Chance McKinney (

CougsFirst! Show set for April 6 in Seattle; Chance McKinney to headline after party

CHANCE McKINNEY, the WSU All-American javelin thrower-turned-math-teacher-turned-popular-country music singer, is coming to entertain the Cougar faithful. This modern-day Renaissance Man will be headlining the after party at the fifth annual CougsFirst! Show at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle on April 6.

The show will feature more than 100 wide-ranging exhibitors of Cougar-owned and operated businesses and offer attendees incredible networking opportunities to do business with fellow Cougars. It will runs from 4-8 p.m.

The after party, from 8-10:30 p.m., is just pure fun among Cougs with McKinney leading the parade.

Both gatherings are free, but you’ll need to register here.

CougsFirst! is an independent, alumni-driven organization aimed at encouraging Cougars to do business with fellow Cougars. CF.C is a long-time sponsor of the CougsFirst! Show, which is on pace to draw a record 2,000 attendees this year.

WSU President Kirk Schulz and Phil Weiler, WSU's new vice president of marketing and communications, are expected to be on hand. So will basketball coach Ernie Kent and a number of all-time crimson grid greats, including Jack Thompson, Rob Tobeck, Jason Gesser, Jed Collins and College Football Hall of Famer Rueben Mayes.

McKinney, who has toured with the likes of Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride, Little Big Town, Taylor Swift and Toby Keith, burst onto the music scene in 2009 when he won Country Music Television’s Music City Madness competition.

Since then, he has perfected his “industrialized country” sound — a blend of country with 90s rock and a touch of heavy metal — into a robust career that has taken him far off the teaching and coaching track he was on after leaving WSU with bachelor’s and master’s degrees 20 years ago.

“When you finish writing a song, when you step on stage, when you finish recording something, it’s a pretty incomparable feeling,” McKinney told Washington State Magazine in this 2011 feature story. “It’s hard work, maybe not by coal miners’ standards, but mentally exhausting.”


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