HOUSTON - Following a nationwide search The University of Houston Athletics Department and its broadcast rights holder, IMG College, have named veteran Houston sports broadcasters and UH alums Kevin Eschenfelder and Matt Thomas the Voice of Houston Football and the Voice of Houston Men's Basketball, respectively.
In addition to the play-by-play announcements, UH alum Jeremy Branham has been named to the Houston football radio team as its sideline reporter. Football color analyst Ted Pardee, who lettered in football at Houston from 1988-90, returns to the booth for his eighth season as a member of the broadcast team while basketball color analyst and Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes returns for his fourth season.
"We had a deep and talented pool of broadcasters from all areas of the country apply for the positions and following a comprehensive search by IMG College and our department, we focused on three very talented individuals who have established great credibility in the sports broadcasting world. It was obvious who we wanted to fill the roles. We are extremely excited to add Kevin, Matt and Jeremy to our Houston IMG Sports Network team," said Houston Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades. "All three are Houston alums, call our great city their home and have been great friends of our program throughout the years."
A native of Houston and a 1990 UH-Clear Lake graduate with over 20 years of TV and radio play-by-play experience, Eschenfelder is in his first year with Comcast Sportsnet Houston and is the host of The Tony Levine Show and SportsTalk Live, the network's one-hour live show each weekday.
"I am really pumped and ready to get going with the University of Houston. I grew up following the Houston Cougars and have been a fan of the program all my life. My childhood hero was former Houston great Danny Davis; this truly is a dream come true," said Eschenfelder. "This is thrilling that I get to be a part of the Houston experience, and I am counting down the days until Aug. 30."
Prior to CSN Houston, Eschenfelder spent 22 years at Fox Sports where he held the role of pregame and postgame host for the Houston Rockets and Astros, the Dallas Mavericks and Stars and the San Antonio Spurs as well as network play-by-play duties for college football, basketball and baseball along with the NBA and MLB.
A 1998 Houston graduate, Thomas has over 17 years of play-by-play experience on both TV and radio including a two-year stint as the Voice of Houston Athletics from 1996-98. Currently the host of The Matt Thomas Show on Sportstalk 790, Houston's flagship station, Thomas also hosts the Houston Astros' pregame and postgame shows and is the co-host of the Houston Football pregame show.
"I am thrilled to be back as the basketball play-by -play voice of the Houston Cougars. I've been very fortunate to work for several terrific institutions, but it is extra special to be able to call the games for your alma mater," said Thomas. "The Cougar broadcasts have featured many talented broadcasters over the years. I look forward to continuing that trend on the IMG network this season."
The host of the Tony Levine Radio Show and a 2010 Houston graduate, Branham has been the Voice of Houston Women's Basketball for the last nine years and the Voice of Houston Baseball for the last six. The Houston native joined Yahoo! Sports Radio as a sports anchor in 2011 and has several years of play-by-play experience on high school football games throughout the Houston area.
"I was already looking forward to the Houston Football season, but I am even more so now that I've been added to the broadcast team," said Branham. "I am really looking forward to working with Kevin Eschenfelder, who has been a great broadcaster in the Houston area for many years, and Ted Pardee, who always brings great excitement and passion to the broadcast. I am thankful for the opportunity."
FOOTBALL SEASON TICKETS & PARKING
Season tickets for the 2013 Houston Football season are on sale and fans are encouraged to purchase their season tickets early.
Fans can purchase season tickets covering seven games for as low as $150. Families will enjoy the Memorial Hermann Family Plan for only $299. Under the Memorial Hermann Family Plan, fans will receive two adult and two youth General Admission tickets with additional youth tickets costing only $75 each.
To purchase season tickets, fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
To secure parking spaces, secure a priority parking pass for the season and receive other donor benefits through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact the Cougar Pride Office at 713-743-GOUH (4684) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab where the most continually updated 2013 and 2014 information will be available or click here.