Announcing Football Games Is a Sideline for Two Catawba College Professors
October 27, 2004
By Thomas Giles, Catawba College News Service
Two of Catawba College’s faculty members use their voices for reasons other than lecturing. Dr. Karl Hales has been announcing the Catawba football games on the stadium public address system for 25 consecutive years and Dr. Tim Moreland has handled radio play-by-play for the East Carolina University Pirates Football network for 11 years. Some may see their part-time jobs as hobbies, but these two colleagues see it as an extension of their profession.
DR. KARL HALES
“To be a good announcer you need to have a good team in the press box. I need extra eyes watching every play, because it’s not always clear what the call is,” says Hales, chair of Catawba’s Communication Department. And he feels he does not deserve the credit for the job he does in the press box. “The others make it easier,” he says. The others he is referring to are Jimmy Lewis, Sports Information Director, and Sean Fox, a junior communications arts student at Catawba. “Jimmy and Sean are great. They both give me important information throughout the game,” he notes.
Hales announces every Catawba home football game. And, it is his voice that gets the fans pumped up at the beginning of each game. “Here come your Indians!” he announces enthusiastically, as the team comes running into the stadium.
Hales takes his announcing job very seriously saying, “I believe that professionalism is key, and, that an announcer should be non-partisan.” He has not only announced Catawba football games for 25 years, but has also called Catawba basketball games for 18 of those same 25 years. He has even done some guest announcing for area high schools, including West Rowan, Salisbury, and East Rowan.
Hales, who has no background in football, recalls that his announcing job was basically handed to him. “Dr. Hoyt McCachern used to do the job, but he left Catawba to get his Ph.D. Catawba needed an announcer as soon as possible and I told them I would fill in for a year, until Dr. McCachern returned.” Once Dr. McCachern returned, his job kept him really busy, so Hales decided to keep at it. “It was a love that matured, watching the growth of the team and their success; I felt like a part of the team,” he admits.
Yet after 25 years, Hales has yet to find announcing boring. “I enjoy the interaction with the people up in the booth. There’s great communication there. I also have a wonderful time watching what’s going on. Through the team’s ups and downs on the field, they’re still my students when they’re not athletes.”
Hales earned his bachelor’s degree from Drury University, his master’s at the University of Arkansas, and his doctorate at Florida State University. He completed his post-doctoral at Harvard University.
Born in Lebanon, Missouri as he calls it “The Ozarks,” Hales joined the Catawba faculty in 1966. He is active in the National Sportscasters Sportswriters Association, the Optimist Club, serves as the Parliamentarian for Girls State in North Carolina, Rowan County Chairperson for March of Dimes, and Catawba’s Faculty Athletic Representative. He also pronounces for the Rowan County Spelling Bee, and is a Sunday school teacher. Married to wife Lynn, the couple has five children.
DR. TIM MORELAND
The East Carolina University football team uses Catawba’s very own Dr. Tim Moreland as the play-by-play announcer on its 30 station radio network when ECU originates its four telecasts each season. The regular “voice of the Pirates” Jeff Charles moves to the TV booth, leaving radio to Moreland. When asked why he took the job, Moreland notes two reasons: “I always look forward to announcing the games, as it allows me to do what I enjoy; and from a professional aspect, the announcing keeps me around media people, and in touch with the business on behalf of my students.” That is helpful, he says, because the broadcast business is changing quickly.
Even though Moreland has been doing some form of announcing for 35 years, he is not quite ready to stop. “There’s a passion behind announcing. I really like doing it. And it’s the closest thing I have to a hobby. I also love college football and I like to be directly involved.”
He has announced for various sports teams, including the University of Nebraska, the Minnesota Twins and Vikings, the University of Cincinnati, and some high school games while attending graduate school.
Moreland, who joined Catawba’s faculty in 1994 and is an associate professor of communication arts, says preparation for his East Carolina announcing job is critical. Three weeks before he is to announce a game, Moreland makes his flight arrangements with East Carolina if it is an away game or plans his drive as part of a three-day weekend. East Carolina athletic officials fax him three separate releases about the two teams that include line-ups, depth charts, rosters, injury reports, statistics, and other general facts. Next, he makes spotting charts with each player’s name, number, height, weight, and hometown. Finally, Moreland takes the time to memorize all of this information before game day.
“To be a good announcer you need practice, experience, a decent voice, a good on-air personality, some knowledge of the game, and most important of all, the discipline to prepare for those games,” he explains, admitting that those attributes are gifts he hopes he has in some measure.
Moreland put in time and effort to get where he is today. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Benedictine College in Kansas, his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin Superior, and his doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is father to two children, Mike and Katie, both lawyers. Born in Fort Dodge, Iowa and raised in Sioux City, he is a member of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and a three-time “sportscaster of the year” award winner. Moreland also serves as consultant to a few young announcers around the country.