BLACK BEARS INTRODUCE NEW RADIO, TELEVISION TALENT FOR FOOTBALL, HOCKEY
Jim Churchill, Jon Shields, Jeff Mannix Named Respective Voices for UMaine Football TV, Hockey Radio & TV
ORONO, Maine — University of Maine Athletics and its multimedia rightsholder, Learfield, introduced today new members of the University of Maine radio and television broadcast teams concurrent with the 2018-19 collegiate athletics season.
Jim Churchill, a familiar voice for Black Bear fans as current radio play-by-play broadcaster for baseball and color analyst for basketball, also will serve as UMaine football play-by-play announcer for all three-football television broadcasts. Churchill will be joined in the television booth by Mark Coutts, who will serve as new color analyst, and by Andrew Badillo on the sidelines. As an alumnus of UMaine, Churchill has been bringing the excitement of Black Bear sports to fans since 2000.
“I was part of the football radio broadcasts several years ago and gained a tremendous respect for the game of college football,” said Churchill. “I missed being around the game and being a part of UMaine football. I am excited to be a member of the Black Bear football TV team and look forward to enjoying the atmosphere at Alfond Stadium from that vantage point.”
Coutts, an All-Conference and All-American linebacker for the Black Bears, served as the team’s captain in 1985 before graduating from UMaine in 1986 with a business degree. Badillo is currently the sports director at ABC-7 and FOX-22 in Bangor. The first UMaine football TV broadcast of the year will be Saturday, Oct. 6 vs. Villanova.
UMaine hockey opens its season on Monday, Oct. 8 with an exhibition contest at Alfond Arena with the University of Prince Edward Island. That game, along with all men’s ice hockey action this season, will be supported by radio play-by-play voice Jon Shields. Following the retirement of iconic voice Dan Hannigan, Shields was chosen to serve as the new radio play-by-play broadcaster and represent the Black Bears as the ‘voice of Maine Hockey’ moving forward. Shields, who has been on the airwaves locally in Bangor since the fall of 2003, served as Hannigan’s hockey fill-in since 2012.
“I am extremely excited for this opportunity,” said Shields. “Being a part of the Black Bear Sports Network has already been a career highlight for me. Covering UMaine Hockey has taken me to many outstanding places. I’ve been lucky enough to cover Black Bear hockey teams from the infield of Fenway Park, to the Friendship Four last year in Belfast Northern Island, and all throughout Hockey East. It’s been a broadcasting dream come true. I can’t wait to cover the games, home and away, all season on the Black Bear Sports Network”
Shields will be joined by Larry Mahoney, long-time Maine hockey color analyst and sports writer for the Bangor Daily News. For fans watching the television broadcast, Jeff Mannix has been tabbed as the new play-by-play broadcaster to work alongside color analyst Mike Tuell. Mannix, a veteran sports broadcaster, hosts a morning radio show on Portland’s 96.3 Big Jab and is the former play-by-play broadcaster for the Portland Pirates professional minor league hockey team.
“We’re excited about our team of talented broadcasters on the Black Bear Sports Network this year,” said Justin Barnes, general manager of Black Bear Sports Properties. “UMaine fans tune in from all over the world to follow the Black Bears. Our mission is to find announcers who can accurately capture the passion and pageantry of UMaine Athletics.”
UMaine Football’s final three home games of the 2018 regular season will be featured as part of the WVII/WFVX television package. A total of seven men’s ice hockey games will be carried on the same network. All football and men’s ice hockey games for the 2018-19 season, both home and away, can be heard over the radio airwaves on the Black Bear Sports Network. The legendary duo of Rich Kimball and Bob Lucy are currently in their 22nd year of calling UMaine Football. For game dates, times and local listings, please visit GoBlackBears.com.
Tickets for all home events are available at 207.581.BEAR or by visiting GoBlackBears.com/tickets! Those wishing to purchase in person may do so by visiting the Black Bears’ box office, located inside Alfond Arena.
The industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. Black Bear Sports Properties is Learfield’s Orono-based team managing the UMaine rights relationship and all broadcast aspects. In addition to Maine, Learfield oversees the multimedia and sponsorship rights for nearly 130 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas across the U.S., and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup. Learfield also provides its collegiate partners access to professional concessions and ticket sales; branding, licensing and trademark consulting; digital and social platform expertise; campus wide business and sponsorship development; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies.