By Lucas Semb
“I didn’t care if there were weeds on the field or if there was a palace for an arena, I just knew that I wanted to do play-by-play announcing.”
These are the words of Scott Montesano, a 13-year-old boy who fell in love with sports. Montesano is a Utica, New York, native and a Marist College graduate. The broadcasting career he dreamed of as a kid has led him to Eau Claire for the latest step in his professional journey. It may also be his last step, as his current position doing game broadcasts for the UW – Eau Claire athletic teams is sitting just fine with him.
“If I didn’t now have a wife and kids, I wouldn’t mind moving because I never really put my roots down anywhere,” Montesano said. “But I’d be more than happy to stay in Eau Claire for the next 40 years.”
Montesano isn’t the only one who would be happy if he stuck around either. Jill Millis, assistant athletic director as well as sports information director, had nothing but positive things to say about Montesano.
“He makes my job so much easier,” Millis said. “I’ve dealt with radio people from many other schools and he has always been the most flexible. He’s also very self-sufficient…he can figure things out.”
While being self-sufficient is a great trait to have, every broadcaster has to have a great or unique voice, something that keeps the listeners enthralled. Millis insists Montesano does just that, too.
“You can tell he is invested in his calls,” Millis said. “He is never monotone, he always mixes it up and he has these really great one-liners that you always seem to remember.”
Montesano considers himself lucky to be working for UW- Eau Claire, and credits his successful job position to being aggressive out of college.
“I sent my work to at least 80 people,” Montesano said. “You get turned down a lot but eventually somebody is going to want you to work for them.”
Montesano was right about this, as a plethora of organizations across the Midwest have enjoyed his on-air talent.
The veteran broadcaster’s first job came in Fargo, North Dakota, where he was the director of broadcasting for the Fargo Moorhead Jets, a team from the North American Hockey League. Since Fargo, Montesano has worked for organizations in Eau Claire, Des Moines, Iowa, and Traverse City, Michigan. In his tenure with the Des Moines Buccaneers, a hockey team from the United States Hockey League, Montesano was both the radio announcer and the vice president of sales.
Montesano spoke of all the traveling that comes with a career in broadcast.
“It’s fun to see different parts of the country and you make lots of lifelong friends, especially fresh out of college,” Montesano said. “It starts to get tiring when you have a family…make sure you have an understanding spouse.
Along with the wear and tear of constantly being on the move, it also costs lots of money. Montesano said that the moves from Fargo to Traverse City and then Traverse City to Eau Claire all happened within 13 months, costing him and his wife roughly $16,000. This took him and his wife a year and a half to pay off. All this movement in one year is what comes with the industry, as he was swapping jobs a lot during this time. Why did he move so much in one year?
Even though he may be calling it quits with the traveling portion of his career, it seems that his success may still be growing, thanks to his ability to adapt to the new generation of broadcast, through media.
“Don’t be afraid to utilize social media,” said the broadcasting journeyman. “Get adept to it. That’s the direction of the industry.”
He also touched on social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook, saying if you are looking to be recognized in this industry, try not to retweet or share random posts anymore.
“Tweet your own things. Tweet about teams you like,” Montesano said. “Develop your personal identity where people will be able to see you and your voice stand out.”
With so much insight and know-how, it looks like Montesano is set for success even in today’s ever-changing media industry. Maybe it was his different job experiences that led him to be so well-equipped for whatever comes next. Or maybe it was the people he met, giving him tips as he proceeded from city to city. One thing is for sure though, all of Montesano’s hard work and dedication has him relishing what has become of his professional career.
Simply put, the 13-year-old Scott Montesano would be proud.