Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Morgan Will Be Iowa-ISU TV Voice

There are some big things going on in the TV life of Larry Morgan.

“I will be doing the first three Iowa football telecasts in the games against Kent State, Iowa State and at Arizona State,” Morgan told me today.

Morgan, a veteran TV and radio play-by-play announcer from Clive, will team with former Iowa (1985-1988) tight end Marv Cook on the telecasts.

The Hawkeyes open their season Saturday against Kent State at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, play Iowa State there Sept. 11 and are at Arizona State on Sept. 18. All are ESPN-Plus telecasts.

It will be the first Iowa-Iowa State football game Morgan has done, although he’s been the play-by-play announcer for about 10 Hawkeye-Cyclone basketball telecasts in his role as Iowa’s TV broadcaster.

“It’s very definitely a thrill for me to get the Iowa-Iowa State football assignment,” Morgan said. “It’s a great showcase game.”

Morgan hasn’t heard yet if he’ll have any other Iowa football telecasts this season.

“There’s always a possibility, but it’s pretty unlikely,” he said. “At that point [after the non-conference games], Iowa is so good that they’re either on the Big Ten Game of the Week, which is the Wayne Larrivee [announcing] crew, or they’re on ABC.

“But I’m thrilled to get three Iowa games. I usually get two, so I’m really glad to get the third game.”

Another TV broadcasting assignment Morgan will have this fall will be high school games in the Des Moines area that will be televised by Mediacom.

“There’s a Thursday night game next week—Marshalltown at North—that I’ll do,” he said. “But, because of my other assignments, I won’t do any more high school games for Mediacom until October.”

Those games are taped, then shown on Channel 22 in the Des Moines market.

Morgan expects to do the TV play-by-play on most of Iowa’s men’s basketball games in the 2004-2005 season, but will no longer do radio play-by-play on Drake women’s basketball. Scott Pierce is the new Drake women’s announcer.

“Drake wanted somebody who could show up for all the games,” Morgan explained. “I was making it to about half the games [because of his Iowa men’s TV obligations]. It was nice of them to allow me to do that for three years because that’s pretty unusual. It makes sense for one guy to do them all.”


I’ve been around a lot of losing football programs in my day. Nothing was as hapless as what went on when Iowa suffered through 19 straight non-winning seasons before Hayden Fry ‘s 1981 team went 8-4 and went to the Rose Bowl.

Five coaches—Jerry Burns, Ray Nagel, Frank Lauterbur, Bob Commings and Fry—were on board during those 19 years, and far too often I’d hear the new coach complain that the team didn’t work hard enough under the old coach.

Mike Stoops, an Iowa defensive back from 1981-1984, is the new head coach at Arizona, and got into the “hard work” thing himself after being the co-defensive coordinator under his brother, Bob, at Oklahoma.

Arizona hasn’t had a winning record since going 12-1 in 1998.

“They didn’t quite know how to work at a rate that would allow for success,” Stoops was quoted as saying by Ted Miller of “They got what they put into it last year. They didn’t put a whole lot into it and they didn’t get a whole lot out.”

Stoops said the 2003 Wildcats were “drastically physically underdeveloped” under coach John Mackovic.

Stoops’ name was mentioned whenever a major-college coaching job opened in the last couple of years, but Miller wrote that he “is aware that some negative scuttlebutt circulated about him each time he was mentioned previously as a candidate.

“Some whispered that he was a party guy who enjoyed hanging out over a few beers too much to dedicate himself to the time demands of a head coach.

“Stoops, who was charged with DUI in 1996 while Kansas State’s co-defensive coordinator, rejects such talk as old news.

“Any guy who is single for an extended period of time, they get the wrong impression of you,” he explained. “Since I’ve gotten married and had two kids, my life is perfectly content.”

Miller said Stoops talks to his brother, Bob, every couple of days, but neither Bob nor Mike has any interest in playing one another .

Vol. 4, No. 251
Sept. 1, 2004