Magazine Feature / People

DU student is ‘Voice of Coors Field’ contender

Conor McGahey is one of three finalists in the running to become the next “Voice of Coors Field” — public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies. McGahey, a senior journalism studies major, calls hockey games over the loudspeaker at DU’s Magness Arena and announces the Pioneers men’s lacrosse games.

“The worst part was the audition on Monday night,” McGahey says.

McGahey and 16 other contenders — all professional announcers —say they’re usually at ease behind the microphone, but everyone was nervous about the audition, McGahey says.

The 22-year-old has wanted to be an announcer for as long as he can remember. As a sophomore in high school, he announced hockey games. He even went back after he graduated to lend his voice for six years. He also announced baseball on the radio in Dillon, Colo.

When asked how he made his voice sound deep and mature, McGahey says, “This is how I sound.”

The public-address announcer for a Pioneers men’s basketball game didn’t show up one night when McGahey was in attendance. He jumped in and gave Pioneers fans what he says he wants as a spectator: information and excitement. That unexpected gig led to a regular job announcing for DU.

In 2004, McGahey interviewed Alan Roach, a KOA-AM sports personality and former Rockies announcer, for DU’s student newspaper, The Clarion.

Roach learned that McGahey wanted to be an announcer and offered to help. McGahey became Roach’s protégé, filling in when Roach was unavailable. McGahey says he announced more than a dozen Avalanche games in the 2005–06 season.

And now, he says he’s ready to follow his mentor to Coors Field.

“As long as you sound good and you’re pleasing to the Rockies organization and the fans, you’re good,” McGahey says.

The Rockies’ position opened when Roach left this year after announcing for 12 seasons. McGahey’s competition is Reed Saunders, the Colorado Eagles minor hockey league announcer, and James Hudson, the traffic reporter for KWGN-Channel 2.

Fans will have the last word, by voting for their favorite announcer in an online poll (registration required). Voting ends Thursday at noon and the winner will be announced at 8:50 a.m. Friday on KOA-AM 850.

[Editor’s note: Reed Saunders was named the Voice of Coors Field on March 16.]

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