Dubbed the “Voice of the Coyotes” for seven years, Joe Van Goor has made an imprint in Coyote athletics.
Van Goor works as a contracted announcer for Learfield, and works part-time for the flagship stations KVHT and and ESPN radio 15.70.
Van Goor announces for men’s basketball and football. His other duties at Learfield include a weekly coaches show every Monday night at Old Lumber Company called The Coyote Report, and the Coyote Sports Minute, a three-minute feature on USD athletics.
Junior Tyler Hagedorn, a member of the men’s basketball team, said Van Goor is a “vital” part to the team.
“The chemistry we have and what Joe brings in that aspect is huge,” he said. “It’s been awesome to meet him and know him. You know his voice. It’s such a vibrant voice and (such a) distinct voice when you’re listening to the Coyotes it’s almost wrong not to listen to him. He’s a Coyote through and through.”
Van Goor started off his play-by-play and commentating career in 1984, and was the “Voice of the Coyotes” in 1990 to ’91.
“I started doing high school sports in the beginning,” he said. “Later on in 1984, I started helping out in the college games in both football and basketball.”
Van Goor said it’s important to remain objective in a sports announcing setting.
“Being the voice of a team, obviously you’re going to go bonkers cheering for them, but obviously you have to keep some kind of objectivity along with it, too,” he said.
Van Goor said he likes interacting with the teams and coaches.
“I feel that they know who I am, instead of just some stranger showing up every game day — that’s what I get the most out of,” he said.
Hagedorn said Van Goor is “very involved.”
“My first time meeting him, I didn’t really know who he was — he kind of just showed up at our first practices when I was a freshman and I had to get introduced to him and what he did for us,” he said. “The dude is just awesome. He travels with us wherever we go, he’s with us at every single game we play.”
Van Goor said it takes a lot to prepare for a game. His weeks include producing The Coyote Report, getting game notes, writing spotter boards and recording pregame shows.
Van Goor said there are times he’s experienced a toll on his voice from announcing games.
“It’s important to stay as healthy as you can,” he said. “One nasty cold will bring you down.”
Van Goor travels with the teams for away games, something he said is a “valuable” experience.
“For men’s basketball, there is a lot of time spent in an airport, very few bus trips,” he said. “The football team has 105 players, men’s basketball has (17), I get a little better idea of who they are and obviously they get to know who I am, too.”
When it comes to memorizing players, Van Goor said it’s easier when announcing for two teams.
“In football, there’s a lot of names and numbers to know — that’s what spotter boards are for,” he said. “That’s the advantage of following one team — you have a number in your mind, and there’s the name. Men’s basketball, it’s the same thing. I like to get to know the guys on the team. As opposed to the opposing team, you just have to associate in your mind a name and a number.”
Van Goor said he’s always wanted to be the “voice” of a Division I team.
“To finally be the ‘Voice of the Coyotes’ is a great privilege for me,” Van Goor said. “It’s certainly a big highlight of my sportscasting career.”