Andy Brown has broad­casted Charger football games on WCSR for more than half of his life. (Photo: Madeline Fry | Col­legian)

When Lec­turer in English Andrew Brown begins his Great Books class, he usually starts a dis­cussion about the weekend’s Charger football game.

Brown has taught an English course each semester for a few years, but he’s spent more than half of his life as a broad­caster for Charger football. So after he tells stu­dents to stop leaving games at halftime, they’ll launch into Macbeth.

In addition to cov­ering Charger football and men’s and women’s bas­ketball games, Brown hosts a sports talk show every Tuesday night. On “Time Out with Andy Brown,” he fea­tures local coaches and high school players before chatting about state sports with co-hosts Rick Arse­nault or sophomore Martin Petersen. One of Brown’s three sons, Sam, is the show’s co-pro­ducer.

Brown, who grad­uated from Hillsdale in ’97,  got involved with sports broad­casting as a student. He had grown up lis­tening to Detroit Lions games on his tran­sistor radio when he should’ve been sleeping, so he com­bined his passion for radio and sports by getting involved with the city of Hillsdale’s radio station, WCSR.

Brown met his co-host Arse­nault, who works as a cus­todian at Hillsdale, on the way to science class almost 20 years ago. After he dis­covered their mutual love of Michigan teams, Brown would stop in the hall to chat with Arse­nault about the Tigers.

“Even at that point we had our sports dia­logue,” Arse­nault said. “So we’ve been doing our shtick for a long time.”

Brown knew as a student that their rapport was too good not to con­tinue.

“He’s really sharp and well spoken,” Brown said. “I was into radio already then, and I said, ‘One day, Rick, you and I will do a sports talk show together.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, right, whatever.’”

The show began almost ten years ago, and now Brown and Arse­nault con­tinue their banter by chatting about the game results and — after losses like the Wolverines to the Spartans a couple of weekends ago — answering ques­tions such as, “Can you have a good weekend if all of your teams lose?”

Their con­clusion, Brown said: “Not really.”

The show also fea­tures Petersen, who got involved with the radio station as a sixth grader. Brown said he was hes­itant to bring on such a young sports fan, but Petersen ended up knowing more about sports than he did.

Brown, however, has a talent for real-time announcing, according to Petersen. The pair also call bas­ketball games together, and Petersen said Brown is one of the best play-by-play announcers he has heard at any level.

“It’s always a joy to work with him, espe­cially during the bas­ketball games,” Petersen said. “The game comes down to the wire, you know, and he’s making great calls, and it just makes it really exciting for me and the people that are lis­tening as well.”

When Brown invites ath­letes on his radio show, he’ll ask local high school players to high­light their achieve­ments. But he also talks to more cel­e­brated ath­letes as well. He’s had several inter­views with Hillsdale res­ident Penny Neer, who com­peted in the Olympics for discus throwing, and he also hosted Katie Cezat ’09 after she won the Women’s Bas­ketball Coaches Asso­ci­ation Division II National Player of the Year. 

“Those are the stories I love, you know, the folks from our county who have…been suc­cessful and have done special things,” Brown said.

Next Tuesday, tune in at 6 p.m. on 92.1 FM to hear Brown speak with new head women’s bas­ketball coach Matt Fritsche.

Over the summer, when he’s not teaching at Hillsdale or his full-time job at Camden-Frontier High School, Brown spends his time at the radio station.

“I always say, ‘I teach all year so I can do radio for three months in the summer,’” Brown said.

He’s been broad­casting games long enough now that it’s never too much of a chal­lenge.

“You can just go and enjoy the game and talk about it,” Brown said, “and try to bring the action to the fans.”