#MediaMonday – Kevin Ray
Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from the multi-talented Kevin Ray, or K-Ray as he’s known. He’s a busy guy, doing play-by-play for the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Cowboys, as well as launching a new podcast. He, like me, also worked in Flagstaff early in his career.
K-Ray, time to share:
I was born in Shawnee Mission, Kan., and raised in Adrian, Mo., a small farming town about 60 miles south of Kansas City. I attended college at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan.
How’d you get into the media? What’s your story?
I moved from Pittsburg to Flagstaff in July of 1989 where I landed a job with radio station KVNA. There I did both sports and sales. After two years there I moved to the Valley where I worked three or four different jobs, both in and out of radio. After doing some part-time work on Cardinals broadcasts and shows I landed a full-time job at KTAR AM 620. There I wore a lot of hats, including everything from producer to talk show host, anchor, sports director and program director. I was honored to win a number of Associated Press Awards while at the radio stations for my work on various sports features.
I started with the Phoenix Suns as the pre- and post-game TV host back in 2003 and have been the Suns’ TV voice since 2017. Going back to my arrival in Arizona I immediately fell in love with the Suns and it was at that point that I wanted to shift my focus to eventually do play-by-play, whether it was radio or TV. Getting to sit in that chair is a dream and goal realized and I believe an example of manifesting your thoughts into becoming reality. Additionally, I get to do games with my good friend Eddie Johnson who is one of the best color analysts in the business! We recently received our second Emmy Award for our broadcasts.
I was the radio and TV play-by-play voice for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury for 20 years and it’s an experience that I truly relished. Getting to call games of Diana Taurasi was an absolute thrill. I was part of all three of their title runs and was blessed to receive a championship ring for each.
There’s more. I am now in my 11th year providing play-by-play for the Dallas Cowboys National Radio broadcast for Compass Media Networks. The Cowboys are the only team in the NFL that has their own exclusive national radio broadcast. I’m fortunate to do the games with Danny White, former Dallas QB/punter and Arizona sports legend (ASU baseball and football). We travel to every game so when both seasons are going on at the same time – as they are right now – my world becomes a little frenzied at times. It’s not uncommon to do a Suns game then catch a red-eye flight to wherever the Cowboys are playing. There’s a lot of planning and juggling in order to pull off the trips and having people on both sides who accommodate my schedule is extremely helpful.
Two side stories: I had the good fortune last season to do both teams in one day. I had an early Cowboys game in Dallas. Upon completing our broadcast, I raced to the airport and caught a flight back to Phoenix. The flight was slightly delayed, but once we landed, I scrambled to the arena where I arrived 20 minutes before tip-off! SUCCESS 😊
And there have been two instances where I’ve traveled on red-eyes from a Suns game to do a Cowboys game where I’ve landed and gotten to the stadium with less than 10 minutes till kickoff. Not highly recommended, but again, I’ve got great people who are willing to work with the crazed schedule.
I have also recently launched a podcast, “Breakthrough Chronicles,” which showcases a wide range of industries and fields, featuring guests from entrepreneurship, entertainment, sports, arts, science, and more. It’s designed to inspire, inform and motivate listeners – serving as a reminder that failure is not the end but a stepping stone on the path to success, and that breakthroughs can emerge from the darkest moments of our lives.
I’ve had the chance to see some incredible moments in sports throughout my career, including:
- Covering the Suns in the ’93 Finals. It still hurts to think about.
- Covering the ASU Sun Devils as a pre- and post-game host at the ’97 Rose Bowl against Ohio State – standing in the back of the endzone as Jake Plummer scored the go-ahead touchdown.
- Covered two Super Bowls.
- As the flagship for the Fiesta Bowl for 13 years, we had the broadcast rights to call the games locally. We were able to the games over a seven-year stretch and I was able to call five of those games with one of them being the National Championship game between Ohio State and Miami.
When I’m not working, I enjoy being outdoors and working out.
Favorite music? I always enjoy live music, pretty much of any kind.
Favorite restaurant? Boy, favorite restaurant is a tough one. So Many. Arrowhead Grill near my home, Steak 44, Ocean Prime, Babbo Italian, Eataly in New York.
A little-known fact about you? I’m the youngest of five kids. I’m the only boy in the family. I have four older sisters. I also do work for Ford-Robert Black Talent Agency. I’ve been with them for going on eight years now. I’ve done TV commercials, print ads, industrial videos, etc. Additionally, I do voiceover work.
Anything else you’d care to share? The Valley has been home to me since 1991. I live in Glendale and am the proud father of three children: Devon, Zachary and Alexandra.