Title

The Voice of Denver Sports

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date

2-14-2012

Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences

Abstract

Everyone was talking about the Denver Broncos this season. UND Communication grad, Mark Johnson '92, is discussing every last detail live with the Broncos Radio Network. "This season has been crazy!" said Johnson, Sports Director for Newsradio 850 KOA Denver. "I visited the guys in the locker room a few times a week. It was really fun."

Mark works for monster-signal radio station 850 KOA Denver. "We broadcast in three countries and are heard around the world," said Johnson. KOA is the exclusive station of the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies and Colorado University Buffs, where he is the play-by-play announcer for football and men's basketball.

As Sports Director, Johnson oversees one of the largest radio spots departments in the nation. He helps to manage all three team accounts, hosts shows and news reports on various KOA radio shows, and will frequently drop in on the Bronco's and Rockies live broadcasts. He has transitioned into television work, where he does interviews and news reports for Altitude Sports Entertainment, a regional cable network shown throughout the Rocky Mountain Region.

It All Started At UND

Exciting games isn't something new for Johnson, who began his college career playing basketball for Minot State in Minot, ND. His love for sports continued at UND, where he transferred his junior year. As a student, Mark worked at local radio station Magic 96 where he developed a love for broadcast. "My favorite memories from UND are being a spectator. I grew up a fan, going to basketball games at Hyslop Arena and listening to Jim Bollman call the games."

Mark's broadcast dream became a post-graduation reality when he was offered a job at KNOX Radio in Grand Forks. He was a UND broadcaster for basketball and football from 1993-1994. "I went full circle. Growing up in Grand Forks, being a big sports fan, attending UND, and then getting the opportunity to be the voice Fighting Sioux."

History In Sports

Since his work with UND Athletics, Mark has traveled all over the country calling games over the radio. Johnson was the play-by-play announcer for four years at Illinois State University and earned three Silver Dome Awards for best play-by-play broadcast in the state of Illinois. His career highlight and the gig that landed him the position with the Bronco's Radio Network started at Syracuse University.

Mark was the proud 'Voice of the Orange' from 2002 -2004 and had the opportunity to broadcast the NCAA national championship basketball game in 2003. Johnson said, "That was a chance of a lifetime. It was the highlight of my career, being heard around the country, broadcasting the Final Four, and the excitement of Syracuse and Carmelo Anthony."

Syracuse University is known for a strong broadcast program and has a tight alumni network. Mark beat out a large pool of Orange grads for that memorable role. "It feels good to say I came from the UND Communication Program, and made it all the way to the Final Four championship game. It is possible to make it in this business!"

A Life in Denver

It is safe to assume that Mark has made his way into the Denver spotlight. Off the radio, he is a family man, raising three children with his wife of 20 years, Susan. The couple met at UND, where Susan 'Jacobson' was also a Communication grad '92 and named Miss Potato Bowl!

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