The Kiwanis Club of Stuart presented its annual College Football Preview at the Lyric Theatre on SATURDAY July 27, 2013. The event began at 5:30 with a Chinese auction followed by a live auction.
The following were our speakers from the major football teams in the state of Florida who gave us an overview of the teams from their point of view and with their insight.
Master of Ceremonies - Rich Campbell
Rich was a high school All-American in San Jose, Calif., and played quarterback at the University of California-Berkeley. He was a Heisman Trophy candidate his senior year in college. Drafted in the first round by the Green Bay Packers in 1981, Rich spent four years in Green Bay. Packer fans voted Rich the team's NFL Man of the Year in 1983 for community service. He now writes opinion columns, and an occasional sports column, for the Stuart News, where he has worked for six years.
UF - Larry Vettel
Larry is a 1976 Graduate of Martin County High School, a 1978 Graduate of Indian River Community College and a1981 Graduate of The University of Florida. He hosts a daily talk show (4-6 pm) on WRUF SportsRadio 850 in Gainesville, FL. and on WRUF.com. Larry is a frequent interviewer on television show "GatorZone" on Sun Sports. Larry also is the Play-by-Play Broadcaster on Sun Sports/Fox Sports Florida for a variety of sports including the SEC Football Championship Game eight times. In August he and the former Quenta Payton will celebrate their 31st anniversary. They have two daughters, Dana 26and Jennifer 23 Dana is a graduate of Florida State University and earned her Master's Degree at Duke. Jennifer graduated from Columbia University in NYC and is currently serving in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.
UM - Joe Zagacki
Photos: Joe Zagacki (right) with head football coach Al Golden (left)
Joe is undoubtedly one of the most experienced sportscasters in South Florida. He has been a part of the market for 31 years and at WQAM for the past 21 years. This will be Joe’s 24th season on the University of Miami broadcast team and his 11th as the Voice of the Miami Hurricanes. Joe does the play by play for Hurricane football, basketball and baseball. He has broadcast all 5 Hurricane Football National Championships and 2 Baseball National Titles. Joe also served as Sports Radio 560 WQAM’s first program director from 1992 to 1994. From 1994 to 2002, Joe was a sports anchor and reporter at WFOR TV (CBS) and FOX SportsNet. In addition to his work with the University of Miami on radio, Joe has also served as the television voice of Hurricanes Baseball and Lady Canes Basketball. From 1979 - 1992, Joe was at WIOD Radio, serving as Sports Director for 7 years while working on the Hurricane broadcast team. He hosted a nightly sports talk show and was the sideline reporter for the Miami Dolphins in 1986.
UCF - Erik Kohler
Erik is a seasoned broadcaster who brings his broadcasting experience, sports knowledge and insight in the world of sports to Central Florida sports fans. Erik is the stadium voice for UCF football, basketball & baseball and is the TV host of Inside UCF Football. He also does freelance TV play-by-play with ESPN3 and serves as a TV color analyst with Bright House Sports Network. In addition, Kohler announces for the Orlando Predators and has announced spring training games for the Houston Astros & Washington Nationals. Tune in every Saturday for the best weekend sports report as Erik brings the local touch with a national reach only on EK Sports on 810AM CBS Sports Radio Orlando.
USF - Jim Louk
Jim has been the voice of USF Athletics for the past 30 years. Louk came to USF in 1983 as the radio play-by-play announcer for the USF men's basketball team and served as the lead voice until the conclusion of the 1996-97 season. He then made the transition to football in USF's inaugural 1997 campaign, and still serves as the team's play-by-play announcer today. Louk will come into the 2013 football season having broadcast every Bulls football game in history - a span of 189 games. He has handled USF TV play by play broadcasts on SportsChannel, Fox Sports Florida, and Brighthouse Sports Network. His career includes over 1,500 play by play broadcasts of USF events, including football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's and women's soccer and volleyball. From 1995-2012, Louk supervised ticket sales and was responsible for a group that generated over 7 million dollars in sales annually. Beginning in 2010, he became a columnist for the USF Athletics website, GoUSFBulls.com. His "Letters from Louk" column often centers on historical events at USF Athletics, but also includes football game previews and other information. Louk also hosts numerous shows on the website and hosts the radio version of the Skip Holtz Show. A native of Rochester, N.Y., Louk is a 1979 graduate of the University of Bridgeport where he earned a bachelor's degree in journalism. Louk and his wife Barbara reside in Lutz. Their son Ross is a sophomore at the University of Florida.
