a guaranteed-to-work magic spell, but it proved to be the perfect potion to send Jay Sanderson packing for the Land of Enchantment. An STAA client, Sanderson has accepted a position as a radio and TV play-by-play broadcaster for New Mexico State University.
Sanderson will call women’s basketball, volleyball, softball and baseball, and host a coaches show.
“I’m really looking forward to being an ambassador for Aggie Athletics. I will travel with the teams and get to know on a fairly personal level all the athletes and coaches,” Sanderson says.
After accepting the job, Sanderson received a call from the Aggies longtime football and men’s basketball voice, Jack Nixon, welcoming Sanderson to the NMSU family. “I’ve already been made to feel welcome and I’m excited about making a home in Las Cruces!
“I have big dreams and ambitions. To be at an NCAA Division-I school is a tremendous honor and a huge opportunity. There are about 345 Division-I schools, most employ either one or two play-by-play guys. To realize that I’m one of fewer than 700 broadcasters in a job like this is pretty overwhelming!”
NMSU sent the job lead to STAA and asked that it be distributed among STAA Premier members. Within six days of receiving the lead, Sanderson was offered the job. “Without my STAA Premier membership, I would never have known about the job.”
Sanderson joined STAA in 2010 after being referred by his former roommate, current Texas Tech men’s basketball broadcaster Brian Hanni. Since then, Sanderson has taken advantage of everything STAA has to offer.
“I participated in the recently offered football play-by-play boot camp, and have also received private instruction/coaching for basketball and football play-by-play as well as for my sports talk show,” Sanderson says. “Those are great, make no mistake, but I think my very favorite part of STAA is how accessible [STAA CEO] Jon Chelesnik is. When I’ve felt lousy about myself or where my career was or about a bad call I’d had or just about anything, Jon has always been able to give me a little pep talk and help me refocus myself.”
Broadcasting for NMSU is the kind of job Sanderson has been working toward for more than a decade. 2011 was a busy year for Sanderson, who concluded two years at KLOE in Goodland, KS, for a brief stint in Iowa before returning to Kansas to host an afternoon drive sports talk show in Wichita. Going where the jobs are can be tough on family life. Fortunately, Sanderson has unparalleled support from his wife Aimee.
“I have the most wonderful wife any man could ever ask for. With the migratory nature of sportscasting, I explained to my wife before our relationship became too serious that with my career ambitions, there was a chance of a few moves in our future. We’ve moved twice in the last 18 months for different sportscasting opportunities.
“While this is a ‘too good to be true’ job opportunity, I was still a bit sheepish when I told her about this gig,” admits Sanderson. “Further proving that I’m married to a true saint, Aimee didn’t hesitate and even smiled when she said, ‘if you don’t take this job, you should probably just get out of broadcasting.’”
(Visit Jay’s STAA Talent Page).