Mike Reis
Mike Reis

Winston-Salem, N.C. (January 30, 2024) – Mike Reis, who retired in 2023 after 44 years as the radio play-by-play announcer at his alma mater, Southern Illinois University, has been voted by the National Sports Media Association as the winner of the 2024 Woody Durham Voice of College Sports Award. Sponsored by Learfield and the University of North Carolina athletics department, the award will be presented during the 64th NSMA awards banquet in Greensboro/High Point, N.C., on July 1, 2024.

A select group of NSMA member play-by-play announcers, including past winners, as well as representatives of the two sponsoring organizations vote on the award.

Reis said, “This is certainly a top highlight in my career. I know of Mr. Durham’s -- and his family’s -- legacy in North Carolina and beyond. So, to learn the award’s selection committee thought my career met the qualifications established by his career, made me ecstatic.” Reis added, “I am so happy that the selection committee for a national award like the Woody Durham Award would even notice a career made at the mid-major level like mine, let alone reward it.”

Born in Cincinnati and raised in Cleveland, Reis began his sportscasting career as a student at SIU’s radio and television stations in 1975. While still a student, he began working part-time at WCIL Radio in Carbondale, IL, and upon graduation in 1978, moved to full-time there.

Among Reis’ highlights calling Salukis’ games:

  • 1983 I-AA National Championship football team;
  • 2007 I-AA Final Four football team;
  • 2002 and 2007 NCAA basketball tournament Sweet 16 teams;
  • Seven Missouri Valley Conference regular season championships (basketball);
  • 1977 College World Series (Baseball)
  • Four NCAA baseball tournament teams.

Reis was inducted into the Southern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005, the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005, and the St. Louis Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. He was recognized as the NSMA’s Illinois Sportscaster of the Year in 2010.

Reis lives in Carbondale, IL.

Previous Winners of the Durham Award

2018 – Don Fischer, Indiana

2019 – Bill Hillgrove, Pittsburgh

2020 – Johnny Holliday, Maryland

2021 – Gene Deckerhoff, Florida State

2022 – Joe Starkey, California

2023 – Rich Chvotkin, Georgetown

Woody Durham
Woody Durham

About the Woody Durham Voice of College Sports Award

Created in 2018, the Woody Durham Voice of College Sports Award recognizes professional college broadcasters who fit the following criteria:

  • preparation;
  • association with his/her school;
  • tenure at their school;
  • efforts in the community;
  • mentorship of young broadcasters;
  • character.

The award is named for the legendary, 40-year radio play-by-play announcer for the University of North Carolina, and is sponsored by Learfield and the University of North Carolina athletics department.

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