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Good Luck To Mike Waddell...and Thanks!

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One of the toughest phone calls I've ever received came from my friend Darryl Parks from WLW in 2006 when he informed me that as much as he and the station would like me to continue broadcasting UC games, it would no longer be feasible.

 

The news was heartbreaking but I certainly understood.  I had just moved to Boston for family reasons and retaining me as the UC announcer would mean increased travel costs.  As badly as I wanted to remain the "Voice of the Bearcats," I knew this was the possible outcome when I left Fox 19 and moved east.

 

Enter Mike Waddell.

 

UC's Senior Associate Director of Athletics wanted me to remain behind the mic and found a way to offset the added travel costs that made sense to the university and the radio station.  Without his efforts, I would have missed back-to-back Big East football championships, dozens of memorable games, and millions of laughs with Chuck, Jim, Mo, and Tommy G.  Most importantly, I would no longer have a job that I truly love.

 

As you probably know, we are losing Mike to Towson University.  He was named Director of Athletics on September 30th, and while I'm excited for him, it is a huge loss for UC.

 

Mike is one of those people whose brain ticks a little bit faster than most.  He's smart, creative, and tenacious, and his imprint is all over Bearcat athletics.  There is no doubt in my mind that he will be an outstanding athletic director.

 

The USF game will be his final event as a UC administrator before moving to Maryland.  It's fitting because he is largely responsible for the tremendous game day experience at Nippert Stadium, and a packed house on national TV will be a perfect send-off.

 

I'm thrilled that Mike is about to realize his dream of running a collegiate athletic department.

 

And grateful that he helped me continue to live mine.

 

* * * * *

 

So the UC basketball team was picked by the coaches to finish 12th in the Big East this season.

 

Any idea who was picked to finish 12th last year?

 

Marquette.

 

The Golden Eagles went 22-12, tied for fifth in the Big East, and went to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year.

 

UConn, on the other hand, received a first-place vote and was picked to finish third last season.  The Huskies wound up 18-16 and missed the NCAA Tourney for the second time in the last four years.

 

My point is simply this:  In a 16-team conference, there are always schools that do much better or worse than expected. 

 

Here's hoping that Cincinnati is this year's Marquette.

 

I'd love to hear from you.  Please take a moment to tell me who you are and where you're from in the comments section or you can e-mail me at dhoard@pawsox.com.

 

And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard

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