Athletics and WICC Radio Expand Broadcast Agreement

News Story: October 8, 2006

Sacred Heart University Assistant Athletic Director for Communications, Gene Gumbs, announced that the Pioneer athletic department has signed an expanded broadcasting agreement with WICC 600 AM in Bridgeport that will result in 38 Pioneer games being broadcast on the #1 AM radio station on the shoreline of Connecticut. The deal with WICC expands the Pioneer broadcast offerings in 2006-07 to over 130 games between commercial radio and the internet.

The Pioneers had 16 men's basketball games on WICC last season. This new agreement, hammered out by Gumbs and Associate AD for External Relations Mark Adzigian, will continue that relationship but also result in 14 men's ice hockey games and eight women's basketball games being added to the mix.

"We have the most diverse athletic program in the state of Connecticut by far," says Gumbs. "Mark and I felt that adding men's ice hockey and women's basketball to the agreement with WICC allows us to showcase that. What makes it even more exciting is that the two sports we're adding both have chances to win conference titles and make the NCAA Tournament."

The first game on WICC will be on Friday, October 13 when the ice hockey team opens its season at the University of Massachusetts from the prestigious Hockey East. The Pioneers will also broadcast hockey games against the likes of Michigan State, Air Force, Dartmouth and Cornell.

The women's basketball broadcast schedule includes games against Boston College, Providence and Yale. The men's basketball slate includes the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament, where the Pioneers will take on the University of North Carolina.

Jeff Holtz, the voice of the pioneers for the last six seasons, will call the play by play on all hockey broadcasts and most of the basketball games. Gumbs will join Holtz as color analyst and fill in with play by play on basketball when Holtz is on the road with the hockey team. Rick Cohen, an assistant in the SHU athletic communications office, will join Holtz on some hockey games. The broadcasts will also include a complete post-game show with interviews, scores and statistics.

"We couldn't be more pleased that our relationship with WICC has reached a point where the University and the station feel adding men's ice hockey and women's basketball to the broadcast mix is a positive initiative," says SHU Director of Athletic Don Cook. "The fan reaction to the men's basketball games last year validated for both of us that program expansion this year to include the additional broadcasts is a win-win in every sense. Having an opportunity to promote our intercollegiate athletics program on Southern Connecticut's # 1 AM station is a special endorsement of who we are becoming in the intercollegiate competitive sense in the State. "

Sacred Heart University is entering its eighth season of Division I play this year with 32 varsity teams. The Pioneers are members of the Northeast Conference for basketball and Atlantic Hockey for men's ice hockey.