The Man Behind the Mic

Doc Elder

By Cameron Cox

Since 1921, we have welcomed play by play sports broadcasters into our homes and at times they have felt like family. The Chicago Cubs had Harry Carey, NBC had Bob Costas, and Eastern New Mexico University has Donald “Doc” Elder. Since busting out on the airwaves in 1996, Doc Elder has keep fans excited from kick-off, to the final whistle.

“If it all comes to an end tomorrow, I have been blessed and this has been the time of my life. Giving the community the best sports coverage possible is something that’s extremely important to me, that’s my goal”, said Doc.

This radio personality brings more than just sports knowledge to the mic, Doc fills your speakers with constant jokes and fun facts that will allow everyone to relate to the game.

When asked how comes up with all this stuff and he replied, “It’s the product of a random and very interesting mind. I guess I feel the need to add my random collection of knowledge, and I really hope it adds something to the broadcast. Hopefully it has entertained fans over the years, and if I can throw in a Lady Gaga or history reference every now and then, everyone can relate.”

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In August 1995, Doc was hired by Eastern New Mexico University as a professor, and from the moment he arrived on the campus of ENMU, the northern Iowa grad felt right at home.

“Eastern is a school that puts enthusiasm on teaching, and I felt I would be evaluated on how I preformed in the classroom”, said Doc. “While it’s always important to do services outside of the classroom, I feel professors should be evaluated in the classroom, so I really liked that about ENMU.”

A year in the classroom got people talking, and finally in 1996, Doc took his unique personality to the broadcast stage, when he was asked to fill in for the coach’s show. Then in 1997, Doc was asked to broadcast ENMU Greyhound Baseball.

He  will never forget that time, “I was so excited, and the best part about it was baseball, which is my favorite sport. Then later that spring, the Portales Rams made it to the State Championship in baseball, so I got the opportunity to broadcast state baseball. Those first few months I will always remember. I was getting to talk about sports on the radio and it was a blast.”

Finally in the fall of 1998, Doc took over the radio airwaves for all ENMU athletics, a roll which he still proudly continues today. Now throughout the thirteen years behind the mic, Doc has seen it all. From come from behind victories, to heartbreaking losses, Doc has had a front row see to all the actions.

“One football game I will never forget is one of the greatest comebacks I have ever seen”, Doc stated. “New Mexico Highlands and ENMU were playing, and Highlands scored with six seconds left. Then on the ensuing kickoff, the Greyhounds took it ninety-something yards to the house to win the game. Todd Wallace (current ENMU Defensive Coordinator) was a part of that unbelievable return, and to this day, every time I introduce Coach Wallace at an event, I tell people he was a part of one of the greatest comebacks in Greyhound history.”

The ENMU announcer also shared many other memories. Such as when the Greyhound Baseball team made its first trip to the playoffs and the quadruple-overtime win this past season from the Greyhound Basketball team. But through all the games, Doc has been able to share every game winning touchdown, basket, and homerun with his wife Janine.

“I was stunned when somebody asked me to do sports, I was even more caught off guard when Janine offered to come to all these games with me, and climb up all these stairs to help me keep stats,” said Doc. “She is really good at it, local newspapers always come up to her and ask stat questions. No matter how far we have to travel, or how bad the weather gets, she is always there with me. She is my information and inspiration.”

Doc has inspired many throughout the years in the classroom and through the radio. He has also blesses listeners with the priceless joy of laughter, but he wants everyone out there to know, “I’m sorry to anyone who I offend, it was not my attention. But to the many people who have come up to me and said thank you, or anything positive, I will always remember you and thank you.”

This fall, once again, Doc is back on the mic as the voice of ENMU Athletics. Now even though this sports fan bleeds green and silver, his motivation to keep broadcasting is much more than just supporting ENMU.

“Being a good husband and father is important, being a professor is important, but doing a justice to the athletes of this community makes all those drives worthy”, said Doc.

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