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"It was just a good time for the change," Bolerjack said. "I love CBS. I love the SEC. Great football. But I was real excited when Fox called because, knowing that Utah was going to the Pac-12, I could actually kind of use some of my Utah knowledge within the new conference. And I could also not miss as many Jazz games because I could get back-and-forth a lot easier.
"Going to Baton Rouge or Tuscaloosa or Gainesville was an all-day adventure."
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.
You might think that the NBA would keep him busy, but Bolerjack loves "switching gears" for football.
"You wait for that big play, and it happens maybe five or six times a game. It’s almost like you’re in rhythm," he said. "I have to go for more of a mellow approach for those three-and-a-half hours.
"But in basketball, it’s just blasting up and down the floor. That’s another challenge."
His peers are full of praise for his work in both arenas.
"I think the world of Craig," said Bill Riley, the radio/TV voice of Real Salt Lake and radio voice of University of Utah football and basketball. "He’s a pro’s pro. From a play-by-play standpoint, he’s just as good as it gets."
In his 27 years in Salt Lake City, Bolerjack has had other offers, "But when I was going to go do something else, something just pulled me back."
He and his wife, Sharon, and their three sons — 22, 19 and 16 — moved to Kansas City very briefly in 2005, but then the Jazz called.
"So we just decided to make this the place," Bolerjack said. "Challenges come. And I’ve been disappointed along the way, sure."
Like when the Discovery Channel flew him to New York to audition as a narrator for documentaries.
"It didn’t work out, but I really wanted to try," Bolerjack. "They said I was too Midwest."
Midwest? He’s a Utah TV institution and one of its most familiar faces — and voices. You can hear him coming before you see him. That big, affable voice is unmistakable.
"It’s the voice we all wish we had," James said. "Booming. Authoritative. Very professional."
And he stops to talk to people, whether it’s the employees at EnergySolutions Arena or people who recognize him at the grocery store.
"He’s a fantastic guy," said Riley. "Very approachable."
"I just like to talk," Bolerjack said. "I’m flattered they ask me. People say, ‘Hey you got a minute?’ I’m, like, ‘Sure, what’s up?’ "
That’s "something that was drilled into me as a kid by my parents. And when I was in college, one of my professors told me, ‘Listen. You hope people talk to you. Always take time. Because if you don’t, you’ve lost a viewer.’ "
Affable as he is, Bolerjack comes in for his share of criticism from Jazz fans. Which he tries to not let bother him.
"The nightly challenge is to be the best that you possibly can," he said. "I know there’s people that don’t like me. That’s part of the business. It’s hard to accept sometimes, but the challenge is you’re on live TV. There’s no do-overs."
Bolerjack has sort of a big head, but only literally. His ego is under control. He’s "drawn down to Earth" when somebody greets him in the grocery store "and somebody will say, ‘Who are you?’ Not everybody watches television. So a lot of people don’t care.Next Page >
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