(August 16, 2016) Pete Carroll, the most decorated coach in the history of USC football, was not the Trojans first choice. Mike Hammett also wasn’t the first choice of his new employer, but like Carroll, Hammett is a great choice. An STAA member, Hammett is the new Sports Director at Wright Radio in Weatherford, OK, and the new voice of NCAA Division II Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Hammett finished runner-up for the position last month when it was awarded to fellow STAA member Adam Hildebrandt. When Hildebrandt left for a sudden opportunity at Oral Roberts University, Wright Radio Operations Manager Todd Brunner called Hammett.
“I received a phone call on Friday afternoon, shortly after I saw the STAA post about Geoff Haxton moving on from Oral Roberts to Texas Tech. When I saw the call was coming from Weatherford, I knew either another opportunity had come about for Adam, or a telemarketer was playing a cruel joke on me,” Hammett smiles.
As soon as Hammett heard Brunner’s voice on the other end, he knew where the call was headed. “He asked if I was still interested in the position, and gave me the weekend to talk to my wife to make sure she and our two kids were still on board with making the move. It was probably an easier decision for them than it was for me. KSAL, Salina, and Kansas Wesleyan mean a lot to me, and it’s hard to leave it behind.”
Hammett has been Sports Director at KSAL and the voice of Kansas Wesleyan University for five years. Ironically, it was another job market disappointment that motivated Hammett to initially apply with Wright Radio. He had been considered for a Division I play-by-play job. The university liked Hammett, they liked his work and they liked his intangibles. They didn’t hire him, though, because he hadn’t broadcast above the NAIA level. Hammett knew he needed an intermediate step to give him his best chance at a DI job.
“Play-by-play is my passion, and the next step was Division II. I definitely wanted to get the NCAA level of experience on my resume,” says Hammett.
While in Salina, Hammett has focused on improving all aspects of his sports broadcasting. “I have used several of the different broadcasting tips offered [by STAA] to improve everything from my play-by-play, to interviews, to my talk show. The live chats and live chat archives have been particularly useful when I need an idea to try something new.”
While leaving Central Kansas is difficult, Hammett is ready.
“I love Salina and Kansas Wesleyan University, and I hate to leave right before the new season begins. However, the chance to gain NCAA Division II experience was too good to pass up.”
(Visit Mike’s STAA Talent Page).