Gamblers' Habeck goes from play-by-play to day-to-day

It’s a sweet story of progression for UW-Green Bay graduate Jason Habeck, who has gone from play-by-play announcer for the Green Bay Gamblers hockey team, to a full-time front office staff position. Habeck, a 2008 communication graduate, will continue to be the voice of the Gamblers, but will now have full-time and additional responsibilities such as corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and media relations.

Habeck got his start in broadcasting at UW-Green Bay. Disappointed about the lack of student radio on campus, he met with then Chancellor Shepard with a business plan to start up an Internet radio station. He got the go-ahead and became the station manager in 2006. During his time with the station, it grew from six students to about 40. The station now plays alternative rock, sports, and has since won a number of Wisconsin Broadcaster Association awards for excellence.

“Looking back, my time with the station was the project that impacted me the most,” he said. It was also the experience that led to the Gamblers.

Jeff Mitchell, Habeck’s current boss, got word of his work with the campus radio station and gave him a call. Before he knew it, Habeck was broadcasting his first game, even though the former high school golfer had no hockey experience.

“It was the summer of 2007, a preseason game in Green Bay,” Habeck says. “The game started and it was so fast that it was hard to follow, Jeff was broadcasting with me, and I remember telling him in the first intermission, that I was going to quit, because it was too different for me. He told me to relax, and left the booth. I had to finish the game and by the third period, I got into it, got excited, and I’m now in my fifth season.”

Although Habeck developed his passion through radio, it was the compassion of a UW-Green Bay faculty member that Habeck credits with helping his successful navigation to college graduation.

“I will never forget the day I called Prof. Tim Meyer to try to break into the communication program at UW-Green Bay,” says Habeck. “My GPA was 1.62 and I was on academic probation. After talking to me for about a half hour, Prof. Meyer gave me a chance and accepted me in the program. I graduated with a 3.4 GPA, with the real-world tools to be successful in business. I truly believe if it wasn’t for him letting me into the program, I would have been just another drop-out statistic.”

Instead of dropping out, Habeck is another UW-Green Bay graduate “living his dream.”

“I am working my dream job. I absolutely love working in sports, and I believe the Green Bay Gamblers are one of the premier sports franchises in Wisconsin to work for.”

You can hear Habeck with the call beginning Oct. 1 on Internet radio.