Two former Cavaliers have moved into the radio booth for UVA in recent years. Ted Jeffries (Col ’93) has been the analyst for Cavaliers basketball for two seasons. Tony Covington (Col ’90) is beginning his second season of color commentary for football.
They each still hold their day jobs: Jeffries is the director of development for the Ridley Scholarship Fund and Alumni Interest Groups at the UVA Alumni Association and Covington works for the United Negro College Fund and as a motivational speaker.
But they both have developed a strong rapport with play-by-play announcer Dave Koehn, who leads coverage of both sports. The University of Virginia Magazine interviewed the trio to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of their broadcasts.
How do you prepare for a game?
Ted: I start looking at the new team 48 hours before the game. I try to look at the personnel. I look at the roster of coaches: Is there anybody I might have a relationship with so that I can generate some questions when I get to the gym? I try to know the style of play. Then Dave and I sit down before the pregame show to toss around different ideas. We try to pick which direction we want to go.
What is it like to be an analyst of the team you played for?
Ted: At the heart of it, you try to err on the side of being supportive. There are challenging games, when you can tell that the team doesn’t have it, but you have to be real, you have to be objective, you have to call it like you see it.
Tony: The hard part for me is that, because I want the team to do so well, I have to be cautious. I’ll always be a Cavalier. People know that we love our school. We’re going to cut to the chase, but we’re not going to sugar-coat things either.
Do you carry the wins and losses with you?
Tony: I take them as if I’m down on the field with them. When you love your program so much and you’re around the coaches, you see how much work they put into it, how much work the players put into it, you can’t help but take it to heart and feel for them.
Dave, what were some of the tips or guidance you shared with them early on?
Dave: If you want to be good, the best thing you can do is bring viewers a perspective that I can’t see. I’m on the ball as a play-by-play guy. I’m following the ball. I want to know what, from a player’s perspective, is happening. Take us inside that world.
What are you looking forward to in the coming season?
Ted: A new play-by-play guy (laughs).
Dave: I think you can tell we are friends and we have fun with it. We’re not just going out and doing the games. We joke around a lot, and that is apparent in the broadcast, when you hear guys who like each other who work together, because it’s not always that way.
Tony: I’m looking forward to having the band back together. I think I’ve seen Dave once or twice in the offseason. I’m just looking forward to working alongside him week to week, just talking about the game.