One of the truly good guys in college hockey, Greg Harrington of St. Paul, has been replaced as the Nebraska-Omaha play-by-play radio announcer. The former KFAN personality, whose sports celebrity impersonations are legendary (Lou Nanne and Neal Broten come to mind), has been the only radio voice in the 12 years of puck at Omaha. A Friday story from the Omaha World-Herald is below. Also, on the Omaha and Bemidji State to the WCHA saga, it’s being speculated that the league entry fee is $240,000 to be paid over three years, and a share of league playoff revenue is to total at least $30,000, $60,000 and $90,000 during that period. When asked last week, commissioner Bruce McLeod wouldn’t comment if terms varied between Omaha and Bemidji State.
Also, it’s believed Minnesota Duluth will be changing radio networks for 2009-10, moving from Midwest Communications and possibly ending up on KQDS, 1490 AM, The Fan, part of Red Rock Radio. It’s likely UMD men’s hockey and football will be broadcast. The play-by-play voice would be hired by Red Rock. Jeff Papas of Cloquet did most of UMD’s hockey games last season, on a contract basis, after Bruce Ciskie’s position as sports director for Midwest Communications was eliminated in December. Games were on FM 102.5.
By Rob White, WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
The radio voice of Nebraska-Omaha hockey will change this season, as David Ahlers is replacing Greg Harrington.
“It was a decision that was made administratively based on our expenses,” associate athletic director Mike Kemp said.
Harrington, the only play-by-play broadcaster in the program’s 12-year history, lives in St. Paul. Ahlers is already Omaha’s sports information director and will continue those duties while covering the team.
“We already have someone on staff who has the broadcast background,” Kemp said. “We were sending a (graduate assistant) sports information director and a play-by-play man on the road, and we were bringing him in from out-of-town, so it just made sense to combine them.”
Kemp said Omaha expects to save $25,000 to $30,000. Omaha also was paying Harrington’s travel costs for home games.
“Being the college hockey broadcaster for 12 years at one school is a helluva run,” Harrington said. “They’ve been 12 of the most enjoyable years I’ve ever had, and I will hang on to all the friendships I made there forever.”
Kemp had been the only coach in Omaha hockey history before Dean Blais was hired last month.
“That had to be one of the most difficult phone calls I’ve ever had to make,” Kemp said of his conversation with Harrington. “He did every game and we knew each other prior to that. It’s heart-wrenching. We went through a lot of difficult nights, and a lot of great nights, together. He did a great job of bringing Maverick hockey to our fans and he’ll be sorely missed.”