Coach Jay Ladner finishes third season of radio show

Lions basketball Head Coach Jay Ladner, left, talking to Assistant Director of sports information Mike Kiral for his weekly radio show.
Zachary Araki/ The Lion's Roar 

Head men’s basketball Coach Jay Ladner held the last segment of the “Jay Ladner Radio Show” for the season on Mar. 8. The show will return in January of next year when conference season starts.

The radio show airs every year between January and March during the Southland Conference season. Ladner, has been the coach for the past three seasons. He talks about the university’s basketball program and the team. The show initially aired on TV but moved to a radio format after the first year.

“I enjoy the radio show better just because it’s more interactive and more people can watch it and participate in it opposed to the TV show that’s taped privately in the arena or on the floor where nobody else is there,” said Ladner.




Lance Pittman, the radio game announcer for the Lions, hosts the show with Ladner in the Student Union. Five ten-minute segments divide the show, featuring players and assistant coaches as guests.

The show connects basketball to its fans.

“It gives them a chance to get some more insight, more so than just going to the basketball game,” said Ladner. “You get to know a little bit more about the people who are involved in the program, so it’s a way for us to touch our public a little bit more. That’s important in terms of helping to build our program to the level that we want to.”

The show aims to bring more attention to the basketball program and help fans feel more involved.

“We want to get it more interactive and have more access to the students,” said Ladner. “That’s the whole purpose of doing it here, where our students can see what’s going on. It gives them a chance to also know our players as well.”

KSLU, the university’s radio station, coordinates and broadcasts the “Jay Ladner Radio Show.”

“I think it’s reaching an audience that may not have been there before,” said Todd Delaney, General Manager of KSLU. “Some people may tune in to the games, but they always want to hear from the coach himself, and I think we’re offering that. Not a lot of radio stations offer both the games and the coach’s show at a college radio station. That’s kind of a unique thing. It’s been working really well for us.”

Though KSLU broadcasts within a ten to twenty mile radius at 90.9 FM, listeners can tune in online beyond that range.

“We have a lot of people listen to the show throughout the world,” said Ladner. “I actually had one of my former high school players, several weeks ago shoot me an e-mail after the show and tell me he had listened in Mexico City, Mexico. So, it’s a matter that if that’s important to people and they’re interested in our players or the coaches or our program or our university and they like basketball, they can cue in just over the internet and listen to it.”

A wide audience is not limited just to the coach’s show. Other programs, such as “Experience Points” for video games and “Rock School,” also attract listeners to KSLU’s broadcasts.

“I’m just amazed every time I do these reports. I have to do a report every three months and I go in to see how many people have been listening online for a two-week period and where they’re listening from,” said Delaney. “It blows my mind. A lot of people are from the United States, and I kind of expect that. But then, there’s a lot of people not from the United States from Estonia, from Russia, from China, just everywhere.”

Ladner admired the work of Vin Scully, a retired sportscaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sports have been a part of Ladner’s life from a young age.

“Growing up in an athletic based family, father being a coach, I just came into athletics very naturally,” said Ladner. “Ever since I was a very young child, athletics has never been away from my life. I feel very fortunate and blessed that I’m able to still be involved with athletics at my age and that’s my career. I don’t even look at it as a job. It’s a passion, and I feel blessed to be able to do that.”

Sports announcers and radio hosts attracted an audience of students.

“I just thought their emotions, the way they got into the game, kind of made it more interesting ‘cause they helped me know what was going on, and they’re all excited so you got excited, too,” said Cody Sanders, a junior biology major.