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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Andrew Monaco provides familiar voice to A&M

Photo by Abbey Santoro

“Voice of Texas A&M Athletics,” Andrew Monaco welcomed Aggies to the Ford Hall of Champions on the afternoon of Thursday, June 10. 

The past several years have ushered in a new era of Texas A&M Athletics.
In 2018, Jimbo Fisher took over as head coach of the football program, 2019 saw Buzz Williams take the reins of the men’s basketball team and finally, 2022 has featured the arrival of Jim Schlossnagle as head baseball coach and the departure of Gary Blair after a 19-year tenure at the helm of women’s basketball.
However, there remains a constant during this period, taking the form of a familiar voice on the Aggies’ radio broadcasts. Fans may not know his name nor recognize his face, but head broadcaster Andrew Monaco’s impact on A&M Athletics is undeniable.
Monaco took over as the “Voice of the Aggies” in 2018 upon the retirement of Dave South, the Aggies’ long-time broadcaster who began his role with the university in 1985. Monaco is responsible for several duties, including calling home and away football, basketball and baseball games for the maroon and white, in addition to hosting the teams’ pregame and coaches’ shows.
“It’s an absolute honor,” Monaco told the 12th Man Foundation in 2019. “I’ll be honest, I still pinch myself because I know it’s the best job I’ve had. Aggies are so loyal and really are the best fans I’ve been around, so to be the ‘Voice of the Aggies’ is truly an absolute honor for me.”
Monaco’s hiring came at a pivotal point in A&M Athletics, characterized by numerous arrivals and departures of head coaches in Aggieland. He’s quick to acknowledge this fact and understands his own place in A&M’s legacy.
“It’s really fun that those coaches have welcomed me,” Monaco said. “You’ve seen how they’ve embraced the university. Not just their teams, but the university. It’s always interesting to be a part of the history that’s here.”
Monaco’s journey to Aggieland comes after an extensive 30-year career in broadcast, featuring a wide range of sports across the country, beginning in his hometown of Philadelphia while in high school.
“I have no idea what I would do if I wasn’t a broadcaster,” Monaco said. “I’ve always wanted to be one. I got a taste of it in high school, as I had a teacher that used to work for NBC and he taught a broadcasting class. We got a chance to learn all about broadcasting and got time in front of and behind the camera. For someone that was fascinated with broadcasting, it was really cool to have that hands-on experience at such an early age.”
Upon graduation, Monaco made his way to the University of Maryland, where he graduated in 1986 with a degree in broadcast journalism. While there, he wrote for the student newspaper, The Diamondback, as a sports editor.
“That offered a stipend, and I needed money to pay for school,’’ Monaco said with a chuckle. “I am of the belief that being able to write helps you in broadcasting. They go hand-in-hand.”
Monaco’s start in professional broadcasting came in Atlantic City, N.J., where he worked as a radio host for a sports talk show after graduating from Maryland. In 1989, the NBA’s Orlando Magic hired him as a radio host on the Magic Radio Network.
“If I were to write a book, I’d call it ‘Right Place, Right Time,’ because it seemed to help me,” he said. “Living out of Atlantic City, I heard that one of the sports radio hosts was leaving, so I called the station and told them I was interested and I got hired there.”
He then began his work in play-by-play broadcasting with Minor League Baseball’s Orlando Cubs while also doing freelance work. From there, Monaco returned to the Magic, taking over as their television play-by-play broadcaster and worked as a studio host and courtside reporter. This job also gave him the opportunity to broadcast for the WNBA’s Orlando Miracle and International Hockey League’s Orlando Solar Bears.
Monaco added to his resume when the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs hired him, working in play-by-play broadcasting as a studio host and courtside reporter. During this 11-year period, Monaco helped cover the team as it established itself as one of the most successful dynasties in basketball history, winning two NBA titles, three conference titles and seven divisional titles during his tenure from 2007 to 2018. At the same time, Monaco showcased his versatility by covering the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars and the American Hockey League’s San Antonio Rampage.
“To be able to work for the Magic, the Spurs and Texas A&M, I’ve been blessed,” Monaco said.
