Back in 2008 when the University of Texas radio was searching for someone to work its game day football studio show, play-by-play voice Craig Way offered a suggestion.
In fact, Way told the decision makers he had the perfect candidate.
“The guy we need to hire is in Dallas,” Way said, beginning his pitch.
And then Way went all in for Ted Emrich, framing him as young up-and-comer who was working on his craft at high school games.
The decision makers listened intently before asking an obvious question. “Just how young is he?”
Way gulped, offering a guestimate in an unfamiliar soft tone. “I think he’s 22 or 23,” the voice of the Longhorns said.
Way may have known better. After all, he had been pounding the Dallas-Fort Worth high school football broadcast beat alongside Ted’s dad, Roger Emrich, when the boy was born.
Turned out the younger Emrich was only 20 and still in school at the University of North Texas. He had been studying there under maestro Bill Mercer, whose students have included the likes of Way, Dave Barnett, Mark Followill and Rich Phillips, not to mention George Dunham and Craig Miller.
In the end, talent trumped age. The decision-makers were impressed when they listened to Emrich’s audition tape, compiled from Southlake Carroll broadcasts he had started working when he was still a high school junior at Dallas Christian.
Emrich is now in his eighth season in the Texas studio, which includes men’s basketball duty. Still, he never abandoned his Friday night roots. He continues to work for Chuck Kelly’s Metro Sports Communications, which has taken him from Southlake to McKinney and landed him at Coppell High where he calls play-by-play of the games that are heard on KSKY-AM (660).
Of course, Emrich has a fulltime day job. It starts weekdays at 5:22 a.m. when he does the first of his morning sports reports on KESN-FM (103.3). Over the years he also has worked on Westwood One Sports’ national broadcasts. He delivered reports from the College World Series as well as the London and Sochi Olympics for the radio network. On Saturday, he’s been excused from the Kansas State-Longhorns game so he can make his Westwood One college football debut calling the Clemson-Miami game.
Now at the ripe old age of 28, Emrich is about to take another giant step in his career. He is in the final stages of talks with ESPN about calling college basketball play-by-play. He’s been penciled in to call 10 games, mostly in the American Athletic Conference, which includes SMU.
“A huge break,” as Emrich described it.
As luck had it, Emrich filled in for R.J. Choppy on broadcasts of the NBA Development League‘s Texas Legends last season. When Choppy, co-host of 105.3 FM The Fan’s morning show, couldn’t make it, Emrich called the games on KNXT (Ch. 49).
“The way to build a career in broadcasting is to say ‘yes’ to everything,” Emrich said, explaining his detour into television.
Looking for feedback, Emrich sent a videotape of his work to Followill, the television voice of the Mavericks.
Followill liked it. His assessment of Emrich: “Really talented.”
Believing he had nothing to lose, Emrich then sent the unsolicited tape on to ESPN. ESPN’s first response was predictable: thanks but no thanks.
But then one day Emrich answered his cellphone and heard an ESPN executive say, “I bet you didn’t expect to hear from me.”
Among the first people the son called with his ESPN news was his father Roger, who works opposite him mornings at the rival Fan and doubles as the public address announcer at Cowboys home games .
“I can’t tell you how proud I am,” father said of son, who may be the next big thing on the local sports broadcasting scene bursting with talent. “I’m speechless.”
Fortunately, you will be hearing a lot more from his in the months and years to come.
To read more visit the Dallas News where this story was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research
“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”
Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.
This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.
“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”
Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.
Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job
“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.
“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel“ during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.
“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.
“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.
Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’
“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.
“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”
“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”
When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.
“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.
The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.
Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”
Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”
Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.