The Charlotte 49ers’ primary play-by-play broadcasters for men’s and women’s basketball games say being in the right place at the right time has helped their careers.
Making connections locally hasn’t hurt, either.
Ryan Rose, WCCB-TV’s play-by-play broadcaster for men’s basketball and football, grew up in Concord and worked for the 49ers’ media relations department when he was asked to hit the airwaves for some of Charlotte’s games this school year.
Before he started calling women’s basketball games on the Internet two years ago, Josh Feldman was handling the same duties for the Kannapolis Intimidators Class A minor-league baseball team.
And Matt Swierad, the lead radio broadcaster for men’s basketball and football, was calling Charlotte-area minor league baseball games – including the Charlotte Knights – before landing his gig with the 49ers more than 15 years ago.
After Rose attended a year at North Central College (Ill.), he returned to Concord and worked at WEGO-AM (1410) radio for a few years, helping with high school football and basketball coverage.
Since then, he has dabbled in various sports-related jobs, including serving as volunteer girls’ basketball and softball coach at Northwest Cabarrus High, broadcasting Wingate University sports as a student in the late 1990s, and covering high school football and basketball for Time Warner Cable.
Between jobs, Rose established a relationship with ESPN. Since 2006, he has provided the TV play-by-play for numerous college football games, mostly Atlantic Coast Conference, on its various networks.
Also in 2006, Rose became an assistant director of media relations for the Charlotte 49ers, meaning he was responsible for sports such as baseball and volleyball.
Rose, 39, is finishing up his 20th year of broadcasting, and he understands his future probably will be determined the same way his past has been.
“I’ve discovered the best guys maybe don’t move on,” Rose said. “It’s really who you know, location, opportunity and timing. I’ve just been a guy good enough (who is) at the right place. The WCCB is a prime example. I was available, and I had (experience).”
Feldman’s aspirations differ from those of most sportscasters. While he would like to advance his career in one of the major professional sports, Feldman would be just as happy to make the big time in his favorite sport: volleyball.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Feldman played collegiate volleyball at Southern California before breaking into the broadcasting business. He moved from Los Angeles to Kannapolis in 2011 after persuading the Intimidators’ general manager Randy Long to hire him as a broadcaster and sales representative.
Feldman, 29, is about to start his fourth season in Kannapolis, making him the longest-tenured broadcaster in the franchise’s history. Two years ago, Brent Stastny, the Charlotte 49ers’ associate director for media relations and part-time Intimidators scorekeeper, helped Feldman get an interview to be the women’s basketball team’s online play-by-play broadcaster.
Now in the middle of his second year with the 49ers, Feldman also does the broadcasts for Charlotte’s volleyball games in the fall.
“I feel now that I’m an authority on this team and what type of game Charlotte likes to play, because I’ve seen the team now for two years,” Feldman said. “Am I a basketball expert? I wouldn’t go that far. I might be an expert on the Charlotte 49ers.”
The connection Swierad, 46, had to 49ers sports was the internship he served with Charlotte’s athletic department in 1990-91. He called 49ers baseball games on the radio that year and came back to broadcast men’s basketball on television 1997-2001 and on radio 2001 to the present.
WZGV-AM (730), the flagship station for 49ers’ athletics, will broadcast the women’s basketball home game against Tulane (La.) on Jan. 22. WZGV broadcast Charlotte’s game with Old Dominion (Va.) on Jan. 8 and covered three games last season.
Bobby Rosinski and Lanny Ford are this year’s broadcasters for those radio games.
49ers compete at Blazer Invitational
The 49ers men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the UAB Blazer Invitational Jan.10-11. Anthony Bynum (200 meters) and Kerrick Williams (shotput) each placed fifth in their respective events.
49ers lose season opener to Demon Deacons
Despite a No. 2 doubles victory by Kamil Khalil and Jordi Massalle Ferrer, the men’s tennis team dropped its season-opening match at Wake Forest 9-0 on Jan. 11.