Where are those Dawg broadcast pioneers?
Raise your hand if you remember the Ex Files.
And, no, I don’t mean Scully and Mulder, the two alien-hunting FBI agents from that popular TV show of the same name.
Our group of exes starred in a weekly Leader-Press series about keeping up with the exploits of former Dawg footballers that went on to play at the next level. We watched them carefully to let you know how they were doing.
But, there’s another group of Bulldawg exes that also deserve a shout out, even if it is 40 years after the fact.
Copperas Cove football broadcasts began in Sept. 1978 on local radio station KOOV and stayed there through 1999, when the station was sold, then moved to KACQ in Lampasas, later landed on 106.9 FM and now can be heard on www.centexcentral.com. Through all these different outlets, I’ve been blessed to be the play-by-play caller, but not without a lot of help from what are now known as analysts, but back then, they were “color men.” Even that would change, as we’ll see later.
Hopefully, I won’t forget anyone, but KOOV news director Clint Bond started the show with me on that very first broadcast from Austin’s House Park in 1978. I lost Clint when he got a job at WFAA in Dallas mid-season. He’s now the Public Affairs Officer for the Ft. Worth I.S.D.
Other names from those early days who served as Dawg color men included news director Mike, whose last name escapes me, the late Herb Gormley, then came Chuck Kelly and Mike Clay.
Chuck was one of the best. I had worked with him in the mid-’70’s on Belton games, he was also a KOOV news director and sharp as a tack. Chuck left us a couple of years ago and I still miss his guidance.
Mike Clay was a Bulldawg through and through. He played at Cove before catching the radio bug and was a self-taught broadcast engineer who could fix anything. Mike went into the television weather world and is now chief meteorologist at Bay News 9 in Tampa, FL. He’s had his hands full with hurricanes this fall.
When he left for TV, Mike’s chair was taken by local businessman Kyle Brown, another Bulldawg football fanatic.
Kyle was a great interviewer, who did one of the best in-depth halftime pieces I ever heard on the Cove cheerleaders.
About this time, here came Jim Schmitz, who took over as analyst, but really made his mark as a statistical genius.
Jim had an uncanny eye for calling first down spots and being right 99 percent of the time. After spending 20-plus years on the team, Jim’s retired now and living in San Antonio, but still listens in.
Bulldawg broadcasting wasn’t always an all-boys club, either. Enter Monica McKay, a KOOV announcer, who became the first, if not the only, female football analyst in local radio history. She later joined the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation and is now in the banking business.
KOOV program director Paul Kallinger, Jr. was on the crew for several years as a color man and now works in insurance, which brings us around to the present day.
Of course, when you’re on radio, you have to watch what you say, not wanting to upset anyone, but it becomes even more important when you’re working with two ministers like Russ Cochran and Brian Hawkins. These are two fine men, very knowledgeable about the game and intense Bulldawg backers. We’re lucky to have them.
There you have the Bulldawg broadcasting family tree. Maybe there was a name or two on there you recognized, but remember, we all do this job with one thing in mind and that’s to paint the story, using words, of Bulldawg football the best we can.