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EP 098: Bill Roth, ESPN

posted by Logan Anderson August 30, 2019 0 comments
Bill Roth, ESPN

In episode 98 I chat with Bill Roth of ESPN. He is also a sportscasting professor at Virginia Tech, where he previously was the voice of the Hokies for 27 years. Topics of discussion include:

  • When he gave up on the early childhood dream of being a firefighter and moved onto wanting to get into sportscasting.
  • Recording Pittsburgh Pirates games into a tape recorder at Three Rivers Stadium.
  • How knowing what he  wanted to do at a young age helped his career.
  • Why he chose Syracuse over Michigan State.
  • Stories about some of the other great announcers at Syracuse as college students.
  • Getting a break to call University of Marshall football right after college.
  • The remarkable broadcasting heritage at Marshall.
  • How an athletic directors promotion led to his break into major college broadcasting at Virginia Tech.
  • Why Virginia Tech proved to be such a good fit.
  • Weaving himself into the fabric of the Blacksburg community.
  • The value of theater and improv classes.
  • Working with the same analyst for 27 years.
  • Why he developed the nickname “Wrong Way Roth.”
  • Deciding not to travel with the team after the team plane left them behind in Oklahoma City.
  • Making the difficult decision to leave Virginia Tech for UCLA and why it proved to be a bad fit on both sides.
  • Not being the voice of a team after 28 years of doing so.
  • Why it’s not hard to see someone else in his old spot after coming back to Virginia Tech.
  • Working with a distinguished academic in building a sportscasting curriculum at Virginia Tech.
  • What he tells his students regarding the balance of academics and getting real experience.
  • Natural talent vs development in sportscasting students.
  • Developing his voice without lessons.
  • Why he values relationships over awards.
  • Where he keeps his trophies and awards.
  • Stories about covering Michael Vick in college.
  • Why he loves music and playing the piano as much as sports.
  • Calling a national championship game both in college at Syracuse and for Virginia Tech.
  • His Jim Boeheim stories from his time at Syracuse and how it made him a better broadcaster.
  • His broadcast horror stories.
  • Broadcasters he likes to listen to on an off day.

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