One of Morehead State Public Radio’s most recognizable voices will be doing his last newscast this month.
Chuck Mraz, who came to Kentucky to work at WMKY in 1986, will retire at the end of the month after more than 30 years with the station.
“It has been a great ride,” said Mraz. “More than 30 years ago, I came to WMKY not knowing anyone in the area. After 30 years, I leave with a lot of friends and a lot of great memories.”
In his role with MSPR, he has mentored hundreds of MSU students. Mraz has won numerous awards, including more than 40 Kentucky Associated Press awards. In May 2015, he received the East Kentucky Leadership Conference Award for Media and Technology.
“Chuck and I have worked together since 1986 as his first sports graduate assistant. As a mentor, he genuinely has had a personal interest in our student work-studies to prepare them for their careers. I count myself fortunate to have learned from his teaching,” said Paul Hitchcock, MSPR general manager.
In addition to his duties as news director, the Southern Illinois University graduate has been the play-by-play voice for the Morehead State football and men's basketball teams for nearly three decades. Mraz was named the 2016-17 recipient of the Ohio Valley Conference Media Award.
According to the veteran broadcaster, he has called more than 1,000 Eagle athletic events, with the highlight being the 2011 NCAA Tournament win as Demonte Harper hit the game winner to beat Louisville.
"The win over Louisville is without a doubt the highlight of my career," he said. "I remember I was so excited to do that game, I was literally shaking, and I had so much adrenaline surging through me that day."
Mraz has a long list of former students, he mentored, who became successful TV/Radio broadcasters.
“I have always felt it was important to give back," Mraz added. "When I was coming up through college people took time to teach me things and even went out of their way to help me, so I have always felt it was important to teach students and give them a chance to have the type of career I've had if they choose to."
So, what is next? Mraz still plans on broadcasting Eagle football and basketball games along with spending more time with his wife, Joni, and seeing his daughters Megan (and her husband Kyle) and Elizabeth (and her husband Kevin), along with granddaughter, Emma, and his father, Ken.
“Family has always been important to me and now I will be able to spend more time with my wife, my daughters and my granddaughter. I am healthy and am very fortunate to be able to get a chance to do that.”
He will not miss waking up at 3:30 a.m. each weekday morning, but will miss the professionals he has worked with during his time at Morehead State University.
“Larry Netherton hired me and was a mentor,” said Mraz. “I have worked with some great people at WMKY. I think that’s what I will miss the most, the people.”
A retirement reception will be held Wednesday, June 27, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Morehead State Public Radio studio, 132 Breckinridge Hall.
Additional information is available by contacting Paul Hitchcock, MSPR general manager, at 606-783-2001 or visiting www.wmky.org.