Aspiring broadcasters and roommates Brendan McCaffrey and Nick Hoette often find themselves practicing their craft while playing video games at home.
They’ll have a much bigger opportunity to call games this fall. McCaffrey and Hoette will be part of the KCOU/88.1 FM broadcast team that will call Missouri home football games for the first time.
KCOU sports director Jim Wulfson said Mike Kelly has been pushing for KCOU to have a football broadcast since 1997. Kelly is the director of broadcast operations for the athletic department and a morning and afternoon sports anchor at KFRU/1400 AM.
He was in Springfield on Wednesday for a Mizzou Caravan event and was unavailable for comment.
Wulfson and Missouri athletic department spokesman Chad Moller said Kelly is close to getting his wish.
Moller acknowledged that an agreement has been made between KCOU, KFRU and Mizzou Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holder for the athletics department.
In years past, KFRU’s contract, which is owned by Mizzou Sports Properties, gave the station exclusive broadcast rights for football games.
“I don’t view it as a competition, but it’s a tremendous opportunity to expand KCOU’s profile and to reach new demographics,” Wulfson said.
Moller agreed. He said it was logical for students at one of the nation’s premier journalism schools to have this outlet.
Interim KFRU Market Manager Scott Boltz of Cumulus Media said he wasn’t aware that KCOU had reached an agreement to broadcast football games. Cumulus Media owns KFRU, along with several other stations in Columbia.
Calling the action from Faurot Field as opposed to from their couch will be a bigger responsibility for McCaffrey and Hoette.
Once when Hoette was playing NBA Live 2005, McCaffrey impersonated late Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn.
McCaffrey, a Chicago White Sox baseball fan, also does his best Ken “Hawk” Harrelson when he and Hoette play a baseball game.
But Wulfson said the two are ready.
“Nick and Brendan have a lot of experience,” Wulfson said. “Nick had done a lot of volleyball, and Brendan has done a lot of softball.”
McCaffrey said: “It just sounds like an absolute blast. I can’t wait.”
Receiving football broadcast rights may lead to KCOU broadcasting Missouri basketball in the winter.
Wulfson said Kelly has also been pushing for the station to get rights to basketball broadcasts.
KCOU is owned by MU and funded by the Missouri Students Association. Its broadcast radius is about 15-20 miles from the station, which is located on the MU campus in the Pershing Commons area.
“We’re really pumped,” Wulfson said. “We have a lot of fun doing other sports like softball and volleyball, but football is on a whole other level.”
McCaffrey said: “It’s just a really exciting time to be involved with KCOU.”