This is the third and final post from my conversation with Greg Wrubell. I figured that becoming the Voice of the Cougars didn't just happen overnight, but I was surprised to learn just how much time he put in before he started calling games for the Cougars.
VOICE OF THE COUGARS
Let's face it, being the play-by-play caller for your favorite athletic team is something of a dream job for most of us. For Greg Wrubell, it is his actual job. Lest anyone think that Wrubell is just a lucky guy who had a dream job fall into his lap, he worked long and hard for it. Besides, luck is often the result of being the one who is willing to work harder, longer, and smarter than everyone else.
25 years ago he started working for KSL. From 1992-2000 he was the radio broadcast sideline reporter for football games while Paul James continued to do the play-by-play calls. Wrubell started doing full-time basketball play-by-play in the 1997-1998 season. In 2001, he stepped into the big shoes James left behind and took over as the play-by-play caller in football and basketball. Wrubell has a lot of respect and admiration, bordering on reverence for James, saying "I really think Paul was perfect for the position...I learned from the best."
The off season months are used to "decompress," as he put it, and to prep for the next season. Off season preparation includes a review of all of his processes and ensuring that he is as efficient as possible, then making tweaks as needed to improve. During the season Wrubell figures he puts four hours of preparation for every hour of broadcasting for a football game (3 hours of prep for 1 hour of broadcasting for basketball). This includes breaking down previous games analytically, opponent research, memorization, spotting boards, and pregame scripts. It is this high level of preparation that Cougar fans who cannot watch the game in person or on TV are still able to vividly see the game in their mind's eye while listening to the radio.
His favorite moments calling games center around the, temporarily defunct, BYU-Utah rivalry. Beck-to-Harline, 4th and 18, and Andrew George in overtime are what come to mind, especially Beck-to-Harline. That is probably the play that Cougar fans identify with most out of Wrubell's calls as well.