Staff profile: Ryan Swanigan
Sneakers squeal across Papillion Lavista High’s gymnasium floor as their owners dribble toward the net. The cheerleaders began to chant and stomp their feet.
“Albers drives the basket, throws it up, a basket and a foul!” announces Ryan Swanigan. “All with that broken left hand!”
Swanigan fondly remembers those moments standing among his fellow students in the stands. But Swanigan did things differently. He wasn’t just cheering; he was announcing aloud the entire game as though he had an audience.
“It started when I was 4, I would take a sheet of paper and two colored markers and create my own football game on paper,” said Swanigan. “Once the colors collided, I announced the first down.”
Swanigan, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln senior, now works for radio station KRNU announcing UNL athletic events. He’s come far from notebook paper and markers; now he follows in the footsteps of announcers like Pat Hughes or Kevin Kugler.
He began as a contributor for two years before moving up to director during his junior and senior years. He continues to rise in the ranks, covering not only the pre-game activities, but the entire event.
Gone are the days of announcing with colored markers, yet Swanigan may be headed back to a familiar stomping ground post-graduation.
“A professor told me once that as broadcasters, everybody pays rent,” said Swanigan. “In announcing everybody starts out in high school.”
Swanigan announces Nebraska Mens Basketball vs Wisconsin February 10, 2015.