May 31, 2006
Longtime University of Notre Dame men’s basketball radio play-by-play personality Jack Lorri has announced his retirement, Irish color commentator Jack Nolan moves into the radio play-by-play role – and Nolan takes over a variety of other assignments as part of a new, full-time role with Notre Dame Sports Properties.
Lorri has done play by play of Irish basketball games for the last 38 seasons, the first 14 while serving as sports director at WTRC-AM in Elkhart, Ind., the next five on WGN-AM in Chicago, before he began with the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network – administered first by Host Communications and now by NDSP.
“We appreciate all the contributions Jack has made to Notre Dame basketball over the past four decades. Having called Notre Dame basketball games for many years, Jack was the natural choice to be the play-by-play voice when the Notre Dame Basketball Network began originating games,” said NDSP general manager Scott Correira.
Lorri also served as sports director at WSJV-TV in Elkhart beginning in 1967 – and he previously did play by play for University of Kentucky football and basketball for WLAP Radio In Lexington from 1961-63. He also served as sports director of the Tribune Radio Network in Chicago.
“After a thorough, introspective relative to my role as play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame basketball, I have decided to retire from that post and terminate what has been an eventful and enjoyable association with Irish hoops,” said Lorri.
“I have relished the privilege of calling Notre Dame basketball games for various outlets over the past 38 years, but personal considerations and Notre Dame Sports Properties’ plans to enter a new technological age, which would alter my role, have led me to the decision that it is time.
“The legions of friends, associates and supporters encountered during the decades are too numerous to mention and I am reluctant to omit anyone from what would be a long list. I would hope that time and the opportunity will allow me to extend my thanks to as many of these individuals as humanly possible.
“Obviously, there will be occasional pangs of regret and bouts of nostalgia when ending a long and memorable association. That said, I have given the matter sober reflection and adequate time and I am comfortable with finalizing the decision at this juncture.”
A WNDU-TV sports and news anchor since 1982, Nolan has been named director of media productions for NDSP. In that position, he will anchor and serve as host for a variety of NDSP programming, including shows carried on television, radio and on the Web.
He takes over the basketball radio play-by-play role after handling the color commentating responsibilities alongside Lorri since 1992. Nolan will continue as host of the television version of the Notre Dame Basketball Coach’s Show and will assume that same role for the Notre Dame Football Coach’s Show. He will handle a number of other roles for NDSP, including anchoring various live, streaming pre-game and post-game shows for Notre Dame’s athletic Web site. He also will produce a variety of feature material for www.und.com.
Nolan first joined the WNDU-TV sports staff in ’82, after one year as a sports producer, reporter and anchor at Cable News Network (CNN) in Atlanta. He’s a 1981 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
At WNDU, Nolan handled play by play on Notre Dame football telecasts and Notre Dame basketball radio and TV broadcasts from ’82 through 1995. He was co-host of the popular WNDU-AM SportsTalk radio show from ’82 until ’98. He served as a WNDU-TV weeknight and weekend sports anchor through ’97 and has been anchor of WNDU-TV’s NewsCenter 16 Saturday Morning since 1993, while also anchoring for NewsCenter 16 Sunday Morning.
Beginning in 1990, Nolan served as co-producer and host of the Notre Dame Basketball Coach’s Show under Irish coaches Digger Phelps, John MacLeod, Matt Doherty and Mike Brey. He also has been host for the Mike Brey Radio Show as well as the Official Notre Dame Football Post-Game Radio Show, both produced by NDSP for Artistic Media.
“For the past 24 years Jack Nolan has been a tremendous asset to WNDU-TV. While we are sad to see him go, we congratulate him on his new position with Notre Dame Sports Properties,” said WNDU-TV general manager Matt Jaquint.
Nolan has been involved in broadcasts that won more than a dozen statewide broadcasting awards from the Associated Press, RTNDA and the Society of Professional Journalists (SBJ). He captured the best television sports play-by-play award five times and best radio sports play-by-play honor three twice.
Also joining the NDSP staff as director of digital media is former Notre Dame assistant sports information director Alan Wasielewski. His new position involves coordinating the technical aspects of various programming produced by NDSP for www.und.com, in addition to overseeing all editorial and audio/video aspects of the site.
A member of the Notre Dame sports information staff the last four years, Wasielewski assisted with football in 2005 while also serving as primary media contact for softball and women’s swimming and diving. He also has been managing editor of www.und.com and previously worked with volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country and track and field, and men’s swimming and diving.
A South Bend, Ind., native and 2000 Notre Dame graduate, he spent two previous years as a publicity assistant in the Irish sports information department.
Nolan and Wasielewski begin their new assignments July 1.