Journalism alumnus the voice of Coors Field
Journalism | July 21, 2016
By Angie Dixon, as appearing in Alumline
Who works five jobs, registers off-the-charts enthusiasm and gratitude for his alma mater, career, and strong network of family and friends and has an unmistakable, booming voice that can masterfully rouse every sports fan? That would be Colorado State University alumnus Reed Saunders (’03), also known to die-hard Colorado Rockies fans as “the voice of Coors Field.”
Since taking over the reins in 2007 as the second public address announcer in Rockies history, Saunders has devotedly entertained baseball fans at every home game with energizing announcements as players step up to the plate.
“To be able to play a small role in putting on the show at Coors Field is such an honor and so much fun,” says Saunders. “No one’s paying any of their money to hear me, they’re coming to see the Rockies. But if I can help them to have fun at the park, then I’ve done my job.”
His distinct style and voice have made him familiar to sports fans around the state. In addition to working with the Rockies, Saunders has also been the P.A. for the Colorado Eagles minor league hockey club, based in Loveland, since their inception in 2003.
But those are just two of his day jobs. When he isn’t announcing, Saunders also sells advertising space for a large out-of-home media company, officiates and manages entertainment for weddings, and operates his own home recording booth to accommodate his freelance work as a voice-over professional.
“You could say that I am a world-class multitasker,” Saunders says with a laugh, “it’s like double-duty all of the time. Professional life coaches might disagree with it, but it works for me.”
Born and raised in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, Saunders chose to attend CSU after a casual visit to campus with his dad. He knew he wanted to stay in Colorado, and with both of his parents alumni of CSU – Steve graduated in ’73 with a business degree and Laurel in ’72 as a home economics major – choosing CSU seemed like a no-brainer.
“We walked around campus, we went to a game and I thought that everyone was so nice,” he says. “Campus was so low-pressure. I thought it was very welcoming and accessible for a university that size.”
During his freshman year, he lived in Corbett hall and recalls the trials and tribulations of making the transition from high school to college.
“I was just trying to find my way like everyone else,” he says. “It was such a time of discovery and finding my own identity. My internship in Athletics really helped me on my path.”
That same media relations internship in CSU’s Athletics department allowed Saunders to hone his multi-tasking skills and taught him the value of taking advantage of opportunities.
“I got exposed to how the media worked, and everyone just encouraged me to try different things,” said Saunders. “Next thing I knew, I was working the shot clock at games, then stats at a game, then setting up microphones at Sonny Lubick press conferences.”
He remembers one day in early 2000 when Athletics needed an announcer for a softball game and staff encouraged Saunders to take the mic. Then came an opportunity to announce a volleyball game. He said “yes” to both opportunities, and found he really enjoyed it. The game staff took notice of his talent, and Saunders remained the main announcer for volleyball until he graduated in 2003.
“For Athletics to have the faith in me to be the voice of the volleyball program was a huge thing for me,” he says, “I was having fun with the games, and I really started to develop a passion for announcing.”
During his junior year, the journalism major pursued a writing position at the Rocky Mountain Collegian, where he further developed writing skills and sports industry experience. He attributes CSU’s welcoming and accessible environment for the opportunity and believes that the experience he and other student staffers gained putting out a daily paper was invaluable.
“I just walked into their offices and said, ‘Hi, I’m Reed, and I would like to write for you,’” he recounts. “They said, ‘Here is our writing test. Fill it out and we’ll see if we can work together.’” From there he was assigned a sports beat, where he wrote a regular sports column. To develop his stories, Saunders would take game notes while he was announcing at the volleyball games.
Today, it appears that Saunders made the most of his experiences at CSU, and he graduated with a deeper, one might say stalwart, education that many CSU alumni share.
“Treating everyone nice. That’s what I learned at CSU. Never think you are above any task or person,” he says. “And don’t be afraid to fail. As much success I have had, I have had as much failure. I’ve applied for jobs that I didn’t get, and have had my heart broken more times than I can count. You just have to press on. Put yourself out there and go all in.”