If you’ve ever listened to the radio broadcast of a Jaguars game, it’s likely that you were listening to “The Voice.” A man as mysterious as his own moniker, Brian Sexton has spent the last 20 years as the play-by-play announcer for the Jaguars.
Sexton attended the University of Kansas, where he focused on a broadcasting career after disregarding his father’s advice to pursue a degree in business.
“That sounded incredibly boring and was just opposite what I wanted to do,” Sexton said. “Broadcasting made sense since I have a big mouth, and so my first stop after arriving in Lawrence, Kansas in the fall of 1987 was KJHK to say hello and let them know their future star sportscaster was on campus … kidding … sort of.”
All joking aside, Sexton was driven by not only his own expectations, but specifically his father’s. In order to make it in sports broadcasting, Sexton did as any competitor would and took it upon himself to create separation from his peers in order to obtain ultimate success.
“There were plenty of guys with good voices and a great understanding of the games, but none of my classmates are still working primarily because my willingness to do whatever it took was greater than theirs,” he explained.
As an intern for two local radio stations during his junior and senior years at Kansas, Sexton not only sacrificed his weekends, but his wallet as well.
“I hosted the Big Blue scoreboard show for the KLWN after every KU game reading scores over a record, yes a record of college fight songs, for $20 per Saturday afternoon,” said Sexton. “I worked at any and every opportunity to either call a game, host a show or to carry my professor’s equipment when he did a game at Baker University or Lawrence High School.”
Sexton’s dedication paid dividends in the fall of 1994, when WOKV offered him an unpaid position as the host of former Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s radio show. Lacking a play-by-play announcer, the Jaguars brass saw Sexton as a potential candidate and asked for a sample of his work.
“I gave them an eight-man high school football game where I sold the advertising during the week, acted as engineer, producer, statistician, play-by-play announcer and color analyst while standing on a telephone pole in the rain.”
Sexton’s ability to shoulder the load in any condition not only impressed the Jaguars staff, but specifically former owner, Wayne Weaver. In a world that not only desires, but expects instant gratification, Sexton again demonstrated his knack for marching to his own beat.
“Too often today people want to be compensated for what they believe their value is versus what their value actually is. I was under no illusions that my value was so great that they couldn’t find someone else to host the show … I said yes and the next 20 years were worth it.”
Over those 20 years, Sexton has called every single down the Jaguars have played.
This season, however, Sexton steps out of the booth to take on a new challenge. The role of senior correspondent for the Jaguars digital media group will finally put a face to “The Voice” we’ve all been listening to since ’94.
“I was given the option to finish my contract or grab this new digital role and truthfully, the chance to start something new was overpowering after 20 years of doing the same thing,” said Sexton.
Now, Jaguars fans everywhere can.