John Thayer has been named play-by-play announcer for South Dakota football and men’s basketball, USD athletic director David Herbster and Learfield IMG College announced Friday. Thayer, who has been the voice of Coyote women’s basketball for the last seven seasons and sideline reporter for Coyote football for the past five seasons, replaces Joe Van Goor.
Joining Thayer in the booth will be former Vermillion High School coach Gary Culver, who has been an analyst on USD football radio broadcasts since 2013, and Carter Woodiel, who will replace Thayer as sideline reporter for football and as women’s basketball play-by-play announcer.
“I am humbled and honored for this opportunity, and look forward to continuing to tell the stories of Coyote athletes,” Thayer said in a statement. “It’s been great to work with and learn from a radio veteran like Joe for the past several years. I have really enjoyed my time watching the women’s basketball program develop into a nationally-ranked team that contends every year for a Summit League title, and look forward to a new challenge and role with the Coyote Sports Network.”
A Eustis, Neb. native, Thayer helped launch the Tiger Sports Network at Doane College (class of 2008) and has since worked for stations in Colorado and Nebraska, before arriving in Yankton in July 2012. He served as sports director of KVHT/KVTK in Yankton and hosted a weekday sports talk show called “On the John.”
Thayer became the voice of USD women’s basketball ahead of the 2013-14 season and joined the sidelines of Coyote football in 2015.
Currently, Thayer works with Coyote Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holder and sports marketing arm for USD athletics, and hosts “YoteCast,” the Coyotes’ official podcast, which debuted prior to the 2019-20 campaign.
“Joe Van Goor was sports director at KVHT & KVTK Radio for many years before he was elevated to the play-by-play announcer for the Yotes, and now our own John Thayer will take the reins,” ” said Jeff Fuller, owner of 5 Star Communications. “I know John will do a great job as the voice of USD football and men’s basketball.”
Woodiel, a 2018 University of Missouri graduate, is currently the voice of the Sioux Falls Canaries. He has also served the Sioux Falls Stampede and Midwest Communications in South Dakota.
He was named Bob Costas High School Sportscaster of the Year in 2012, received two awards from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation – one of the highest honors a collegiate journalist can receive – and a Missouri Broadcasters’ Association award in 2015 for his play-by-play work with KCOU-FM in Columbia. In addition, Woodiel has won an Edward R. Murrow Award and a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for his work in radio reporting.
He spent the 2018-19 season as the broadcaster for women’s basketball at High Point University in North Carolina, and has broadcasted basketball at William Woods University, Westminster College, University of Missouri and North Carolina Central University.
“I’m incredibly excited to join the outstanding broadcast team at the University of South Dakota,” Woodiel said in a statement. “It’s an honor to be able to learn from someone as accomplished and respected as John, and to help deliver fans the thrill of following Yotes basketball and football. I can’t wait to get started.”
The changes coincide with the departure of Van Goor, the Coyotes’ award-winning broadcaster.
Named Sportscaster of the Year in 2005, Van Goor has been the voice of the Coyotes since the 2012-13 academic year and before that, during the 1990-91 academic year. In all, he spent 26 years covering the Coyotes for three different broadcasting companies.
Van Goor has hosted “The Coyote Report,” USD’s weekly coach’s show for football and basketball, since 2012 and produced a daily show for the Coyote Sports Network called the “Coyote Sports Minute.”
Van Goor is stepping down due to the rigors of travel that accompanies Division I athletics. Van Goor hopes to spend more time with family and friends while continuing to work in the radio business locally.
“I would like to thank the University of South Dakota and Learfield IMG College for the opportunity to be the voice of the Coyotes for the past eight seasons,” said Van Goor in a statement. “In particular, I’d like to thank the many coaches, student-athletes, and athletic staff for helping me broadcast football and men’s basketball since USD became fully eligible for NCAA Division I. Being in radio for 44 years and in sportscasting for 36 years, it’s time to slow down and find opportunities closer to home.”
Follow Brian Haenchen on Twitter at @Brian_Haenchen.