A familiar voice fills an empty seat

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Dan Mowdy worked as a sideline reporter for Lafayette Sports Network. [Photo courtesy of Chuck Zovko, Communcations Divison ]

Katelyn Arnold

Mowdy takes over as Leopards’ PA announcer

 

Those who attended the football team’s home opener against William and Mary may have noticed something a little different coming through the speakers at Fisher Stadium. At the microphone was a voice new to the stadium, but familiar to much of the Lafayette community.

Dan Mowdy, a longtime member of the Lafayette Sports Network (LSN) team, has taken over as Public Address announcer.

Mowdy stepped up to the microphone following the retirement of Jim Finnen, who had held the position as the Leopards’ Penn. announcer for 50 years, after last year’s basketball season. With such a large role to fill, Mowdy remains humble, claiming that he is in no way replacing Finnen.

“I get to sit in that seat is the way I look at it,” Mowdy said.

Mowdy has been a member of the LSN since 2000. He worked as a sideline reporter for football and men’s and women’s basketball, as well as gave play-by-play analysis. He also announces for game webcasts.

Mowdy will be moving from the sideline to the press box, although he enjoyed his old position.

“Win or lose, everybody was very much a champion. I never had trouble getting an interview, even if the loss was somewhat lopsided,” Mowdy said of his experience as a sideline reporter.

In addition to his work at LSN, Mowdy is the host of RCN’s Community Spotlight interview show. He also continues to announce for USA Gymnastics.

In fact, two weeks prior to the Leopards’ home opener, Mowdy was at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers, announcing the PNG Championships, the name given to the USA gymnastics national championship.

Mowdy’s background is diverse. He has worked as a Penn. announcer for two Olympic games, in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008.

There he was a member of a team of three announcers. One announcer spoke in French, another announced in the language of the host country and Mowdy announced in English.

In addition to his work in gymnastics, Mowdy has also announced for the sport of cycling. During his time working at the Olympics, he kept a blog for the GoLeopards website, recounting his time there.

The announcer said that as rewarding as it was to work at the Olympics, it was also exhausting. The games were held in Athens and Beijing, and his task was to announce in a country with a different written language. That makes working from a script a bit of a challenge.

Although he will not face a language barrier as he transitions to his new position at Lafayette, he does have a rather large seat to fill.

“I just hope that Jim didn’t set the bar too high, he was so good for so many years,” Mowdy said.

He did have some time to prepare and learn from his predecessor, however. Last year was a “transition year,” as Finnen was finishing up and Mowdy was getting ready to fill the position.

Both the football team and the basketball teams honored Finnen, and Mowdy announced those events. He also visited Finnen at the Fisher Stadium press box during a halftime last fall and received a few pointers.

“He’s been great,” Mowdy said. “Very gracious, supporting and mentoring.”

He is also thankful for those who have supported him throughout his career and made these advancements and opportunities possible.

“I have a debt of gratitude to RCN Sports Director Gary Laubach for welcoming me aboard in 2000 and LC’s Director of Athletic Communications and Promotions Scott Morse,” the announcer said.

Lafayette’s game against William and Mary was Mowdy’s debut as the public address announcing for Lafayette football, and the feedback he received was positive. With an entire year of college sports ahead of him, Mowdy has a lot of announcing to do.

“I’m looking forward to continue being a part of the Lafayette athletics family, but in a slightly different role,” he said.

Leopard fans all over can look forward hearing his voice, not from the television or computer, but rather ringing through the stadium speakers.