Special to The Times
January 31, 2014
MOREHEAD – Chuck Mraz, the play-by-play announcer for Morehead State University football and men’s basketball, is celebrating his 25th year as the “Voice of the Eagles.”
The MSU athletic department will recognize Mraz’s accomplishments publicly with a pre-game recognition before the men’s game versus Jacksonville State Saturday at 2 p.m..
“I really enjoy interacting with our athletic administrators, coaches, student-athletes and fans,” Mraz said. “I get a real kick out of when a young kid comes up and wants to talk about a game because that is the future of our fandom here at MSU.”
Mraz, whose full-time position is news director at Morehead State Public Radio (MSPR), has broadcasted more than 900 Eagle athletic events, which is the most of any announcer in the athletic department’s history and ranks near the top of the chart for all current Ohio Valley Conference announcers. Along with football and basketball, Mraz called Eagle baseball games in the early 1990s and also hosted the OVC’s weekly syndicated radio segment.
He had the play-by-play call of both of MSU’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament wins in the last six years. His call of Demonte Harper’s game-winning three-pointer over Louisville in the 2011 NCAA Tournament has been featured by various media outlets nationwide.
“We value and appreciate Chuck’s knowledge of and commitment to Eagle Athletics for a quarter century,” Director of Athletics Brian Hutchinson said. “No one has called more games and shaped what legions of fans believe about their Eagles than Chuck. His professionalism and candid perspective lead the field, and he should always be honored as one of the greats.”
Mraz has won more than 25 Kentucky Associated Press awards for his work in broadcasting and sports reporting.
In his role at MSPR, Mraz has mentored hundreds of students who have gone on to notable careers in broadcasting. Steve Inskeep, the host of Morning Edition on National Public Radio, worked under Mraz’s leadership. He also mentored current Lexington (Ky.) news anchors/reporters Brian Milam (WKYT) and Keith Farmer (WLEX). More recently, former MSPR student Tanner Hesterberg has become one of the top news and sports reporters for WYMT in Hazard, Ky.
A native of Northbrook, Ill., Mraz attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. While in school, he broadcasted football, basketball and baseball. Following graduation, he broadcasted a variety of events and handled sales for local radio stations in the Chicago and Southern Illinois areas before moving to Morehead in the fall of 1986.
“I’ve had some opportunities to pursue other jobs elsewhere, but I’ve always felt like this campus and community belongs to me and I belong to it,” he said. “This was a place I felt like I could raise my daughters in. We have a great school system and really great people in Morehead. I have never been sorry about the fact that I haven’t gone anywhere else.”
Mraz and his wife Joni have two adult daughters, Elizabeth and Megan.