EIU alumni returns with sports announcing secrets and history


Adriana Hernadez-Santana

Matt Piescinski announcing IHSA Boys track meet

Adriana Hernandez-Santana, Editor-in-Cheif

For many Eastern alumni, they come back to watch a sports game, to reconnect with friends, or donate money to their favorite organization on campus.

But for EIU Alum Matt Piescinski comes back to the university to announce all the sports events happening on campus. 

Piescinski  says that he grew up in the south suburbs of Dalton, and was only really offered two paths during his high school career, athletics and theater. 

“So I was born in the region, and won a couple of state championships with Thornbridge not only in athletics, but also in speech and theater and stuff like that. So I was always kind of tuned into the performing part, says Piescinski

Piescinski says that he was not originally going for radio to begin with. He actually received his degree in the sciences. His bachelors is in biology and his master is in chemistry. 

But despite this, he says he was still able to find his passion in radio. And it all started back when Hitmix 88.9 was actually known as WELH. But the big event that really got him hooked at announcing for the championship season of the back 1978. 

So now bares the real question? 

After all these years, what is the secret to being a real sports announcer?

Do it for the kids. In Piescinski ’s words, the importance of the job is to make it sound exciting, but not ridiculous. 

And considering a wide variety of people have been reaching out to him for a sports announcing gig, it’s safe to say that this strategy really pays off in the long run. Even while he’s working, he’s still getting messages!

‘`I just got an invitation on my phone saying ‘we need you October over in Indiana!’ The crazy thing is that there are five or six athletic directors over Marshall and Paris running across the country,” he says. 

Even years down the line, Piescinski is still surprised that he is still announcing track meets and other sports events. He says he never could have foreseen just how important and meaningful this career path would be to him. 

But Piescinski  also knows that it took a real group of outstanding and determined individuals to keep the small radio station to not only survive, but be as big as it is now. 

“Our radio station, our TV station, we had nothing back then. But we looked to the future and just kept rebuilding again and again until we became strong. There were always enough people here to say we’re going to keep this place strong. So that’s really the thing about you know, the whole eastern experience. The fact that you’re small enough, you made a difference.”