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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The voice of the ‘Cats

    Jody Oehler, who got his start in sports broadcasting as the sports director of KAMP Student Radio, works for 1490 AM and serves as the public address announcer at Arizona home football games.
    Jody Oehler, who got his start in sports broadcasting as the sports director of KAMP Student Radio, works for 1490 AM and serves as the public address announcer at Arizona home football games.

    Who says grades are the most important thing about college?

    Not Jody Oehler, the new public address announcer for UA football.

    Oehler, a 25-year-old UA alumnus, has always had a unique perspective on education and life, thanks in a large part to his dad’s advice.

    “”I always told my boys they’ll get a lot more enjoyment out of life if they appreciate the contact they have with good people,”” said John Oehler, Jody’s father. “”I also told them to try and do something worthwhile in life, and Jody’s done both.””

    John Oehler said Jody was always into sports, especially baseball, and being the public address announcer was a great way to stay involved with activities he enjoyed as a kid.

    Oehler got his start in broadcasting at KAMP Student Radio during his sophomore year. He started college at 16 and worked his way up the chain of command during the four years he spent there, two of which he was the sports director.

    Arizona Daily Star reporter Ryan Finley, who served as editor-in-chief of the Arizona Daily Wildcat while Oehler was sports director at KAMP, said Oehler was able to fine-tune his skills while at KAMP.

    “”I’d like to say he’s changed, but he really hasn’t,”” Finley said. “”He’s always been a professional guy, and he’s been very good at whatever he’s done.””

    Finley said he would see Oehler “”almost everywhere”” on campus and even made a few guest appearances on Oehler’s radio show.

    Oehler said he gained valuable experience, honed his leadership and organizational skills, and also developed an even more intense passion for sports during his time at KAMP.

    “”When I started, I was just having fun and trying to do a good job,”” Oehler said. “”After a while, I learned how to be more professional, prioritize my time better, and it really helped set me up for the future.””

    “”KAMP made me want to get into radio because it allows for a little more opinions in your broadcast rather than a TV broadcast,”” Oehler added.

    Oehler credits the UA, but not in the traditional way, for helping him get where he is today.

    “”Everyone always beats you over the head with, ‘It’s a one-in-a-million-shot to get a job in sports broadcasting,’ but it’s really not that complicated,”” Oehler said. “”You just have to build your resume and start networking with people, and things will all start falling in place for you.

    “”Arizona is a great college, and it has lots of great media outlets that will let you get good experience. The main thing is to figure out what you really want to do with your life.””

    Finley echoed those sentiments.

    “”Teachers would always tell you that you have an ‘X’ percent chance to get a job in this field or that field, but it was all kind of BS,”” he said. “”Jody is the perfect example that if you want it bad enough and are prepared to work hard, it’ll come.””

    Brian Jeffries, the radio voice of the Wildcats, also helped Oehler get his foot in the door, recommending Oehler for the UA baseball PA job in 2004.

    “”I’ve worked in Tucson radio for 28 years, and I’ve worked with a lot of people, and he’s definitely one of the best,”” Jeffries said.

    Jeffries and Oehler met while Oehler was an intern at 790 AM. Jeffries noticed Oehler’s potential and strong work ethic and “”could tell early on that (Oehler) had a tremendous future in broadcasting.””

    While at 790 AM, Oehler was always prepared and willing to take on any task. Because he presented himself in a professional manner, it enhanced his professional reputation and highlighted his abilities, Jeffries said.

    Before that time, Oehler practiced broadcasting sporting events. He called UA women’s soccer games and UA gymnastics competitions in 2003 and 2004. With the help of some demo tapes from his days at KAMP and Jeffries’ recommendation, Oehler landed the UA baseball job and has been calling games ever since.

    “”The opportunities that become available to you in college are worth taking seriously and pursuing,”” Oehler said.

    The experience he gained while working for KAMP “”definitely paid dividends”” by getting Oehler his own radio show almost immediately after graduating. In summer 2005, Oehler became the host of “”Happy Hour with Jody Oehler,”” which airs on 1490 AM from 4-6 p.m. each weekday.

    “”If you see blatant idiocy in sports (referring to MLB commissioner Bud Selig, a weekly piÇñata on Oehler’s show), a radio show is a better outlet than yelling at home,”” Oehler said.

    Finley, now a guest on Oehler’s show every Thursday for a section about football, said, “”It’s a privilege to be on his show each week.””

    “”I can’t catch him off guard,”” Finley said. “”You can really tell he’s just a big fan of sports. If he didn’t have a show, you know he’d be talking about sports with his friends.””

    Admittedly a baseball guy, Oehler won’t put his new football announcing duties in the shadows because of other responsibilities. He said he feels better about himself after getting two games under his belt in the next step up from his broadcasting days as a UA student.

    “”My dad always told me, ‘It’s not what you learn in class, but what you learn about yourself in college that really matters,’ “” Oehler said. “”I definitely learned way more about myself in college than I ever did in a classroom.””

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