(August 24, 2016) Pat Strathman is a Kansan through and through. He grew up in the state, graduated from the University of Kansas, and worked his first two radio jobs in the Sunflower State. Now, Strathman is moving to a new job but staying in the state he loves. An STAA member, Strathman is the new Sports Director at KSAL-AM in Salina.
“Man, how often does a guy earn his first three gigs out of college in the same state they lived in all their life? This tall goofball gets to do what he loves in a state he adores,” Strathman says with a big grin.
After graduating from KU in 2013, Strathman accepted a sports director position in Atchison, KS. A year later, it was onto the largest AM station in the state, the legendary 580 WIBW in Topeka. For the past two years, Strathman has been doing high school play-by-play, hosting coach’s shows and working as a reporter and producer. However, it was the chance to do college play-by-play for Kansas Wesleyan University that motivated Strathman’s move to Salina.
“I always figured the next move would be to become a sports director or the play-by-play voice of a university,” he says. “KSAL gives me the opportunity to do both and that swayed me to this incredibly tough decision.”
In Salina, Strathman replaces his friend and fellow STAA member Mike Hammett, who accepted a job in Weatherford, OK. “Funny thing is I didn’t really know Mike Hammett all that well until a KBCA All-Star game,” says Strathman. “I needed a color analyst and Mike volunteered. Right before the contest, we had Cozy Inn burgers in Salina.”
Strathman and Hammett built upon their friendship. When Hammett accepted the Oklahoma position, he recommended Strathman as his successor. “Little did I know that I would be his replacement in the same town [where we ate] those burgers,” Strathman grins.
As excited as Strathman is about his new position, the decision to leave WIBW and Topeka was far from easy.
“I have never been through so much anguish. I flipped my decision every hour it seemed like. I truly love 580 WIBW. The relationships with the coaches, athletes, families and coworkers are something I cherish. For example, Washburn Rural football coach Steve Buhler put me in a headlock and told me I couldn’t go. That’s how special Topeka is to me. Ultimately, no matter how hard it was to hold back tears because of the thought of leaving, I had to set that aside and think about the next step.”
“I’m a Kansan through and through. That passion flows in every broadcast, update or show that I do and that won’t change in this new chapter in the same Sunflower State.”
(Visit Pat’s STAA Talent Page).