Toby Rowland Reacts to Being Named New Voice of the Sooners

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:17 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 22, 2011 11:58 AM CDT

Layna Dewell
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

NORMAN, Okla. –Oklahoma Sports’s Toby Rowland has been named the new radio play-by-play announcer for football and men's basketball at the University of Oklahoma.

Rowland succeeds Bob Barry Sr. who retired as the voice of the Sooners after the 2010-2011 men’s football and basketball seasons.

“I grew up at Mustang as a kid listening to John Books call OU football games and I would actually act out the plays in the back yard as he called them,” said Rowland. “Now 30 years later to get the chance to follow in the footsteps of John Brooks and Bob Barry Sr., wow, I am just humbled and absolutely ecstatic.”

“Toby’s spirit and enthusiasm for Oklahoma represent the standard of what we appreciate in an announcer; a standard that was established by men like Bob Barry,” said OU President David L. Boren. “He understands our state, our fan base and our tradition of excellence and will approach his job in view of the values that make Oklahoma, our University and our athletics program so great.”

“I feel unworthy, but I am so excited to make the fans of the University of Oklahoma proud,” said Rowland.

In 2009 Rowland became the voice of the Sooner sidelines, reporting for both television and radio broadcasts for OU’s football, basketball, baseball, wrestling and softball teams.

“The legacy of play by play announcers at the University of Oklahoma almost rivals the legacy of the head coaches; there are some amazing people that have been in those positions,” said Rowland.

Rowland started with KWTV News 9 in 1999 and has worked with the Oklahoma Sports team covering all levels of sports across the state of Oklahoma. He has also been the morning talk show host on KREF radio in Norman since 2004.

-What does friend and colleague Chad McKee think about Toby's new gig?

“I want to thank all of the people who have helped me along the way in my career, especially Dean Blevins who has put so much trust in me and opened so many doors for me in broadcasting,” said Rowland.

“I am absolutely thrilled for Toby and for the University of Oklahoma. He is an incredibly talented story teller and his passion for sports in Oklahoma is evident every single day,” said Barbara Merckx, Oklahoma Sports director of sports content.

Rowland will make his first appearance as the OU radio play-by-play announcer at the April 16 Red/White Spring Football Game.

A 1995 graduate of Southern Nazarene University, Rowland also called the shots for the SNU football, basketball and baseball games as well as for Norman High School.

Toby’s talent has not gone unrecognized, as he is the recipient of multiple awards for his broadcasting including two Emmy Awards.

Furthermore, in 2004 he won the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters award for "Best Sportscast." He was also awarded the Society of Professional Journalist award for "Best Sports Reporting" in 2005. He received Emmy Awards in 2005 for the “Orange Bowl Blitz” and in 2010 for his feature on the Endeavor Games.

“He is a talented broadcaster with a creative flare, and he has flourished in multiple media settings. We expect him to flourish in this role as well,” said OU Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione.

"It is with tremendous enthusiasm and excitement that I look forward to carrying the torch forward in a way that will hopefully make them proud," said Rowland.