FAU - Ken LaVicka
Photos: Ken LaVicka with former FAU football headcoach Howard Schnellenberger and working at ESPN760.
Ken has been the full-time football play-by-play voice of Florida Atlantic University since 2011. This is after he spent three years splitting time between the broadcast booth as a play-by-play fill-in and as the studio host of the FAU Football Radio Network. LaVicka has called all FAU men's basketball games since 2009, including the school's Sun Belt championship in 2010-2011. He began calling men's hoops games for Florida Atlantic in 2007. In addition to being "The Voice of FAU", LaVicka hosted a weekly coach's show with former Owls head football coach Howard Schnellenberger from 2009-2011, and anchored a TV version of the program on OwlAccess.com. He emceed the dedication of the brand new on-campus football stadium this past fall in advance of the opener against Western Kentucky. In addition to his FAU duties, LaVicka works as a show host, update anchor, and Miami Dolphins beat reporter at ESPN 760 in West Palm Beach. He also serves as the station's web editor and social media director. Prior to working in South Florida, LaVicka was a weekend host, update anchor, and covered University of Wisconsin football and men's basketball at Madison's Sports Radio 100.5 in Madison, Wisconsin. He also called Madison Mallards minor league baseball in the wooden-bat Northwoods League. A native of Addison, IL, a suburb of Chicago, LaVicka graduated from Valparaiso University in 2006 with a degree in Sports Broadcasting. He spent three years as the voice of Valpo volleyball, calling back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament. LaVicka was also the lead broadcaster for the women's basketball team for two seasons. While attending college, LaVicka took a job as a sports writer at the widely-circulated Northwest Indiana Times, covering VU athletics and high school sports.
FSU - Tom Block
Photos: Tom Block and Tom interviewing Warrick Dunn
Tom is the Assistant Director of Programs/Club Relations for The Florida State University Alumni Association. Tom Block freelances extensively with the Seminole IMG Sports Network, serving as the sideline reporter for all Florida State football games, while also calling play-by-play on numerous FSU baseball games. In addition to radio responsibilities with IMG, Tom also calls play-by-play for ESPN, Sun Sports, and other networks for various FSU sports including men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer and softball. When not moonlighting as a sportcaster, Tom serves as the Assistant Director of Programs for the Florida State University Alumni Association, working directly with Seminole Clubs around the country and the world. Born and raised in South Florida, Tom attended South Plantation High School and began honing his sportscasting skills at an early age, hosting the weekly football coaches show on local cable access. Also in high school he worked at what was then called Joe Robbie Stadium--the 1st year it opened--just to see all the Dolphin games in person. After leaving Plantation, Block attended Florida State University and graduated in 1991 with a Bachelors Degree in communications, earning a Masters Degree in Sport Management in 2005. During his professional career, Block has worked in various capacities in sports media and has become a seasoned veteran on the Florida sports scene having covered Florida sports his entire career. In the early 1990s, Block restored sports talk radio to the airwaves in Tallahassee. After that, it was on to WTXL--the ABC affiliate--for five years, including three as sports director. While at WTXL, Block was voted most popular sportscaster three times and won an Associated Press award for Best Sports. In 1998, Block joined Florida News Channel to begin providing statewide sportscasts. That grew to a role as host of Sun Sports nightly “Sportscenter” style program, entitled Nextel Florida Sports News, in the early 2000’s. These days Tom resides in Tallahassee with his wife Laura, daughter Reagan (age 4), and son Nolan (age 2).