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College Sports Announcer

College Sports Announcer
Name:CurtisJ
Location:Baltimore, MD
Gender:M
Age:29
I was the public address announcer at Washington University in St. Louis from 1999 until 2003, primarily for basketball and soccer games. While not quite Michael Buffer, I was left to my own devices to give player introductions, hit in-game highlights, coordinate halftime music, read promotional materials, and everything in between.
Last Answer: 1/30/12 Subscribe to this Q&A | Sort by:
Q
Did they make you take broadcasting classes in order to be the public address guy?
A

Nope, but I worked in the Sports Information Department and had a trial period before I was hired full time.

Q
Did you ever have to pee in the middle of a game? Did you have to just deal with it nascar style?
A

I could usually run out while a song was playing at halftime if needed, or quickly in between games when teams were warming up. Or astronaut diaper style.

Q
How much do PA announcers for sports teams make?
A

In short, not a ton. Since I was a student, I made half the pro hourly rate, which was $12.50/hr, so estimate $25/hr or less at D-III. I was on work study, so $12.50 an hour was killing it, especially for something this fun. I think minor league and local college guys get between $25 and $50 an hour depending on the profile of the gig. The pro guys that are known can make six figures (I'm positive Bob Sheppard made over $100K), but since this is a dream job for some and a side job to begin with the teams have all the bargaining power.

Q
How did you go about announcing players with difficult to pronounce names?
A

For our teams, I'd ask the new players at the start of the season and just memorize it. There are a bunch of other items to learn each game, so if you can knock out the consistent stuff it makes it easier. For the visitors, you'd typically get the roster or media guide a bit before the game. On the "Joe Smith" types, no further effort required. Otherwise, before tip/kickoff I'd hit up the SID (sports information director) from the visiting school and ask how to pronounce each name. If possible, I'd also reach out to the player his or herself during warm-ups, because sometimes you get conflicting reports and it is better hearing it from the player. Then I'd write out the difficult names phonetically on my crib sheet, which was the one page roster for that game plus tracking boxes I drew ...More

College Sports Announcer [...continued]