Matt Mahony (left) and Jon North calling a game during the AAC Basketball Tournament
BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – There's a new voice in town. Jon North is the new "Voice of the Bulldogs" as he has been named the Director of Sports Broadcasting, Union Director of Athletics Tim Curry announced recently.
North replaces Matt Mahony, who leaves Union to take a similar position at Georgia Gwinnett College.
"Sometimes timing is everything, and we are fortunate to be able to hire Jon on as quickly as we did," said Curry. "We appreciate all that Matt has done for us in making the Bulldog Sports Network what it is today. The broadcast and production has grown leaps and bounds under his leadership, and we thank him for that. We also want to wish him the best of luck as he embarks on this new chapter in his life.
"We have the utmost confidence in Jon," Curry continued. "He has worked with Matt and the Bulldog Sports Network for the past four years and very familiar with our operations, so I am confident the transition will be a smooth one."
A 2013 graduate of Union, North assisted on the Bulldog Sports Network broadcasts for the past four years in a variety of capacities including cameraman, producer/director and color analyst.
When Mahony initially announced his resignation, North had just begun working at his new job. Fortunately, that job was at Union in admissions.
"I had just accepted the job as an admissions counselor when I heard the news," North said. "Thankfully, the admissions office was 100 percent behind me to make this move because this was my dream and what I wanted to do professionally."
Mahony had been the "Voice of the Bulldogs" since 2008 when he began building the Bulldog Sports Network in 2008 and taking the show on the road for the first time to follow the Union baseball team at the AVISTA-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. During the 2008-09 school year, the network expanded coverage to eight sports including football, volleyball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball, softball and baseball broadcasting on the worldwide web. In 2009-10, the network continued to grow as all home contests were broadcasted locally on Barbourville Cable channel 62.
"It takes a special situation for me to leave Union," said Mahony. "This has and will always be a special place for me. I couldn't have created and built the Bulldog Sports Network without the help of numerous people here."
With the addition of a partnership with WKKQ Mix 96.1, the Bulldog Sports Network covered over 100 athletic contests reaching over 10,000 fans locally and worldwide simulcasting on the internet, television and radio. The Bulldog Sports Network broadcasts now regular-season contests for football, volleyball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball including special editions of postseason games.
North hopes to continue and improve upon the tradition Mahony leaves behind. During his first year, North's goal is to maintain what has been done before and get used to calling play-by-play. Looking ahead, North wants to improve the graphics, add instant replay and purchase wireless cameras for improved angles and shots.
"I definitely want to build upon what Matt's left me," North said.
As he departs Union, Mahony is grateful for the many people who have helped him along the way.
"There's a ton of people I can't thank enough," he said. "Jeremy Christian who gave me my start in this profession; Dr. (Christine) Marley for the education she passed on to me; past and current staff members for their advice and guidance as well as their support for the Bulldog Sports Network throughout the years."
North will not have long to get settled in as his first broadcasts are coming up soon with the men's soccer team hosting the Thomas Trammell Memorial Classic on Aug. 30-31 and the football team playing at Cumberlands (Ky.) on Aug. 31.