Swimmer follows his voice

By Aaron Graff

Sophomore swimmer Andy Ross does more than compete at meets.

Coach Rick Walker gave Ross the opportunity to announce some of the team’s meets last season, which led to Ross being nicknamed “The Voice”. Ross studies radio and television, specializing in electronic sports media. Ross said he does not always use his radio voice though.

“I was really quiet in the weight room,” Ross said. “Our weights coach, Chris Roth came to [the] women’s conference [championships] and the next day at weights he was like, ‘Oh, the voice.’ It just kind of stuck from there.”


Ross announced swim meets at Purdue University while he attended William Henry Harrison High School in West Lafayette, Ind. His father, Daniel Ross, coaches the Purdue men’s swimming team.

Andy said former Saluki associate head coach Scott Olson was skeptical when he said he wanted to announce.

“I know Scott was like ‘Are you sure you can do it? Are you sure?’,” Ross said. “I said ‘Yeah, I’ve done this before. I know what I’m doing.'”

Ross said there are advantages to being a student athlete because he can announce meets. There are also disadvantages because he does not have enough time to join Registered Student Organizations.

“I know with my crazy schedule I can’t really get into other things like the news broadcast team,” Ross said. “I’m so busy with weights and homework and practice that I don’t have time, but I’m kind of glad I’m doing stuff with the team as an announcer.”

Walker said the Saluki volleyball team was looking for someone to address the public for Friday’s match against the University of Evansville. Ross said he was the person for the job.

“It’s the first time I’ve done something other than swimming,” Ross said. “It was nice because in volleyball everything is on a schedule.”

Walker said Ross did a good job announcing, but it was sometimes hard to hear him because of the acoustics in Davies Gym.

“He has the rare ability through his voice to really excite the crowd,” Walker said. “When you’re adding that highlight to it, it just adds color to everything I’m watching, and it just electrifies it all.”

Mike Reis, Director of External and Broadcast Operations, said anyone entering broadcasting has to get as much experience as possible.

“You can’t do too much while you’re in college no matter how hectic and difficult it might be to do a lot,” Reis said. “Any performance business is about practice and experience.”

Reis said he was unfamiliar with Ross, but he would like to get to know him because he is pulling for him to do well.

“Part of my job, unofficial or not, is if somebody brings me their stuff and wants an honest, objective critique, that’s what I’ll do,” Reis said. “Even though I don’t know him personally, I have an interest in his success because I have an interest in SIU being successful.”

Ross said he wants to move up the broadcasting ladder and travel for sporting events.

“If I heard him I’d listen to him,” Walker said. “I’m not in the profession. I don’t do the hiring for that so I’m not qualified to rate whether he’s good or bad. All I know is me personally as an amateur, I’d listen to the guy. He’s very engaging.”