About a month ago, the Cincinnati Cyclones dropped a bomb shell on the fan base with an announcement that 5-year voice of the Cyclones, Nick Brunker, would not be returning for a 6th campaign behind the mic. Several questions about who would take his place have surfaced since then.
On Wednesday afternoon, those questions were answered. The team announced that Michigan native, Everett Fitzhugh would take over as the Cyclones new Director of Public Relations/Broadcasting. Everett got his broadcasting start at the collegiate level with the Bowling Green University Falcons, before moving onto the junior level working with both the United States Hockey League and the Youngstown Phantoms.
After it was official, I had the chance to sit down with Everett and get his thoughts about coming to Cincinnati.
Q: When the position became available, what attracted you to the city of Cincinnati?
A: Having spent a lot of time in Ohio over the past nine years, Cincinnati always seemed like a perfect city for me. There’s a big city atmosphere, but it’s small enough where you don’t feel lost. As far as the Cyclones, I have a few friends around the ECHL and they have all said nothing but good things about the organization and how it is run. I knew instantly that this is where I wanted to be. Even in the interview, it was clear that the staff enjoys and believes in one another, and this team. That is something really special.
Q: You had a pretty successful stint in Youngstown. What was going through your mind when you got the call from Kristin Ropp saying “Hey, you’re going to the Pros!”?
A: I couldn’t believe it. I think my fist-pump count was around 100. Working in pro hockey has been a dream of mine since I was in high school. PR and broadcasting truly are a passion of mine. So I guess you can say I was REALLY excited.
Q: Going back to Youngstown and the USHL for a minute, a two-and-a-half year stay at the Junior Level, anything in particular you can point to that you picked up there to help you prepare for the ECHL?
A: Well, I was with the league office for a year and a half, then in Youngstown for a year. I learned a lot while at the junior level. The big thing was going from doing 40 games a year in Bowling Green to 60 in Youngstown. Also, I was now more than just a broadcaster and an intern. I had more responsibility (game notes, recaps, media contacts, etc) and I loved it. I always wanted to work in pro hockey so I knew that the league office and the Phantoms were the perfect organizations to help me accomplish my goals.
Q: For the regular listeners, getting used to a new voice can be a little rough at first. What can Cyclone faithful expect from the new Director of Public Relations/Broadcasting?
A: Well you can definitely expect a lot of energy. I want people to feel like they are there at the game, so I make sure it’s as exciting as possible. They will be getting a professional sound and someone who truly is vested into the team. Also, I know that Nick Brunker set a high standard of excellence here. I know that it will be impossible to replace him and that is not my intention. I am going to further the high standards he set and make sure the Cyclones are still kept in the highest of regards when it comes to media.
Q: The fans want to get know you a little better, let’s start off with Favorite Movie?
A: Movies go in cycles for me. Right now I’d have to say it’s Shooter.
Q: Favorite Color?
A: I’d have to go Blue and Bowling Green Orange.
Q: Favorite Food?
A: It’s probably easier to say what I don’t like, but I’ll go with Chipotle. I know it’s not a singular food but I don’t care. I could eat there everyday.
Q: Favorite Band?
A: I like all music, but I’m big into EDM and House music. My favorite would have to be Calvin Harris.
Once again, a huge thanks to Everett Fitzhugh taking a few minutes to speak with me. Welcome to the Queen City!