The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 34 of 95

SEPTEMBER 2017 ■ 35 "Because we have been doing it for such a long time, it's pretty instinctive. We don't really have to think about it. The continuity and chemistry is something that kind of enables us to do things rather seamlessly that way." ■ Haynes on calling games with his long-time partners That was 1990, and 27 years later he is still calling NC State games. "It's been the biggest professional blessing of my life to be in Raleigh and the voice of the Wolfpack as long as I've had," Hahn said. Hahn does not take his work for granted. He prepares tirelessly for each game, starting Monday with research on the opponent before the weekly NC State press conferences. He attends practices Tuesday and Wednesday to talk with the coordinators and others for information, and uses both those days and Thursday to complete his necessary charts full of biographical and anecdotal information to pull off the broadcast. On Thursday night, he begins the prepara- tion of memorizing the opponent. He works up a pregame introduction, and by kickoff it is all ad lib. "I know I got these two really good people with me, so I don't try to dominate the broad- cast," Hahn said. "I just try to do my job and get it to them for their perspective as much as possible because they've got eyes and per- spectives I don't have." Hahn also sticks to his training: keep an audience as long as he possibly can. "People have to know that you care if State wins or loses, but you've also got to be a reporter and be descriptive and give good information," Hahn noted. He was once one of two finalists for the Carolina Panthers opening that eventually went to Bill Rosinski, but even then Hahn would have only taken the job if allowed him to broadcast NCSU games on Saturdays. The one-time nomadic broadcaster is now the elder play-by-play announcer in the region after UNC's Wes Durham and Duke's Bob Harris announced their retirements in recent years. Hahn hopes to continue as long as he is capable. He once remembered being told he sounded like a young Ausley, which after listening to his broadcasts on tapes from his final season, Hahn took as the ultimate com- pliment. Hahn also has fulfilled his dream that he established as a young child in Western Pennsylvania listening to Bill Prince and Jim Woods call Pittsburgh Pirates games. "They were just a riot to listen to, and I thought anybody having that much fun is re- ally something," Hahn remembered. "Most people really don't have that much fun on their job. I thought that would be great to have a job like that." ■ The Sideline Analyst After graduating from NC State, Tony Haynes was a disc jockey and sports reporter for WKIX, a country radio station in Raleigh, before joining Duke football broadcasts when Steve Spurrier was the program's head coach. He also took part in Blue Devils basketball broadcasts, along with a future ESPN analyst named Jay Bilas. When Garry Dornburg passed away from cancer in 1998, NCSU athletics director Les Robinson was among those who approached Haynes about joining NC State's broadcast team. "As they say in 'The Godfather,' that was an offer I couldn't refuse: coming back to NC State," Haynes noted. So after Duke played UNC in the final game of its 1998 football season, Haynes hopped in his car at Wallace-Wade Stadium in Durham and drove straight to Reynolds Coli- seum in Raleigh for an NC State basketball exhibition game. The appeal of returning to NC State ex- tended beyond his school pride, however. He also received more opportunities, in- cluding hosting the coaches' television and radio shows, writing for and producing the daily Wolfpack Sports Today shows with former Pack football player Mark Thomas. Unsurprisingly, Haynes has a six-day work- week during football season. He accumu- lates audio and sound bites for the pregame show, and he edits and writes the scripts. He spends several hours preparing for the vari- ous coaches' shows, including taping one on Sunday after football games. "I'll try to get in a day off, maybe on Tues- day or something like that," Haynes said. "Sometimes you wonder if there are enough hours in the day to finish everything, but it's a fun job so you don't really think about that." His sideline viewpoints have proven in- valuable to the broadcast because he gets a perspective not always seen from up high in the press box. "Because we have been doing it for such a long time, it's pretty instinctive," Haynes noted. "We don't really have to think about it. The continuity and chemistry is something that kind of enables us to do things rather seamlessly that way." Growing up, Haynes said that he listened to Dornburg and Ausley. There is nothing he would rather be doing than following their large footsteps. "I can remember it like yesterday: I would sit there and literally think to myself, 'Boy I would love to have that job,'" Haynes re- called. "That's got to be the dream job. Here to think that I am starting my 18th year doing that job, it kind of proves that dreams do come true." ■ The Commentator Former NC State All-American quarter- back and punter Johnny Evans can never re- call any ambitions to get into broadcasting. The opportunity presented itself, however, before the 1985 season. A trend was develop- ing when former Pittsburgh Steelers wide re- ceiver Lynn Swann became a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football games in the NFL. Garry Dornburg and Wally Ausley thought Hahn, shown here before a basketball game, called broadcasting NC State sports "the big- gest professional blessing of my life." PHOTO COURTESY TONY HAYNES In addition to his duties as the sideline analyst for football games, Haynes (left) also hosts the coach's show with Dave Doeren. PHOTO COURTESY TONY HAYNES

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