Sept. 18, 2006
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue football radio play-by-play announcer Joe McConnell will take an indefinite leave of absence to address some medical issues. He will be replaced by Tim Newton, who currently serves as producer and pregame, halftime and postgame host on the broadcasts.
McConnell, who this summer was nominated for the Chris Schenkel Award - presented by the National Football Foundation to a sports broadcaster who has had a long and distinguished career broadcasting college football - is in his 12th season calling Purdue action. He took himself off the air during the last two games because of double vision.
Newton is in his 12th season on the radio crew, as well, and his second as host of the "Joe Tiller Show" on radio. He has served as play-by-play announcer for Purdue women's basketball since 1990-91.
"First and foremost, we want Joe to get better. Our thoughts and prayers are with him," said interim assistant athletics director and football sports information director Tom Schott. "He is a Hall of Fame-caliber announcer, and we hope to have him return to the booth. Until then, we know Tim will do an outstanding job. He will put the same energy and passion into his football broadcasts as he has into women's basketball for the last 16 years."
Pete Quinn and Brett Schetzsle will continue in their roles as color commentator and sideline reporter, while Rob Blackman, co-host of the Boilermaker Sports Wrap, will assume Newton's position as producer and pregame, halftime and postgame host. Blackman is set to begin his second season as pregame, halftime and postgame anchor on Purdue men's basketball radio broadcasts.
"In a situation such as this, our first concern is Joe's well-being, and we hope that his doctors will be able to pinpoint the source of the problem and get him back to 100 percent as soon as possible," said Newton, who serves as director of external relations for the Purdue Krannert School of Management. "In the meantime, we have a great crew assembled, and we will do our best to carry on in his absence.
"Joe is a broadcasting legend, and it's an honor and privilege to be able to carry on, at least temporarily, in his footsteps."
The Purdue Radio Network, which is managed by Purdue Sports Properties and Learfield Communications, Inc., consists of 31 stations throughout the state of Indiana. The flagship station is WLFF (95.3 FM) in Lafayette.