The voice of Centre sports: J.J. McConaha
[Editor's note: Kate Humphrey '07, an English and anthropology/sociology double major from Nashville, Tenn., wrote this story for the Centre College student newspaper.]
RELEASED: Oct. 13, 2005
DANVILLE, KYIf you've ever been to an athletic event at Centre, chances are you've heard his voice above the cheering crowd. If you've ever wondered who made that tackle, or who was just fouled, you've listened intently to J.J. McConaha '08.
The Parksville, Ky., native just might blend into the crowd until you hear his deeply resonating voice, which sets him apart. "I did some speech stuff in high school as well as sports. I didn't play basketball my senior year and my basketball coach asked me to help out [with the announcing] and it went over really well," McConaha says.
The humble beginnings as a lowly high school basketball, softball and JV baseball announcer led to arguably one of the most exciting work-study jobs at Centre. "I think it's the best one out there," McConaha says of getting paid to watch sports, "You get to meet a lot of people, like the other teams and their coaches, and I try to learn a little about them before I announce their games." It's this kind of caring attitude and love for athletics that sets J.J. apart from your typical voice from the press box.
"When the crowd gets really excited … that's when it's easy to get into the game. I can be the voice for the crowd and I get to be right there with the teams … that's one of the best parts," McConaha adds. He announces for "basically any athletics event that needs an announcer": football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, track and field, and field hockey are a few that appear on his resume.
When asked if he experienced any challenges or funny stories from his time as announcer, he laughed in memory of the time when he was announcing one of his first women's soccer games after focusing mainly on basketball. He excitedly announced a 'goal' as a 'basket', but instead of becoming flustered he laughed it off and moved on with the excitement of the game.
This easy-going, go-with-the-flow attitude he exudes makes him a pleasant conversationalist and a true friend to lots of Centre students. But friend or foe, don't expect him to get you out of any citations because of his family connections in the Centre Department of Public Safety. His mom, Charlotte McConaha is a close friend to all Centre flame-runners. "I'm very good with my parking. If I ever got cited, I'd probably be an outcast at home and Mom would probably send me to my room," J.J. jokingly adds.
"I'm so happy with Centre's athletics this year. Every team is doing well and I love announcing for them all," McConaha says in closing. He offers a few words for all teams with games this weekend: "Play your hardest and remember we're all supporting you. GO COLONELS!"
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Public Information Coordinator: Telephone 859-238-5714