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Thursday, December 13, 2018

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Golden State Warriors PA announcer Matthew Hurwitz ('93) courtside. Photo courtesy of Golden State Warriors Golden State Warriors PA announcer Matthew Hurwitz ('93) courtside. Photo courtesy of Golden State Warriors

Voice of Golden State Warriors Belongs to an Aztec

Golden State Warriors PA announcer Matthew Hurwitz ('93) began his announcing career as a student at SDSU.
By Tobin Vaughn

If you’re following the NBA finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, at the start of the games in Oakland you might have seen the television reporters pitch to the Warriors’ public address announcer, Matthew Hurwitz, to introduce the players. What you may not have realized is that Hurwitz (’93) holds a degree in speech communication from SDSU and discovered his knack for announcing in an unexpected way at an Aztec sporting event.

A native of San Francisco, Hurwitz came to SDSU as a journalism major hoping to start a career in sports broadcasting. He worked at the student-run radio station, KCR, to gain experience.
“I just started doing some sports reports that were pretty low-key,” he recalls. “I would write my own scripts and sports updates and deliver them on the station and kind of modeled it after what I had heard on the all-sports stations that I grew up with.”

"Kind of Like Dominoes"

He also did some play-by-play reporting of SDSU basketball, football and baseball for the station, which attracted the attention of his track coach; Hurwitz was a distance runner on the Aztecs’ team. The coach asked if Hurwitz would announce one of the meets.

“So I think I ran my race and then announced the meet,” he recalls. “Obviously, I knew the sport, but from a track meet the progression was kind of like dominoes.”

A soccer coach heard his track announcing and recruited Hurwitz’s vocal talents. “So I started doing men's and women's soccer,” he remembers.

Then the volleyball coach requested his services and he began announcing both the men’s and women’s teams. Before long he was PA announcing women’s basketball, too, and by his senior year his PA commitments were crowding out his play-by-play and other radio commitments.

“So I kind of fell into it by accident,” admits Hurwitz, who by then had changed his major to speech communication. “I honestly had no plan or desire and it was not really in the front of my mind to start doing the PA until I was asked to do it."

Back to the Bay

After graduation, Hurwitz moved back to the Bay Area where he landed a production job with a national sports radio network. Doing broadcast support work for the University of California men’s basketball team, he mentioned his SDSU experience and landed a job doing PA for Cal.

"That kind of got me rolling here in Northern California and opened the door with colleges and pros," he explains. Hurwitz has never looked back.

If there is a sport at almost any college or professional level in the Bay Area, Hurwitz has probably announced it.  He has announced hockey for the San Francisco Spiders, roller hockey for the Oakland Skates, and football for the San Jose SaberCats.

For 20 years he has also served as the voice of Menlo College sports.  “I still really enjoy collegiate athletics,” he says.

A Fan, not a Cheerleader

After filling in as announcer for the Warriors, Hurwitz was offered the main gig during the 2000–01 season. He’s been The Voice for the team ever since.

Although he grew up a Warriors fan, Hurqitz never imagined he would ever find himself in his current position. “I’m sitting courtside watching the best basketball players in the world,” he says.

But Hurwitz spends little time pinching himself. When it comes to announcing, he is all business.

“I’m a fan, but I’m not a cheerleader. I don’t view that as my job. Of course it’s exciting when twenty thousand people are cheering when the team is doing great, but I try to keep it professional.”

Hurwitz has been presenting himself in a professional manner since his student days broadcasting sports reports at KCR. “There is opportunity there,” he says of SDSU. “You get out of it what you put into it.” 

Spoken by The Voice of the Warriors.