The BTN Podcast rolls on this week, as decorated play-by-play broadcaster and Nebraska alum Kevin Kugler joined me as the show’s first-ever in-studio guest.
See? Two episodes in, and we’re already making BTN Podcast history.
USA Today college sports reporter Nicole Auerbach joined the show for Episode 1, which you can listen to here or in the SoundCloud playlist below. I’ll continue to tweet every episode from @arouxBTN, and each will also continue to be posted on BTN’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Kugler has a dazzling resume, including some very high-profile gigs as a play-by-play announcer for Westwood One radio. Westwood One has given him the mic for many prestigious events over the last decade-plus, including the College World Series, college football, college basketball’s NCAA tournament and Final Four, the NFL regular season and playoffs, golf’s Masters, the Olympics and more. Among other responsibilities over the years, he has also been a play-by-play voice at Big Ten Network since 2009.
I’m not sure where Kugler’s guest appearance on our podcast ranks all-time among his most memorable moments on the air, but it’s got to be near the top, right?
Listen to the entire interview in the SoundCloud player above, in the playlist below, on Google Play or on iTunes (be sure to subscribe, as well). I pulled some of his notable quotes with timestamps below, so skip around at your convenience to hear Kugler’s thoughts on topics you’re most interested in.
(Skip to 6:20) On his experiences calling The Masters the week after calling the Final Four for Westwood One: “There are few weeks where you can go from one major event to another, and that’s certainly one of them.”
(7:30) On his experiences covering the Olympics in Rio: “It was a very nice—and not as scary as I thought—month.”
(22:30) His thoughts on Nebraska joining the Big Ten after covering them through the Big 8 and Big 12 years: “It was an absolutely perfect fit…the Big 12 was a league that was fracturing.”
(24:10) Most memorable story during his time covering Nebraska: As a student, interviewing the late Brook Berringer in 1994 right before he was about to have his lung drained while he was battling injuries. “He was really the epitome of what that team was all about that year.”
(26:30) On what Nebraska fans want to see in Year 3 under Mike Riley.
28:35 On his favorite people to work with in the sports media industry, including the legendary Bill Raftery: “He’s as nice as everybody says he is…There’s no act. He’s genuinely a terrific guy.”
36:05 On being a Cubs fan during the World Series run in 2016: “I was in school when Nebraska football won a national championship, and I’ve seen a lot of really cool games. I’ve never been so emotionally connected to something as a fan.”