Gus Baylow has never been afraid to try new things. The Marblehead native and St. John’s Prep graduate, who is currently a junior at the University of Kansas, will serve as the voice of the Jayhawks’ men’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams this fall.
It starts August 18 when the Jayhawks host Ohio State on the pitch at Rock Chalk Park. This is a new challenge for Baylow, who cut his teeth announcing games at St. John’s Prep and has since worked hard to broaden both his broadcasting and journalism careers.
Blessed with a deep baritone and the perfect pipes for broadcasting, he got his start as a high school sophomore doing Eagles’ football and soon expanded to announcing hockey and baseball games. After four summers announcing North Shore Navigators baseball games in Lynn, Baylow — who is enrolled at William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication — spent this summer in Green Bay, Wisc. doing play-by-play for the Rockers in the Northwoods League. Similar to the Navigators, it’s a collegiate summer baseball league for talented players.
“It’s been a great experience,” said Baylow. “I’ve traveled all across Wisconsin with the team doing home and away games. I’ve been able to see so many places I’ve never been before, and I’ll have a very quick turnaround when our season ends next week, leaving the next day for Lawrence (Kansas).
“It’s been great here in Green Bay. The people have been very welcoming; they’re like a second family to me. I’ll be really busy, but I’d rather have things fast paced than slow.”
Baylow said he’s starting to do his prep work researching both the KU soccer and volleyball teams because the games, and his classes (starting Aug. 22) begin in a hurry.
“My family knows I’m doing what I love, and I’m so glad I picked Kansas,” said Baylow, who will broadcast the home games for both squads. “It was the only school I applied to, and things moved so fast. Once I visited I knew that was where I wanted to go and have never regretted it.”
Baylow did a little soccer in high school, but has never announced volleyball before. He branched out to Jayhawks’ softball this past spring, and is always ready for the next challenge to expand his resume.
“It’s a really good opportunity for me to try something new, and it’s cool the games are on Kansas Athletics Radio,” he said.
Baylow is also involved with covering local high school games and writing columns as a freelancer for the Lawrence Journal World. Friday Night Lights bring out the fans in Kansas, he said, with almost all local football games played at night. He was co-sports editor for the Daily Kansan before taking the job with Journal World.
“I’m looking forward to it because there’s a lot of good football talent in Northeast Kansas, with several players going on to big name colleges,” he acknowledged. “I’m glad I can do both broadcasting and writing.
“I didn’t get into writing pieces a lot until a couple of years ago, and it’s been such a good experience. I don’t have to make a decision this year, but most likely will have to pick one path to follow as a senior. When the time comes I’ll have to focus on one thing, and if I’m offered a job I’ll take it. Right now, I’m building connections at Kansas and Green Bay. My parents have been so supportive right from the beginning and come out when they can and go to some games, but it’s a three-hour plane ride.”
Baylow enjoys all sports, but said baseball would be No. 1 on his list, followed by football and basketball.
“One of my biggest thrills was calling both the NCAA semifinal and championship basketball game at the Final Four in New Orleans,” he said, alluding to the men’s Final Four this past April when the Jayhawks beat Villanova (81-65) and North Carolina (72-69) to capture the NCAA title.
There are certain to be many more exciting ventures in the wings for Baylow, and whatever comes along he’ll be ready to dive in and deliver his broadcasting best.
Contact Jean DePlacido @JeanDePlacidoSN
Contact Jean DePlacido @JeanDePlacidoSN
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