Play-by-Dave: Koehn takes over Cavalier mic


Dave Koehn

Growing up in Colorado Springs, in a house where people rooted for the Denver Broncos, it didn't take long for Dave Koehn to get caught up in the idea of sports as real-life drama.

"Watching John Elway lead the Broncos to come from behind as often as he did," says Koehn, "it got to a point where I expected to be on the edge of my seat every week."

That's the kind of action-packed excitement Koehn– as the new "Voice of the Cavaliers"– hopes to bring from the Scott Stadium broadcast booth to radio listeners across the Commonwealth each week this football season. 

Koehn had been announcing games for the University of Vermont Catamounts when the job at UVA opened up with Mac McDonald's resignation in April. After sending in his application, Koehn was eventually offered the job from a field of dozens who had applied from across the country.

"It was a no-brainer," says Koehn of his new gig. "There are a lot of us out there, and there's a reason these jobs don't come open very often. On top of that, to do it in this kind of town with this kind of culture and these kinds of fans, it's a dream job."

Not that Koehn was able to accept the job right away.

"I got the call in the middle of a minor league baseball game I was calling," says Koehn. "I saw the 434 area code on my cell phone, and had to resist the urge to answer the phone on the air. That was the longest half-inning of my career."

Since arriving in July, Koehn has spent most of his days holed up in his Scott Stadium office, preparing for the big kickoff against the University of Southern California on Saturday, August 30. When the Hook pays him a visit, he's poring over media guides and studying homemade flash cards with players' numbers on one side and their names on the other.

"I'm trying to absorb as much as I can at this point," says Koehn. "So much of this job is preparation. You're looking for three or four factoids about each player that would be of interest to fans. I won't use all of it, but I like to have it to turn to."

While Koehn says that he's still looking for a house, he says he's excited about getting to know the area, especially when he has a little too much sports on the brain.

"I have a built-in excuse to sit on the couch and watch sports, but that excuse is starting to get a little old with my wife," he says. "I think she'd just as soon throw the TV out the window."


Age: 32

Why here? The opportunity to be "Voice of the Cavaliers"

What's worst about living here? Summer heat

Favorite hangout? Only three weeks in, I'll need some time to give that answer.

Most overrated virtue? Book-smarts. I would say that of the successful people I've met in my life, 90 percent are in possession of either general street-smarts or a work ethic that goes above and beyond.

People would be surprised to know: I've been known to appreciate a good chick flick or two.

What would you change about yourself? My diet of junk food

Proudest accomplishment? Having the courage to chase my dream wherever it has taken me.

People find most annoying about you: The people in my inner circle get pretty tired of constantly having to determine whether I'm pulling their leg. 

Whom do you admire? The comeback king, John Elway, of course!

Favorite book? The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Subject that causes you to rant? Campaign finance reform

What do you drive? Jeep Liberty

In your car CD player right now: The Aztext, a hip-hop group from Vermont

Next journey? Every day is a new journey.

Most trouble you've ever gotten in? Probably when a friend and I drove around town in high school one day firing off a cap gun. Much to our shock, evidently the police were looking for us. Luckily we never encountered them, but we did get our rights read to us by our parents. Not the smartest thing I've ever done.

Favorite comfort food: Pasta

Always in your refrigerator: Cherry Coke One

Must-see TV: The NCAA basketball tournament

Describe a perfect day: Spending time with my wife and dog in a cool vacation spot complete with excellent dining

Walter Mitty fantasy: I would love to be able to throw down monster dunks on a regulation basketball rim. As someone who has always been relatively tall, it never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to dunk a basketball. At 6'3" I may be blessed with height, but one thing I'm not blessed with is a good vertical leap.  

Who'd play you in the movie? Chevy Chase

Most embarrassing moment? I guess I don't really have one that stands out, but I did score on my own team in basketball once as a middle schooler.

Best advice you ever got? Be true to yourself.

Favorite bumper sticker? WAHOOWA!