Whoever said “you can’t go home again” (actually, that phrase comes from a title of a novel by Thomas Wolfe); that phrase does not apply to Matt Andrews.
Andrews is looking forward to coming home.
The Fayette County native, a 1998 graduate of Miami Trace High School and a 2002 graduate of The Ohio State University, has spent the last 14 years broadcasting the games of the Louisville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds’ Triple-A affiliate; first with now Reds’ broadcaster Jim Kelch and then the last seven years as the main broadcaster.
“I learned a lot from Jim Kelch,” Andrews said. “It’s made me better as a broadcaster and as a person.”
Coming up at the end of the month, Andrews will broadcast his last game for the Bats and prepare to move back to Ohio, likely central Ohio, as he will be broadcasting sporting events at Ohio State.
Andrews’ last game for the Bats will be June 29, the final of a three-game home series against the Buffalo Bisons.
Andrews begins his new job in Columbus July 18.
“I’m going to be involved in the football coverage,” Andrews said. “I’m going to be broadcasting women’s basketball and baseball. I’m going to be doing morning SportsCenter updates on WBNS, the flagship home of the Buckeyes.”
It might have appeared that Andrews would be in line for a broadcasting job with the Cincinnati Reds at some point in the future.
“Nobody shut the door on that,” Andrews said. “I just feel this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a chance for me to get back home and to my Alma Mater and be a part of a terrific tradition. I’m returning to my roots and to be a part of what is the fabric of me: Columbus, Ohio State.
“I’ve had a great run in Louisville,” Andrews said. “I’ve loved doing the baseball. I don’t feel like I’m fully closing the door on my baseball career. I’m excited to work with the baseball Buckeyes. It’s a chance to come home and fulfill a dream; to be a part of The Ohio State/IMG Sports Network.”
Andrews began his broadcasting career working for WVNU radio.
He broadcast the Chillicothe Paints baseball games for two seasons while still in college.
“I spent a lot of time around Randy Young, Stu Gardner, Dan Rogers, Danny Dodds,” Andrews said. “That’s just kind of how I got started with it.
“I’ve been fortunate,” Andrews said. “I’ve had a lot of people help me out. I’ve gotten some great breaks. I just got the opportunities.
“I’ve had a good run in Louisville,” Andrews said. “It’s not that I dislike what I’m doing here. The Bats have been very supportive. My family has been very supportive. This is just a chance to get home and be a part of the Ohio State Buckeyes. That’s what is exciting about it. I’m excited to get going and be a part of everything back there.
“It’s been great working with the University of Louisville, broadcasting the women’s basketball games,” Andrews said. “I got to broadcast the Final Four. They played for the national championship in 2013 (losing to perennial national champions, Connecticut).
“I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity and for the people I’ve met,” Andrews said. “It’s a little bittersweet, because I’ve formed great relationships with a number of folks down here over the 14 years. It’s not going to be easy to say ‘so long’ to those people. Getting back home, though, that’s the most important part. To be back at my Alma Mater, and closer to my family. And I’ll continue to chase the broadcasting dream.”
Andrews is the son of Charlie and Gina Andrews of Fayette County.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1