Wed. Sep 19th, 2018

The Top 10 of The Capital Region

There was no one-hour special proclaiming “I am taking my talents to the Metroplex,” but Glens Falls native Dave Strader steered his hockey broadcast career in a new direction last week by accepting the play-by-play job for the NHL’s Dallas Stars.

That got us thinking about other radio broadcasters who parlayed their time in the Capital Region to move on to bigger jobs — many of them on TV.

At the risk of forgetting someone, we came up with this top 10 of former Capital Region radio broadcasters (thus eliminating folks such as ESPN’s Joe Tessitore and CBS’s Andrew Catalon, both former weekend TV sports anchors) who have advanced to bigger platforms in the broadcasting field:

10. Doug Sherman (Siena basketball, 1989-93): Yes, he is still in the area as WRGB sports director, but his introduction to the Capital Region came as play-by-play voice for Siena basketball (1990-94). He is now the television voice for Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball and has drawn numerous assignments for ESPN2, ESPNU and

9. John Hennessy (Albany River Rats, 1993-2000): He was promoted from Albany to New Jersey, where he spent six seasons at the Devils’ radio voice, including calling the 2003 Stanley Cup championship. (He also called the Rats’ 1995 Calder Cup victory.) He is now broadcasting hockey games for the University of Massachusetts.

8. Brian Noe (WTMM show host, 2010-2013): Remember the “Noe Show” on WTMM (104.5 FM)? He uses the same name for his weekend show on Fox Sports Radio, which, ironically, airs 7-10 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m.-noon Sundays on WOFX (980 AM) — a competitor to his old station.

7. Joe Castellano (Siena basketball, 1998-2002): The Saints got to the postseason in three of his four seasons as play-by-play man, although baseball is his first love. He was host of a talk show on SiriusXM, called softball games for NBC during the 2008 Olympics, and now does podcasts focused on the San Francisco Giants and 49ers.

6. John Kelly (Adirondack Red Wings, 1987-89): The son of the late hockey broadcasterDan Kelly, he left Glens Falls for the St. Louis Blues, where his father became legendary. He called games for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche before returning to St. Louis in 2005. He has called Blues games on television for the past 10 seasons.

5. Mike Haynes (Capital District Islanders, 1990-93): The former voice of the Troy-based AHL team, which later transformed into the Albany River Rats, he just completed his 20th season with the Colorado Avalanche. He has done the past 10 seasons on television for Altitude, the regional sports network serving Denver.

4. Ari Wolfe (Albany Firebirds, 1996-2000; Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs, 2000; Saint Rose basketball, 1997-2001): He has gone from calling Firebirds games to perhaps being the pre-eminent voice of the Arena Football League, working games for both CBS Sports Network and ESPN. He has done updates and other work for NFL Network, and he called table tennis in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

3. Freddie Coleman (WOFX 980 AM, 2003): His stay in Albany was brief, a five-month stint on an afternoon talk show with John Tobin where he got second billing. He used “Tobin and Coleman” as a springboard to ESPN Radio, where he has been a regular prime-time host since 2004.

2. Dave Strader (Adirondack Red Wings, 1979-85): He was the Red Wings’ public-relations director when he began broadcasting games in the team’s inaugural season. He has called games for the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes, and since 2005 was a prominent play-by-play voice for NBC. He may still call occasional games for NBCSN, but his new position with the Stars will limit those opportunities.

1. Marc Kestecher (Albany Patroons, Albany Firebirds, 1989-96): A Guilderland native, he had several other play-by-play roles and was sports director at WPTR (1540 AM) and WROW (590 AM) before departing for a job at 50,000-watt WKNR in Cleveland. He left there in 1999 for ESPN Radio, where he sports a major presence. He was host of the network’s NBA Finals pregame and postgame shows, has done play-by-play on a number of NBA and college football games, and has been a prominent update anchor.

Also considered: Sandy Penner, former WQBK (1300 AM) host who now has a talk show in the Tampa area; Owen Newkirk, former Albany Devils and Adirondack Phantoms voice who now is the radio host for Dallas Stars games.

Credit to the Times Union who originally published this article

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