Monaco’s versatility is one of his greatest assets as a broadcaster. His ability to cover a wide variety of sports makes him a great fit at A&M given his role as head broadcaster of football, men’s basketball and baseball.
“I’ve done volleyball, soccer and even mascot games, which has been my favorite,” Monaco said. “The versatility is what makes broadcasting so much fun. To me, you always get something to look forward to, and there’s not a lot of downtime. I’m really happy to have done a lot of different things. You get a chance to meet different student-athletes, and you get to meet different coaches.”
Monaco said his knowledge of different sports has grown over his career and has been largely influenced by those he has worked with during this time.
“I really appreciate that there were a lot of different people who shared an awful lot of knowledge with me, and I think it’s helped me prepare a lot better as I’ve gone along in my career,” Monaco said. “I’ve always watched and always played sports. I enjoy not just the sport itself, but the broadcast aspect. To me, it’s been a really fun marriage, if you will.”
Despite being at A&M for only four years, two of which were significantly affected by COVID-19, Monaco has witnessed firsthand and called several games and events that will go down in the A&M record books, including the football team’s victories over LSU in 2018 and Alabama in 2021. He said those will always personally stand out as some of the most memorable moments in his broadcasting career.
“It’s hard to beat seven overtimes [referencing the A&M football team’s 2018 victory over LSU],” Monaco said. “What a way to cap your first year. My phone was blowing up throughout the game, and at a certain point, you stop and say, ‘Wow, this is a part of history.’”
Monaco also said the football team’s win over No. 1-ranked Alabama in 2021 was a game that will always stand out in his memory.
“All the eyes were on that game,” Monaco said. “It was just so special, and I thought Kyle Field all year was something special. I always say there’s a reason student-athletes come here, and it’s for games like that. As a broadcaster, that’s the reason you come to Texas A&M.”
It’s important to keep in mind that play-by-play is only half of the broadcast of a sporting event. Just as Monaco is an integral part of A&M’s radio broadcasts, so are his analyst partners, whether it be Dave Elmendorf for football, or John Thornton for men’s basketball. When paired with either of the two, Monaco can orchestrate a broadcast which is both informative and entertaining for the audience.
Both of the analysts shined at A&M as student-athletes, with Elmendorf starring on the gridiron and Thornton a leader on the hardwood. In their current roles, the pair can attest to Monaco’s leadership and expertise on air.
“When I first met Andrew, I asked him, ‘What’s your style? What do you want the broadcast to be?’” Elmendorf said. “He said, ‘Dave, I want it to sound like three guys sitting down, having a cold beer and watching the ballgame and talking about it.’ That’s a great goal that’s really hard to achieve, but he seems to make it so easy. That’s exactly what we do. I couldn’t be happier. I’ve never had more fun broadcasting in my life.”
Thornton echoed Elmendorf’s comments and said Monaco’s flow and knowledge of his sport sets him apart from other broadcasters.
“Andrew has a great basketball background, and I think of our broadcast as just a conversation between two guys talking basketball,” Thornton said. “I like Andrew’s positive energy. Play-by-play is hard, and to be able to do that job, at that pace, especially with basketball, you’ve got to be very positive. You’ve got to have that energy, you’ve got to do your homework and he does that consistently.”
With his wealth of experience, Monaco offered his own advice to those aspiring to enter the world of sports broadcasting. Perhaps most importantly, he emphasized there is no direct path to success in the industry.
“Come in and embrace it,” Monaco said. “Embrace where you’re working and always make it the best. You want everyone you work with to be sorry that you’re leaving and moving ahead, because you’ve made your mark. If it’s something that you love, go do it, put in the time, the work and the effort. Put the time into the craft, and be yourself.”
Lastly, Monaco said those who are successful in the industry are never fully satisfied with themselves. In doing so, he reflected upon himself as he strives for improvement in his craft every day.
“Can I be better tomorrow?” Monaco asked himself. “It doesn’t mean that you’re not good, but to me it’s the standard. I’m not going to say, ‘OK, I’ve made it, and that’s it.’ I want to leave Texas A&M in a better place than when I got here.”

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