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(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sportscaster Craig Bolerjack talks to Utah's Devin Harris following the Jazz game against the Spurs in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 9, 2012.
Utah Jazz: Everybody likes Craig Bolerjack

Veteran Utah sportscaster Craig Bolerjacklives up to his reputation as a friendly guy.

First Published Apr 23 2012 11:44 pm • Last Updated May 29 2012 11:41 pm

Craig Bolerjack just wrapped up his seventh season as the voice of the Utah Jazz. This fall, he’ll return as one of the voices of Pac-12 football on Fox.

He’d really like to be the voice of a cartoon hedgehog.

At a glance

About Craig Bolerjack

Born » March 16, 1958, in Willow Springs, Mo. Grew up in Springfield, Mo., Wichita, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas State (1977-81) » Walked on with football team, but injuries quickly ended his career. Became sports director at college radio station. Graduated with degree in broadcast journalism.

KTSB-TV (1981) » Weekend anchor at Topeka, Kan., station.

KSNW-TV (1982-85) » Reporter/anchor at Wichita, Kan., station.

KSL (1985-98) » Sports anchor and the original host of “SportsBeat.”

ESPN (1991-98) » Play-by-play for college football, college basketball, Arena Football League and more.

CBS Sports (1999-2010) » Play-by-play for NFL, college football and college basketball; hosted studio shows and more.

Utah Jazz (2005-present) » Play-by-play for the Jazz TV telecasts.

Fox Sports (2011-present) » Play-by-play for college football.

Family » Craig and his wife, Sharon, are the parents of three sons — D.J., Nick and Brody.

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"I would love to do an animated film," Bolerjack said. "It would be fun to do something like ‘Over the Hedge.’

"Just a supporting role, like the fifth hedgehog," he said with a laugh. "Just some nice little hedgehog."

It would certainly be typecasting. Not the hedgehog part, the nice part. Ask anybody who knows Bolerjack what they think of him and one of the first things you’ll hear is what a nice guy he is.

"He’s a great guy," said his Jazz broadcast partner, Matt Harpring. "I’ve gotten to know him pretty well, and I call him my new best friend.

"And it’s not just me. Everybody likes Craig."

KUTV sportscaster David James recalled meeting Bolerjack back in 1992.

"He bounced out of his chair and ran around the table to introduce himself," James said. "He’s just that Midwestern, nice guy.

"I know this is hard to believe because it sounds like the sort of thing everybody says, but he really is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet."

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When Bolerjack succeeded Hot Rod Hundley in 2005 as the play-by-play guy for Jazz telecasts, it marked a generational shift of sorts. Not just from the folksy, hyper-kinetic Hundley to the smooth, professional Bolerjack, but from one basketball generation to another. It was sort of a changing of the guard.

"His style and his knowledge is from the mid-’80s back," said Bolerjack, who expressed great admiration for Hundley. "I’m connecting with players that are in that [John] Stockton and [Karl] Malone era to where we are today. I kind of bridge the gap from that era to this era and watching this young team grow before our eyes."

Bolerjack is the guy both the Jazz and ROOT Sports want making the calls.

"We are lucky to have someone of Craig’s caliber on our ROOT Sports team," said Tim Griggs, ROOT senior vice president. "He provides fans with knowledge and insight that goes beyond the game.

"Craig’s delivery is top notch and his passion for the team is evident in his work."

A high school football player who walked on at Kansas State but had to quit because of injuries, Bolerjack didn’t grow up a huge NBA fan.

"Football was everything to me," he said "But when I saw the Jazz in ’85, I thought, ‘This is unbelievable’ — athletically and the speed of the game. That’s what really made me a fan."

When he got a job at KSL back in 1985, Bolerjack figured Utah was just a step in a TV career that started at Kansas State, then moved to stations in Topeka and Wichita.

"I thought I’d stop here for, like, a year," said the Missouri native, who grew up in Kansas City. "And then you start to build family and you start to go, ‘I really like this place.’ It was amazing that after one year it became five, five became 10, and all of a sudden it’s over 25 years later."

He spent 13 years at KSL. He also freelanced for ESPN, working mostly college football and basketball, from 1991-98. Then he moved over to CBS for 13 years, working college football and basketball, the NFL and other events.

Last year, he went to Fox to call Pac-12 and Big 12 football.

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