Catching Up With John Morris

BearsIllustrated had the opportunity to speak to Baylor's "Voice of the Bears" John Morris for a Q&A. John has been announcing Baylor Athletics for several years, and gives his answers on several things Baylor related.

In an exclusive to BearsIllustrated members, the staff had the opportunity to sit down with the "Voice of the Bears" John Morris to get his answers on several topics, including his favorite Baylor memory, among other things.

---How and when did he get his start in broadcasting?

I grew up in Danville, Kentucky and there was a guy in our church, Steve Bertram, who pretty much ran the local radio station. Steve hired me for a board shift and let me hang around him at sporting events and that’s really where I got the bug. My first job in broadcasting would have been there, at WHIR-AM in Danville, when I was in High School. Then I worked at KWBU-FM at Baylor which was great hands on experience.

---Which Coach have you enjoyed interviewing the best? Which Coach was the toughest?

It would be hard to pick one coach over another. I have enjoyed interviewing most all of them. I’ll leave it to your imagination of who might have been the toughest.

---What is your favorite sport to broadcast/telecast?

I do get asked that a lot and it is sort of like which one of my children to I love most! I enjoy football during football season, basketball during basketball season, and baseball/softball during baseball/softball season. They are all different broadcasts with their own challenges. The beauty of my job is getting to change sports with the season.

---Do you prefer to do a game on radio or TV?

Totally different broadcasts to be sure. I’ve done more games on radio where the Play by Play guy has to be the lead announcer. It’s almost the opposite on TV where the Play by Play guy talks less and sets up the color announcer. I appreciate the opportunities to do both for Baylor.

---What is your favorite single memory from doing a Baylor game? The worst memory?

There have been so many but the top two…if I can say two…would be the OT win over A&M in football in 2004 and Closing the Case with the win over UT in 2013 to clinch the Big 12 Championship. Least favorite might be the loss to UNLV in football in 1999 on the last play of the game when BU had the game won.

---Is there a funny story coming out of your work that you can tell without getting in trouble?

One of my favorites came from our last trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas for football in 1991. It was a frigid cold night with portable lights brought in for TV and at one point calling a touchdown, Frank Fallon included in his call “3…2…1…touchdown… there’s an anteater on the field.” Of course Frank said everything with such authority, who could argue with the call? But it turned out to be a motorized Razorback helmet that had raced out onto the turf.

---What is your favorite place to go for a road game and why? Best restaurant you’ve eaten at on the road?

I always loved out trips to Colorado for games. I loved the setting in Boulder at the foothills of the Rockies. Nebraska Football at Memorial Stadium was hard to beat also because of the “Sea of Red” you always heard about.

Lots of good meals along the road but the 50 yard Line in Lubbock is hard to beat.

---How much prep time do you have to put in for a game? Memorizing stats, opponent player names and numbers, etc.

I get asked that a lot and the honest answer is as much time as I have. For a football game, it’s usually the whole week between games. For Basketball, it’s usually 2-3 days between games and for baseball and softball, sometimes three games in three days. So it varies but I just make the most of the time I have.

---Do you ever miss your KWTX sportscasting days?

Not really. I worked there for 15 years and wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world. But I love what I am getting to do now at Baylor so much, that I do not look back. I believe if I was not still in broadcasting, I would miss it though.

---Do you teach any communication classes at Baylor?

I do not and not sure I would have the time to do it but always welcome the opportunities when I get to speak to classes.

---Has the popularity of XM/Sirius radio, plus Baylor Football's increased exposure on television, made it more difficult to recruit affiliates for the Baylor Radio Network?

Not that I know of. We have always had a loyal group of affiliates and there may come a day when satellite radio is more prominent but we are definitely not there yet. Even with every game on TV, there will always be an audience for the Baylor games on radio.


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