BOISE, Idaho – Former “Voice of the Steelheads” Brian McCormack has received a well-deserved promotion to call play-by-play in the American Hockey League. The San Antonio Rampage announced McCormack as their new Director of Broadcasting on Monday.
The “call-up” to the AHL for McCormack is the perfect capstone to a watershed year for the New York native. He received the honor of calling the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic in January and was also named the 2017-18 ECHL Broadcaster of the Year this past June.
Five years ago, McCormack began working his first post-collegiate job as a Digital Media Intern with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets in 2014. He’d previously been radio broadcaster for the Ice Knights hockey team at the State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo, his alma mater, from 2011 to 2014. The work he did at SUNY Geneseo in the broadcast booth impressed the front office of the Idaho Steelheads enough to offer him the position of Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting in 2015. Now, after three years of regular season and postseason calls for Idaho, McCormack heads deep into the heart of Texas to continue his broadcasting career.
Some members here at The Sin Bin have shared their personal experiences with Brian below:
Matthew Harding, Editor-in-Chief: “Our show from the All-Star Fanfest in Indianapolis was done completely off the the cuff. Brian walked up to our position during a previously recorded interview, wanting to go on the air with us. He could have been at the Hall of Fame Dinner or prepping for his broadcast the next day, but instead, he was on our show for at least 20 minutes talking about all things hockey.”
“Brian is very good at his job and it’s nice to see that hard work being rewarded with his new gig with San Antonio in the American Hockey League.”
Sarah Hobday, Photographer: “I officially met Brian at the 2018 ECHL All-Star Game. I spent several hours talking with him about how he got started in broadcasting, experiences, and best memories. Brian is a very knowledgeable and kind. I recorded the game to watch once I returned home from Indianapolis. Prior to this, I had never listened to Brian call a game. I was very impressed with how he handled the All-Star Classic.
I next saw Brian when Idaho made the trip to Charleston, SC in March. When Brian arrived at the rink several hours before game time, he kindly asked the best route to press row, since he was lugging his gear. I led him to the elevator so he could avoid most of the stairs. Brian, (South Carolina Media Director and Broadcaster) Jared Shafran, and I shared stories and experiences while they set up their gear.
When I cover ECHL games, I usually work directly with the radio broadcasters to give them pictures during intermissions. So, I move the best pictures of a period (e.g., goals, saves, fight, check) for each team onto a thumb drive for easy transfer when I run up to press row. After the game, I ensured both Brian and Jared had what they needed from me. Brian was very appreciative of my work, and it gave Stingrays staff one less thing to take care of that night. Brian is so easy going and we easily lost track of time sharing more hockey stories after his game broadcasts ended. For my help during the game with pictures and all, Brian kindly offered to pay for my post-game meal when we continued story time at IHOP.
Something I have always loved about hockey is how down to earth most people are. You can meet a team staff member, and you have an instant connection & carry on a conversation for hours like you have known one another for years. Brian is definitely like that. Brian is great at what he does, and is a big asset to any team he works for. I wish him nothing but the best in his new position with San Antonio. I know the team and fans will love him.”
On a personal note, I started covering the Idaho Steelheads for The Sin Bin back in October 2017. I’ve heard stories of some minor league hockey markets not readily embracing the work we do here: difficulty getting interviews, acquiring press passes from team media directors, etc. Brian was the antithesis of difficult; two days after our first phone conversation, I had a media credential waiting for me in my mailbox. He’d called me on his personal number and told me to contact him on it and not hesitate if I needed anything. He has been a true advocate for what we do here at The Sin Bin.
I only met Brian face-to-face a handful of times during the season, but one instance that sticks out in my mind was going to lunch with him during this past offseason. Our conversation ranged from the idea of Idaho moving up to the AHL, to NHL teams utilizing retro jerseys more often. His passion for the sport of hockey was evident; I made sure to let him know that it was only a matter of time before he got the call from an AHL team asking for his services. Little did I know it would be so soon.
Brian is a class act and a pleasure to work with. Good luck in San Antonio!