Life changed dramatically for Tanner Hoops 22 years ago. That is when he was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a disorder that affects connective tissue. Hoops began treatment at the University of Minnesota. Doctor’s there help Hoops control the disorder and allow him to continue pursuing his sports broadcasting dream.
Now Hoops is continuing that dream for the university that has given him so much. He is the new volleyball play-by-play voice and football halftime show host for Minnesota’s Gopher Sports Properties.
“Any opportunity to broadcast Division I athletics is something special but being able to do it here in Minneapolis means more to me,” Hoops says. “I’ve been treated at the University of Minnesota ever since I was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome in 1999. My doctors here have been with me for everything, from major surgeries to the little things that enhance everyday life.
“This university has quite literally been part of my life as long as I can remember and continues to care for me. Being a representative of the school that has given me quality of life and charge of my health is something I will never take lightly.”
Hoops’ new job with Gopher athletics came through relationships that started when he was a student at Buena Vista University in Iowa. “I had the opportunity to job-shadow the Gopher broadcast team when I was in college,” Hoops recalls. “We kept in touch and when this position opened up, they reached out to me and asked if this was something I’d be interested in.”
One thing the broadcast team at UM has come to appreciate about Hoops is his determination. “The biggest thing for me is drive,” he states. “I’m passionate about what I do — I continually look for ways to improve and I’m always trying to learn from others.”
Variety of experiences
Hoops has gained a variety of experience since graduating from Buena Vista in 2018. He’s broadcast baseball in the Northwoods League, spent two years at ESPN Radio in Marquette, MI and was on the broadcast team for Sioux City Musketeers hockey this past season. Along the way, he has met many athletes who, like himself, have interesting stories to share. That prompted him to start his own company this summer.
“Home Team Communications is a startup business focusing on providing ‘big time coverage for Small Town, USA,'” he smiles. “Everywhere you look you can find great athletes and great stories. My goal is to elevate the coverage of those who get overlooked. Whether it’s producing a podcast or conducting a social media campaign, it’s my goal to tell the story of a small town athlete with big league dreams.”
Hoops is authoring his own story about the pursuit of big league dreams. And his story continues at a place where so many life-enhancing experiences have already taken place.