BEATTY, DITMAN, KOON TO JOIN FIGHTING ILLINI RADIO TEAM
CHAMPAIGN – The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Fighting Illini Sports Network managed by Learfield IMG College announce the additions of Scott Beatty, Tim Ditman and Mike Koon to the broadcast team. Beatty will serve as the play-by-play voice for Illinois Baseball, while Ditman will take on announcing duties for the Fighting Illini volleyball program. Koon will handle the responsibilities of play-by-play for the Fighting Illini women’s basketball squad.
“Replacing Dave Loane is not an easy task, but we feel great about the addition of Tim, Mike, and Scott,” Fighting Illini Sports Properties General Manager Luke Reiff said. “Their experience in radio and familiarity with the individual programs they will represent makes them a great fit.”
Beatty brings over a decade of announcing experience to the Fighting Illini Sports Network as he has served as the play-by-play voice for several collegiate and professional teams. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Beatty broke into broadcasting as a volunteer at Parkland College, where he eventually served as the play-by-play voice for men’s and women’s basketball along with baseball and softball. He continued his announcing career while covering the Sioux Falls Canaries minor league baseball team for several years and also spent a season announcing for the Rockford RiverHawks. Beatty currently holds a variety of roles as an on-air host with the News-Gazette Media radio group, WDWS-AM/WHMS-FM/WKIO –FM in Champaign. He leads “Illini Gameday” pregame and postgame coverage before and after Illinois football and basketball games, hosts the daily afternoon “News Hour” and “SportsTalk” shows, and provides play-by-play of local sports. For the past four years, he served as the play-by-play voice for Illini softball, and has filled in for Illinois baseball, volleyball and women’s basketball broadcasts. In 2016, Beatty was lauded by the Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Awards as he won first place in the Best Radio Play-by-Play category.
“I’m thrilled for this opportunity,” Beatty said. “I love broadcasting baseball, but it’s especially meaningful to do it for my alma mater and for a program with tremendous history and success. I salute Dave Loane for his great career and decades of dedication to Illini sports, and I hope I can honor his legacy. I’m also thankful to Tyra Perry and the entire Illini softball program. I will miss being with them. It’s been a privilege to be a part of their journey and witness the historic achievements they’ve had the last four years.”
A native of Bloomington, Illinois, Ditman is a 2011 graduate of the University of Illinois. During his time on the Urbana-Champaign campus, Ditman covered Illinois athletics for WPGU, while also appearing on the Big Ten Network as an announcer for the Student U program. Ditman started at WDWS in 2011 and currently handles news and sports reporting for the station. He has previously filled in as a color commentator on Fighting Illini volleyball broadcasts.
“I’ve been following Illini volleyball for years, including announcing games on radio and television. But I have taken the summer to immerse myself in the game so my work can be a reflection of the hard work the athletes and coaches put in. Coach Tamas has another talented group, and I’m looking forward to being along for another deep postseason run,” Ditman said of his new role.
A regular on the airwaves for the Illinois women’s basketball program, Koon has served as the color commentator on Fighting Illini women’s basketball broadcasts for 18 seasons. He is currently the marketing and communications coordinator for the University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering, and previously worked in the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Athletics Communications office as the publicist for the Illinois women’s basketball, men’s golf, volleyball, softball and soccer programs. Koon has been recognized for his writing by the College Sports Information Directors of America, earning a first in the nation for his biographical piece of former Illini coach Theresa Grentz. A native of Monticello, Illinois, Koon began his broadcasting career doing play-by-play for the Sages’ football and basketball teams as a high school student. He was recently appointed an alderman for the Monticello City Council.
“As someone who has always had a heart for radio and a lifelong passion for the Fighting Illini, I am honored for the opportunity to become the full-time voice of Illinois women’s basketball,” Koon said. “I have big shoes to fill in legend and Mel Greenberg Award winner, Dave Loane. I have enjoyed working alongside Dave as a big part of my 20-year association with the program. I enthusiastically look forward to working with a first-class staff and calling the next chapter of Illini basketball.”
All aspects of the Fighting Illini Sports Network are managed by Fighting Illini Sports Properties, the university’s athletics multimedia rightsholder and local Learfield IMG College team.