A total of 41 former Arizona students and student-athletes are currently behind a mic describing the action and speaking their views on sports.
Many of them have competed for the Wildcats, most notably in men’s basketball with eight who played for the late Lute Olson. The list includes San Antonio Sports broadcaster Sean Elliott, podcast host and NBA and college hoops analyst Richard Jefferson and college hoops commentators Matt Muehlebach and Corey Williams.
The lure of Olson also attracted Derrick Palmer to Arizona from his Phoenix-area home at the turn of the century. His father highly respected Olson and that impacted Palmer, who attended Arizona and earned a history degree with journalism as a minor in 2004.
His broadcasting career dates to 2004 when he was the voice of the Round Valley High School Elks when he taught at the school following his graduation from Arizona.
Palmer got his foot in the door at KNST in 2007 as an intern working under Ryan Radtke, who is now a distinguished Westwood One Sports broadcaster who announces NFL and college football and basketball games.
In that first year at KNST, Palmer asked Brian Jeffries, the Voice of the Wildcats, if any potential positions were available to be a broadcaster. Palmer had prior experience as a spotter and statistician for Jeffries during Arizona’s football games.
Jeffries informed Palmer calling women’s basketball games was available. That would be his ticket to having his own broadcasting gig. He is now in his 14th season broadcasting the Wildcat games, now for IMG Network at KTUC (1400-AM). He was the broadcaster in Joan Bonvicini’s final season and through the Niya Butts years from 2008 to 2016. The successful Adia Barnes era that started in 2016 has brought Palmer a greater audience.
Palmer, who also served as an assistant baseball coach at Snowflake and Rio Rico high schools, remains in education as a history teacher at Estrella Mountain Community College.
He makes the commute from his home at Queen Creek for games at McKale Center. Before this season, one that COVID-19 has relegated Barnes’ radio show to a remote ZOOM format, Palmer also commuted for those shows at a local restaurant. The job makes for a busy week of travel but Palmer said he has come to “love what I’m doing” and that it has been “a lot of fun watching the program grow.”
In another development in the last year, Arizona grad Jay Gonzales has become a co-host of the “Eye On the Ball” show on Fox Sports Radio (1450-AM) along with Steve Rivera.
Here is a list of former Arizona students and student-athletes who are sports broadcasters:
ARIZONA STUDENTS/ATHLETES BEHIND THE MIC
- Scott Erickson, Pac-12 Network, Analyst
- Joe Magrane, MLB Network, Analyst
- J.T. Snow, Pac-12 Network, Analyst
*Also played basketball
- Tedy Bruschi, ESPN, NFL studio analyst
- *Kelvin Eafon, KCUB (1290-AM), Pregame and postgame analyst
- Glenn Howell, KCUB (1290-AM)/KVOA-TV, UA football analyst
- Lamont Lovett, KCUB (1290-AM), UA football commentator
- Glenn Parker, Fox Sports Arizona, Cardinals postgame analyst
MEN’S BASKETBALL (8)
**Also played baseball
- Sean Elliott, Spurs/Fox Sports, Analyst
- Channing Frye, Road Trippin’ Podcast, Podcast host
- Reggie Geary, KCUB (1290-AM), UA basketball analyst
- Richard Jefferson, ESPN/FS1/Pac-12 Networks/Road Trippin’ Podcast, NBA/College hoops analyst/Podcast host
- **Kenny Lofton, Fox Sports West, Dodgers commentator
- Matt Muehlebach, Pac-12 Networks, College basketball analyst
- Tom Tolbert, KNBR San Francisco, Talk show host
- Corey Williams, ESPN/Pac-12 Network/FS1, College basketball analyst
- Jenny Dalton-Hill, ESPN, Analyst
- Jennie Finch, ESPN, Analyst
- Kenzie Fowler, Pac-12 Networks, Analyst
- Leah O’Brien-Amico, ESPN, Analyst
- T. Statman, Running Poles Podcast, Podcast host
- Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, Pac-12 Network, Analyst
JOURNALISTS/UA STAFF (19)
- Brad Allis, Wildcat Sports Report Wildcast, Podcast host
- Saul Bookman, Fox Sports Arizona/Total BS Podcast, Podcast host
- Alex Flanagan, NBC/NFL Network, Sideline reporter/anchor
- Anthony Gimino, The Sports Guys, Podcast co-host
- Jeff Goodman, Stadium, College basketball analyst
- Jay Gonzales, Fox Sports (1450-AM), Sports talk show host
- Ryan Hansen, IMG Network, UA basketball commentator
- Dan Hicks, NBC, Olympics/golf broadcaster
- Rob Leaño, Locked On Coyotes Podcast, Podcast host
- Mike Luke, KCUB (1290-AM), Sports talk show co-host
- Jody Oehler, Phoenix Fox Sports radio, Sports talk show host
- Derrick Palmer, KTUC (1400-AM), UA women’s hoops broadcaster
- Luis Perez, Dallas Cowboys, Spanish broadcaster
- Steve Quis, ESPN, College basketball play-by-play
- Ryan Radtke, Westwood One Sports, NFL/college football and basketball play-by-play
- Francisco Romero, Houston Astros/Arizona, Spanish broadcaster
- Arnie Spanier, Fox Sports Radio, Sports talk show host
- Justin Spears, Wildcaster/Total BS Podcast/ESPN sports radio (1490-AM), Podcast/radio talk show host
- Todd Walsh, Fox Sports Arizona, Host/reporter
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.