Courtesy of The Bison
SEARCY, Ark. – The game winning shot, the major play that turns the game around and the underdog rising to the top are moments that wouldn’t be the same without a sports announcer bringing that story to life. Billie Morgan, the two-time Sullivan award winner, has been Harding University’s sports announcer for 13 years.
Morgan has always been a fan of sports. Growing up listening to announcers describe baseball games every night and bring the game right into his living room is what inspired him to become a sports commentator himself.
“Just like every kid, I enjoyed playing sports, but there came a time that competing as an athlete came to an end, and the next best way to be a part of the action was broadcasting the games if I couldn’t still play,” Morgan said.
When envisioning a sports announcer, a picture of an upbeat man who just shows up and reads from a script is what may come to mind. Morgan is a sports announcer for Harding’s football team, basketball teams, volleyball team, soccer teams, baseball team and softball team, while also hosting “Harding Football with Paul Simmons.” Morgan said there are hours of preparation that go into the finished product that many people see don’t see.
“I know one thing, you can never prepare too much, and there are always situations that come up, that you must be able to adjust,” Morgan said. “I am very fortunate with the Harding sports information department — Scott Goode and Nathan Looney are second to none. I have complete access to every statistic possible.”
Although having all the information is a huge help in being an effective sports announcer, Jeff Morgan, Harding University athletic director and men’s basketball coach, said one must have a wow factor — something that makes people want to tune in.
“There has to be something that people are drawn to that they’re like, ‘Hey, I like listening to this person talk.’” Morgan said. “Part of that is, how they described the action, and what’s going on,” said Jeff Morgan.
Junior Jackson Duncan agrees with Jeff Morgan and said one has to be charismatic, lively, energetic, enthusiastic and be able to bring the story to life.
“I think Billy does a great job of painting that picture, and I can really tell because I get really excited about the game even though I can’t see what’s going on,” Duncan said. “I have a visual in my head because he paints a great picture of it.”
Scott Goode, assistant athletic director for sports information, said other fans from different schools email him raving about Morgan and are thankful for how he brings the games to life.
“He just has these touches.” Goode said. “He is like an artist, and we’re super spoiled to have him,” said Goode.