Picture this: you’re sitting in the stands, watching a sporting event, and supporting Illinois State University athletics—but all you hear are cheers from the crowd and players communicating on the court. Amid the cheers is a booming, spirited voice announcing things about the game. And that voice may seem familiar. Who is it? 

Dr. Lance Lippert

Dr. Lance Lippert has been a long-time voice for ISU athletics with his extensive and reputable PA (public address) announcing background. Lance is also a noteworthy figure within the School of Communication, as he is a professor and program coordinator for the Communication Studies Program. He has been announcing for ISU athletics for 20 years. His remarkable career surpasses just announcing for ISU athletics. His background in radio-television, broadcasting work, and PA announcing goes beyond this timeline.  

“Before I became an announcer for ISU athletics I worked in radio TV for about 11 years, and when I gave up radio at the time, I got back into teaching. I was invited back to teach at a school that I went to in Kansas, and then they asked me to do PA back in 1989,” said Lippert.  

Additionally, Lance has been an announcer for ISU athletics since around 2002. He has done PA announcing for several universities and events. He is currently the PA announcer for women’s volleyball and men’s baseball at Illinois State University.  

“Before that, I have been at Fort Hays State and Southern Illinois University. I’ve also done some national college championships, some pro stuff, and some state high school announcing,” said Lippert.  

His background in radio broadcasting and passion for sports is what drew Lance to this career. He grew up playing a variety of sports—simply for the love of the game. This passion has been displayed in his time as an announcer for ISU athletics.  

“I love sports. I grew up and got into broadcasting and I realized it’s fun, and I’m good at it, so I gave up a promising grocery store career,” Lippert added with a wry grin. 

Lance has always had a passion for athletics and broadcasting which translates into his teaching. “I get to see all these student athletes, have to make impactful decisions, so for me doing PA, it’s developing relationships with these young people that go on to be incredible people and do incredible things,” he said. Moreover, Lance is dedicated to the relationships he gets to build with the students—all while doing what he loves.  

“Doing this allows me to work with people in athletics that help broaden my horizons and that I can bring back to the classroom. It’s about the relationships I develop because of the opportunity. It’s a different space to be in which is really fun,” said Lippert.  

PA announcing is no easy task. It takes time, preparation, and concentration. “No one notices the person doing public address until they make a mistake,” said Lippert. Announcing for athletics can be a challenge as it’s a very fast-paced environment—making concentration a critical element. “It takes some mental acuity, and everyone thinks it’s just about voice. But it’s about style, organization, and announcing for some sports is tougher than others,” said Lippert.  

Although PA announcing can be challenging at times, it’s an exciting role to be a part of. Lance encourages anyone thinking about going into broadcasting to give it a try and put yourself out there. “I think there are a lot of people that have the skillset to do it and maybe they don’t know it. I think if anyone wants to do it, they should try it. You have to put yourself in these situations that make you feel a little uncomfortable so you can do it better next time.” 

Lance is unique in that he brings a different sound to the crowd when announcing. PA announcing is much more than reading from a piece of paper. It’s about entertaining the crowd, bringing the spectators together, and making the crowd feel like they’re a part of something special. “I bring a certain sound that’s a little more conversational, and a little more personable, which is better for certain sports so it’s not as scripted, it’s not just reading,” said Lippert.  

Lance says that announcing for Illinois State University athletics has been extremely rewarding and a way for him to stay interrelated to sports. He enjoys being able to connect with the crowd through his PA announcing as well as building the lasting relationships he has been blessed with over the years. 

“What it’s about for me is having relationships, having good seats, watching the game, and making a difference. I feel very privileged,” said Lippert. 

Next time you sit down at a sporting event, be sure to not only watch the game, but also consider the appreciable time, effort, and excitement that goes into announcing each game. Lance has dedicated much of his life to radio broadcasting and PA announcing for the sheer joy it brings to others and we thank him for his commitment to the university.