When Michael Sondgeroth is not teaching his math classes at University High School (U-High), he will be serving a different purpose for another place — ISU’s Hancock Stadium.
A slew of changes have occurred within the recently renovated stadium, including the hiring of a new announcer.
U-High faculty member Sondgeroth will now have something new to add to his resume: being the voice of the ISU Redbirds.
Last May, when Steve Adams retired from public address for ISU after 37 years, the ISU Marketing Department began their extensive search on Facebook, asking for applicants to submit videos of them performing fake readings. However, Sondgeroth took a different approach. He auditioned in person to read promos and play-by-plays for the department, and ended up being one of three finalists. From there he was selected to be the new announcer for Hancock Stadium this fall season.
Sondgeroth, a 1985 graduate of ISU, was originally a communication major who was interested in becoming a radio sportscaster. A change of heart at the end of his freshman year led him to make a major switch to math education. In addition to teaching at U-High, he was able to get into public address announcing work early on in his teaching career there.
Sondgeroth will be involved with handling the routine PA (public address) announcements, reading sponsor promos, introducing starting line-ups and giving play results during the game. Dave Colee will still handle all the band pregame and halftime announcements.
Perhaps it was his past at ISU that caused him to seek out this new PA position — which happens to be quite similar to his goals in 1981 when he first enrolled at the university.
“I get to be an integral part of the [division I] college football game day experience [this way],” Sondgeroth said. “Steve Adams did such a great job that I never really thought about holding this position until he announced his retirement in May. Then I started to think that this was a position that I would seriously like to pursue.
“Just being a part of the college football game day experience is a great opportunity; I am thankful to the ISU Athletic Department for giving me the opportunity to give back to my alma mater,” he said.
Sondgeroth is looking forward to furthering his own goals as well as giving back to Illinois State University.