Iowa Alumni Magazine | April 2005 | People

Having a Ball: Brett Dolan

By Michael Tracy
Brett Dolan

It all began when he was a Hawkeye fan. From calling play-by-play on KRUI for Iowa baseball and women’s basketball, Brett Dolan has gone on to make a name and a career for himself as a commentator in the minor leagues—and the major leagues, as well.

Dolan, 92BA, a native of Casey, is director of broadcasting for the Tucson Sidewinders, the Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks. Now in his 11th year in minor league baseball, he does play-by-play for the team’s entire 144-game season, as well as occasional play-by-play announcing for the Montreal Expos, one of Canada’s professional teams. He’s also done broadcasts for the Arizona Diamondbacks and, during the baseball off-season, he helps cover University of Arizona Wildcats’ football and basketball.

"Broadcasting is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” says Dolan. “When I was growing up, I dreamed of playing professional sports, but I couldn’t [make it]. I decided to take another route—and this is the next best thing. In this business, everyone wants to announce full-time for a major league team. I hope my day will come.”

Before joining Tucson in 2000, Dolan enjoyed stints with the Beloit Snappers and the Iowa Cubs. Recently, his hard work has started to pay off. During the 2004 baseball season, league presidents selected him to co-announce the Triple-A All-Star Game in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. And in 2002 and 2003, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named him Arizona Sportscaster of the Year.

"Doing the All-Star Game was amazing. Pawtucket has a wonderful baseball facility and their All-Star activities—the celebrity home run challenge, fan fest, and All-Star luncheon—were outstanding,” says Dolan. “And, being named Arizona Sportscaster of the Year twice is an unbelievable honor. In 2002, I was one of five Hawkeyes, including Philadelphia Phillies’ announcer Harry Kalas [59BA] to be selected from around the country. It’s a thrill to be included in the same company as such a legend.”