by Scott Kindberg
January 20, 2015
Dan Is ‘The Man’
To fans of Ohio sports, the names are familiar: Marty Brennaman is the radio play-by-play voice of the Cincinnati Reds. Paul Keels does the same for Ohio State University football.
And Tom Hamilton and Jim Donovan ply their trade calling the action for the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Browns respectively.
Jamestown native Dan Hoard calls that quartet ''some of my favorite announcers in the world.'' Well, guess what?
An argument could be made that Hoard, a 1981 Southwestern Central School graduate, belongs on the Mount Rushmore of the state's best announcers, too.
Hoard, the radio voice of the Cincinnati Bengals as well as the University of Cincinnati football and men's basketball teams, has been named Ohio Sportscaster of the Year by a group of his peers. He won the award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association & Hall of Fame and was notified earlier this month. He and winners from other states will be honored at the NSSA's national awards banquet in June in Salisbury, N.C.
''Really, I was very surprised,'' he said last week. ''I received word by phone call. I had learned that I had been nominated for the award and that, in and of itself, was a big surprise. I didn't think there was a chance at all that I'd win. I'm very surprised and very flattered.
''It's really going to be exciting for me to meet some of the great broadcasters around the country that I've admired for so many years.''
Hoard won't have to take a backseat, though. His professional resume speaks for itself.
Growing up in Jamestown, Hoard had fun making play-by-play recordings of imaginary games on cassette tapes from his bedroom. He also learned the trade from watching New York Mets games on WOR-TV and then sharpened his skills further by doing public-address work and participating on the debate team during his Southwestern High School days.
That early training paid off in a big way.
Hired as a minor league baseball announcer for the Syracuse Chiefs a month before he graduated from Syracuse University, Hoard spent several years in radio as the sports director at WSYR-AM, before getting into TV at WTVH-5, the CBS affiliate in Syracuse. The person most responsible for his hiring was Mike Tirico of ESPN fame, who was one of Hoard's Syracuse classmates. Formerly the radio play-by-play voice of the Pawtucket Red Sox, and former sports director and broadcaster for Cincinnati's WXIX-TV, Hoard has worked many Major League Baseball games, including filling in for Brennaman.
Now, Hoard can be mentioned in the same breath as the legendary Reds' broadcaster, as well as Keels, Hamilton and Donovan, who have all been recipients of the Ohio Sportscaster of the Year.
''It's nice when reality exceeds your dreams,'' Hoard said.