RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Patrick Henry alum and recent Virginia Tech graduate Evan Hughes has won the Jim Nantz Award, given to the nation’s top college broadcaster. He is the first Hokie to do so.
“It’s really humbling, because it means so much for our program at Virginia Tech, our sports media and analytics program, our School of Communication,” Hughes said. “There’s been so many positive things around that over the last couple of years.”
Hughes was actually traveling when he got a voicemail from the award’s namesake, the legendary CBS Sports broadcaster.
“I literally wanted to yell to the whole plane, ‘Please, please let me off the plane. Let me get off as soon as I can so I can return his phone call,'” Hughes laughed. “He just was so supportive. He had watched my entire reel and gave me some great feedback. He wants to get a meal with me sometime in the fall, which just, again, is incredible as a 22-year-old. Here I am having a conversation with arguably the best play-by-play broadcaster of the last 20, 30 years.”
Hughes’ winning reel includes his work as a play-by-play broadcaster, sideline reporter and host over the last year.
“It was a lot of fun to put together, but the main thing I wanted to do for the reel was show the different things that I can do,” Hughes said. “I do a segment called ‘Base to Base’ where I walk with a softball player from first to second asking random fun questions.”
Hughes called high school games and even hosted a coach’s show during his time at Patrick Henry.
“Everybody at Patrick Henry was so incredibly supportive of me, including coach Bryan Davis, and I think by the time I was a junior in high school, I didn’t know if I could make a living out of it, but I knew that this is what I was passionate about and if it weren’t for those experiences there, I don’t think I would have gotten to Virginia Tech,” Hughes said.