STAA names mass communications alumnus on ‘Top 30 Sportscasters Under 30’ list

Mass communications alumnus Adam Young was the sole Metro East sportscaster named as one of the top 30 sportscasters under 30 years old by the Sportscaster Talent Agency of America (STAA).

Young, a 2010 graduate, was nominated by his peers for the national recognition and said he learned of the honor while meeting with Tom Dehner, a mentor and former mass communications professor and WSIE director. Denher, who has known Young since 2006, said he took the achievement in stride because he expects it from Young.

“He’s never buckled under pressure in the past, and I don’t expect that he will in the future,” Dehner said.

Young is the current “Voice of the Grizzlies” for the Gateway Grizzlies, as well as a play-by-play announcer for McKendree University, SIUE women’s basketball, Washington University and St. Louis University. But his first job out of college extended beyond the Midwest, where he was a broadcaster and the media relations director for the Fayetteville SwampDogs.

SwampDogs general manager Jeremy Aagard said the STAA honor is “well deserved recognition” for Young.

“He was incredible and his broadcasting was excellent…,” Aagard said. “He just created a personal fan base for himself from parents and fans that were listening across the country.”

Aagard said Young was a “team player” who understood the “bigger picture.”

“He took [this] opportunity to get to know people,” Aagard said. “He took every chance he got to make himself better, but also to make the organization better knowing that if he could paint a picture through the broadcast… when [the fans] got there [they] felt like they had already been here before [and] they would come back again.”

Though he visited other colleges, Young said he chose SIUE because of its radio station, WSIE, where he worked on everything from sports to features – and he started before he was officially a student.

“They let me start [the] summer before college…,” Young said. “I pretty much lived down there [at the radio station]. I just wanted to get as much experience as possible. The biggest thing that really impressed me was the directors down there. I wanted to learn. I cared… [My time there] really meant something to me.”

Dehner hired Young after an impromptu meeting that included then-WSIE general manager Frank Akers.

“There was a certain non-verbal message that he sent that indicated that he had the drive, determination and dedication to make it work for him,” Dehner said.

Young, according to Dehner, was arguably “the most fast-tracked professional” of the students he has worked with, though he does not know why.

“All I know is I took it and ran with it and never looked back and never regretted placing all the responsibility and confidence in him that I did,” Dehner said. “…[He had that] indescribable ‘it,’ and he had it then and he has it now.”

Dehner and Akers, according to Young, became “two of the most influential people” in his career.

“Those are two guys that have combined roughly probably 70 years of experience in the business. So every single time they talked… I listened,” Young said. “I was glued to what they were talking about because I wanted to pick up as much information as they were giving.”

Young said he “matured quickly” at SIUE while working toward his career goals, juggling three or four TV or radio jobs at once.

“I knew that what I did in college would set me up for the future. I didn’t want to have any regrets. I did as much as I possibly could,” Young said. “… Every single job I had in college was in the business.”

Dehner said Young will continue to grow as a broadcaster and “prosper in the business.”

“[When he gets to the point where he says], ‘This is the end of my yellow brick road,’ I’m going to be very proud to say, ‘I knew him when,’” Dehner said.

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