Broadcaster surprised to be among Distinguished Alumni Award winners

PLAINVIEW, TX — Jeremy Bryant thought Wayland Baptist University’s Alumni Association was presenting only two Distinguished Alumni Award winners during the annual Blue and Gold Banquet year. However, just hours before the banquet Friday night, the 1999 graduate learned there would be three and that he was third.

After sharing a word of encouragement with students and guests as the featured speaker at Wayland’s homecoming chapel on Friday, Alumni Director Jeffrey Vera surprised the award-winning sports broadcaster with the news he would receive the award too.

Bryant was one of eight people recognized during the annual Blue and Gold Banquet, including two other Distinguished Alumni Award winners — Dr. Vernon Stokes, a 1959 graduate, and Patrick Aland, a 2009 graduate. Ben and Betha Mieth were honored with the Distinguished Benefactor Award, while JR Dunn, a 2013 graduate, received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Freda Provence and Libby Cleveland each received the Distinguished Lifetime Service Award. The Blue and Gold Banquet was part of Wayland’s four-day Homecoming celebration, which began Wednesday.

A Colorado native, Bryant earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Wayland in 1999. He then worked for alumnus Tony Ricketts at KFLP radio in Floydada. Employed since 2001 by Foster Communications in San Angelo, Texas, since 2001, he is a sales executive and sports director. In that role, he sells advertising for four different stations and coordinates coverage of the city’s high school sports games between himself and a small group of broadcasters. Since Foster Communications has had the exclusive rights to Angelo State University sports since 1990, they handle primarily the Rams football, basketball and baseball games on the radio.

In the spring of 2023, Bryant reached a career pinnacle by serving as play-by-play announcer as the Angelo State Rams baseball squad won its first NCAA Division II national championship. That was a highlight after some 2,000 games covering Angelo State.

Bryant honed his craft as a student at Wayland, serving as KWLD station manager his junior and senior years and writing for the Trailblazer student newspaper as well as playing JV basketball. Getting to call Pioneers and Flying Queens games was a highlight for him as a student, and he was grateful for his mentors.

“I surrounded myself with believers who were supportive of me,” he said, noting Danny Andrews, Tom Hall and his first boss, Tony Ricketts, to be among those. “When I talk to kids in high school or college, I tell them that most sportscasters were all in the exact same place they were, and most people are going to help you out and get you where you want to be. It’s all about connections and networking.”

Bryant has been honored through the years for his work. He was named the Lone Star Conference’s Outstanding Broadcaster of the Year in 2019, the sixth time to win the award since 2006. That’s not too bad for a kid who learned to love the art of broadcasting while listening to Colorado Rockies games on his Walkman while mowing lawns.