New voice of the Cougars can hardly wait

NEW WASHINGTON STATE radio play-by-play man Matt Chazanow has been in Winston-Salem the past 10 years but in talking with Chazanow, we found out he is intimately familiar with WSU, the Pac-12 and his new football booth partners Bob Robertson and Jason Gesser.

The past seven years for Chazanow (pronounced CHAZ-uh-now) figure to serve him well in his new gig at WSU, where he’ll be the new play-by-play man for football, basketball and baseball. He’s broadcast hundreds of games for IMG, yes, but he’s also had rare weekly access to some of the best broadcasters in the business -- right at his fingertips.

“I’ve had the incredible privilege of listening to so many different broadcasts and not just listening to them but I’ve been able to work on those broadcasts and know them intimately. And not only on the West Coast, I’ve done broadcasts for IMG all across the country… I’ve heard so many different great voices and hosts, it’s kind of hard to overstate,” said Chazanow.

The transition in the booth, working with Robertson and Gesser, figures to go smoothly -- Chazanow has managed the WSU radio broadcast since IMG (formerly ISP) officially attained the rights in 2010. He said he intends to soak in all he can from Robertson.

“I’ve worked with BobRob for a few years now and Jason and I worked together this past year,” said Chazanow. “We know each other but I can’t wait to get out there and get to know them even better. And BobRob is just so special, he’s a legend and I can’t wait to pick his brain.”

Chazanow is clearly chomping at the proverbial bit to move to Pullman.

“I can’t wait to get out there,” said Chazanow, who plans on making the move in the next few weeks. “I could name drop (Cougar) coaches and players for you, specific wins and losses and all that but I can’t wait to get out there, see them practice and talk with Coach Leach and Coach Kent. I know about the fan base and I know the history. And that just makes me so excited to get there – it’s one of the great fanbases in all of sports.”


In landing the WSU job, Chazanow said he couldn’t have sketched out a better script for himself since graduating from Syracuse in 2006.

“This is exactly and specifically what my dream goal has been since way back when -- you want to work with a school that has a passionate fan base, a school just like WSU. Before I knew about them, I knew about them. And now that I’m working intimately with them, I can’t tell you how much this means to me… You couldn’t have written up an end game that was any better,” said Chazanow.

Because of his job with IMG, Chazanow also has a unique knowledge of the Pac-12 -- more than you might figure for a broadcaster based in North Carolina.

“I know the sound of it, I’ve been on the air with the broadcasts,” said Chazanow. “I’m extremely familiar with all the broadcasts within the league and especially the IMG ones."

So what can Cougar fans expect when they tune in this fall and winter for Cougar football and basketball games?

“I pride myself on my ability to be accurately descriptive of the action on the field and the court -- so that fans can close their eyes if they’re not there and know exactly what’s going on. I think that you do your best to bring the passion and the atmosphere, which is so much of what we do, in the way you reflect and the way you emote,” said Chazanow.

Chazanow said he most wants to ensure that any Cougar fan who can’t be at the game, or those who are and are still listening, know that what he’s saying is both credible and informed. And that comes about as a result of game prep.

“You watch practice and if you can watch film, you do,” said Chazanow. “You interview as many people as you have time for… You need to be, and I can’t wait to be, the authority and the knowledge base of the program and represent that through my work. It’s many hours and many days and you have to love doing that, and I do. It’s offense, defense, special teams, storylines. You use your eyes in practice and talk to coaches.”

Chazanow laughed when we asked if he had any signature calls he was planning to bring with him to Pullman.

“I’m going to wait to see how that organically plays itself out,” he said. “Those kinds of things, I think, they happen naturally. But I can’t wait to get out there and get to work with the team and the coaches. This is all just fantastic -- I hope I’ve conveyed that sufficiently in this interview.

“This work for me – I pour my heart into it… I feel privileged to come into this position. I recognize the passion of the WSU fans and the history of the program. This is really special to me.”

  • In addition to WSU, Chazanow also managed seven other IMG college network broadcasts over the last seven years: Arizona, Cal, Gonzaga, Oregon, Texas, UCLA and Washington.

  • Chazanow is replacing Bud Nameck as the play-by-play voice of the Cougars. “Bud has been a true professional in his many years covering Washington State and we greatly appreciate all he has done for Cougar Athletics," WSU Sports Information Director Bill Stevens told CF.C. "At the same time we value the partnership formed with IMG College. They are always looking to improve their broadcasts for fans and felt this was an opportunity to do so.”

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