The Voice of the Coyotes

Monday, April 29, 2024
Pequeno, Brown, and McKurdy talk before a CGCC basketball game.

By Fletcher Brown, CGCC Women's Basketball Coach and Sports Information Director

Alongside every great sports moment, there was someone describing the action in real time. The call behind the play often leads to creating the legend of the play; it adds to the mystique and helps cement the play amongst the most iconic moments in sports history. The coryphaeus, or leader of the Greek chorus in ancient times, described the action taking place on stage, and sometimes created more fame for himself than the actors themselves.

The same could be said for some of the most revered sportscasters of all time, who narrate the action taking place on the field or court for generations of fans. As athletes come and go, the most successful sports organizations have an iconic voice as a mainstay, narrating the action year after year and season after season. Think of Harry Caray for the Chicago Cubs, or Mike Breen for the New York Knicks. For the Chandler-Gilbert Coyotes, Joe Pequeno is the man.

According to Russell Luce, CGCC Athletic Director, "We are lucky to have Joe; he does a great job for many of our different sports including volleyball, basketball, and baseball. He adds a legitimacy to our webcast that no other school in the conference can offer. He is a true professional."

Pequeno gained an interest in being a sportscaster when he realized his dream of playing centerfield for the New York Yankees was not going to happen, but he wanted to remain embedded in sports. After an internship with Turner sports and then moving to El Paso, TX, for his first on-air gig, Pequeno moved to Arizona to pursue a career in broadcasting full time. Seven Emmys and two Edward R. Murrow awards later, Pequeno is still as passionate as ever about becoming the best in the business.

"I love everything about it, I love the challenge of it,” said Pequeno. “Things are happening right now and things are right about to happen. It is a lot of three-dimensional thinking taking place." 

In addition to working with CGCC, Pequeno has worked with Park University Athletics, the Cal-Pac NAIA Conference, and the NJCAA at the Division 1 Baseball World Series, among other local high school sporting events.

Fletcher Brown, the Coyote Women's Basketball Coach and the department Sports Information Director—and who occasionally joins Joe on a broadcast—said, "Joe is simply the best. The love he has for the art of broadcasting is so awesome to see. The research he does on our players and staff and opponents leading up to games is remarkable.To me he is in the same category as Bob Costas, Al Michaels and the other greats because he knows about all different sports and does such a tremendous job."

Joining Pequeno on the sidelines for Coyote Men's and Women's Basketball games this year was Matt McKurdy, who will undoubtedly be the next Joe Pequeno one day. McKurdy, who sees Dick Vitale as a role model, started broadcasting in high school and wants to remain around sports because he enjoys connecting with the players, fans and community. McKurdy said, "I want to give everyone involved in Coyote Athletics a professional-level experience." 

Brown also mentioned McKurdy as next in line to be a great sportscaster. “He also has a passion for multimedia and has a ton of great ideas to elevate his game through podcasts and the like," said Brown.

The Coyotes are fortunate to have talented people elevating the status of the athletic program, and this allows the Coyote Student Athletes to have a first-class experience through pre and post-game interviews as well as a webcast on the CGCC Athletics YouTube page. With Pequeno and McKurdy lending their voices on the play-by-play, CGCC Athletics puts itself in a category not many junior colleges can enter—one that provides a unique experience for student athletes and fans alike.