Ryan Wendt started his radio career at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since. Starting as a part time board op at KDLS in Perry Iowa in 1993 his career has taken him from KDLS in Perry to KWBG in Boone to KSOM/KS95 in Atlantic to KLMJ/KQCR in Hampton and back to KWBG in Boone where he is the current Sports Director.
Where did you grow up?
What exactly do you do for a living?
I am the sports director for KWBG Radio in Boone Iowa. I do play by play of high school sports for Boone, Ogden, Madrid and college sports for DMACC, as well as daily Coaches Corner interviews with area coaches at 4:50pm. I also host a Tradio Show program Monday-Friday from 9:40am-10am (basically it lets people call in and sell stuff)
Outside of sports what do you like to do in your free time?
I like to golf (although I’ve been out only twice this season for 3 rounds) I just recently bought an Xbox 360 so I find myself being lost in NCAA football games for hours on end (much to the wife’s delight) and I have a movie addiction to Netflix. I also enjoy reading a good book (although the ESPN Book has been sitting on my nightstand for too long with the bookmark in the same spot)
Who are your favorite athletes of all-time?
Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs is probably still my all time favorite athlete. I was also big fans of Walter Payton, BJ Armstrong, Nick Bell, Magic Johnson and Nick Van Exel.
What’s one thing you can do all day long and have no regrets?
Watch movies, play video games (although I do sometimes feel a little guilty) I like to do the occasional road trip with no destination in mind (just to see Iowa)
What is your favorite and least favorite household chore?
Favorite: I don’t really hate doing laundry although I do dislike putting it away and I don’t hate mowing. My least favorite…………..dishes. I don’t care if we have a dishwasher those damn things never seem to jump from the sink to the dishwasher on their own.
What non-athletic skill do you wish you possessed?
I wish I was able to teleport myself from point A to point B.
What is your fondest memory of your pre-college life?
There were quite a few things in high school we did that I’m not sure if could still be prosecuted but let’s just say we were the kings of toilet papering, borrowing shopping carts and finding alternate things to do with road signs.
Did you play any sports in college (yes intramurals count)?
Played flag football and basketball.
What is your ideal career aside from what you do today?
I’m kind of torn on this, I’ve always been interested in hosting my own sports talk show but I also enjoy doing play by play (those two don’t mix very well in trying to also have time for my family) I’ve also thought about being a GM at a sports talk radio station too. Hmmmm, now that I typed all that out my ideal career is sitting at home and having people send me money for being me, think I have a shot?
What are you looking forward to the most in the next 12 months?
Central Air. The one draw back of our house was there was no Central Air Unit and while we didn’t think it was a big deal at the time the last 3 summers have been way too hot (thankfully we have a finished basement that stays cool year round) and thanks to Dave Ramsey (go ahead haters bring the hate mail, we really liked his course) we should be able to get a CA Unit next year.
What is your ideal non-weekend day off?
Anything really. I don’t have one specific thing but if I’m not working then you can be guaranteed I’m enjoying whatever the heck I’m doing
What is one sport that you wish you could be a fan of but haven’t been able to for one reason or another?
I don’t care how “cool” hockey is in person I really don’t care about it, same with soccer, guess I wouldn’t mind being more interested in darts but I can never find it on TV anywhere.
What’s your idea of the best feeling in the world?
Having my 10 year old ( birthday today) say I love you. Can’t.Beat.That
What event that has taken place in your life stands out to you the most?
This is a pretty loaded question and since you’ve continued to read I’ll try not and bore you with a paragraph but my divorce is probably one that has shown me how tough of a person I really am. My daughter has always been there by my side and my new wife is more then just a little spectacular, she’s my rock.
What are your favorite adult and non-adult beverages?
This question always makes me laugh when I read this column because I’m not really a “beer drinker” when I go out and drink I’ll take a Bud Light or a Busch Light, doesn’t really matter, I’m far from a beer snob.
If you could cut one current song from radio circulation what would it be?
I really don’t listen to the radio for music (mostly talk) the songs I like are on my iPod right now but Fergie seems to put out some real crap, so probably something from her.
Who is your favorite musical artist or group?
With no shame I’ll admit that I love the 80’s and have my own playlist of nothing but 80’s songs (You’re the Best Around to The Humpty Dance) So give me an 80’s cover band and a Bud Light and I’m jamming.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done when you were with your friends?
Again I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about it yet
How long have you been on Twitter?
I don’t think I’ve quite been on a year but I love me some Twitter (rwendt40 is my username for the record)
What is your ideal vacation?
I really have enjoyed my two trips to Vegas BUT if we don’t have the funds to fly somewhere I have no problem hitting up somewhere in Iowa or Nebraska and just chilling out in that town for a weekend
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from work?
Shorts and a t-shirt are necessary and a glass of ice cold water or a pop
What’s your favorite place to eat?
I’m semi addicted to Casey’s pizza but since you can’t go there and eat (they frown upon that, I’ve tried) I like Applebees or Tailgators in Tekamah Nebraska (GREAT cafe)
What is your favorite board or card game?
I’ve been known to dominate Monopoly but I also enjoy the game Life (oh and Trouble)
Do you have any odd collections?
Nothing really odd, I have a ton of baseball/basketball/football cards from the 80’s and 90’s and I like Iowa Hawkeye prints to Hawk out my man cave.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Plan the Work/Work the Plan
Who is your celebrity crush?
Katie Couric is freaking amazing, those legs are spectacular.
How did you get into radio and sports broadcasting?
I actually did radio news in high school for speech (my dad was the coach so I kinda got strong armed into it) Anyway so a guy who worked part time at KDLS in Perry said they had an opening and would I be interested in coming down and reading, well I did and was hired and the rest as they say is history. By the way for those that think radio is full of glamour and excitement remember this, my first shifts as a part timer were Saturday nights 6-midnight and Sunday afternoons Noon-6pm.
What was the most memorable Iowa football game you’ve been to?
The funny thing about me and Iowa football is that I didn’t attend The University so I didn’t go to games in college when others may have gotten their first taste, in fact my first game was Iowa/Minnesota in 1999 (I think) Living a few hours away and working Friday night high school football games makes it difficult to go down Friday night and leaving at the butt crack of dawn on a Saturday morning isn’t my idea of fun. The Michigan State/Iowa double OT game a few year’s ago marked my first (and last) time I was on the field (yeah I stormed, don’t judge)
What do you like calling better, softball or baseball?
Softball and there isn’t even a question. High School Baseball has so much dead time it’s amazing. Throw to first, shake off the catcher, visit from the pitching coach, walk a batter, YAWN! Softball is get it, pitch it, hit it, field it and I like that.
How would you improve high school sports?
Football games should kickoff at 7pm. Basketball games (girl/boy doubleheaders) should tipoff at 6pm. And baseball/softball games should first pitch at 7pm.
What’s the most memorable softball or baseball game you’ve called?
Hmmmmm, I’ve had a couple. Harlan winning their 1st of three straight football titles in 2003 was amazing (they trailed 35-23 with 5:38 to go in the 4th quarter before winning 38-35 over a Matt Kroul led Mt Vernon team) I also had a chance to call 8 man football games when I worked for KSOM in Atlantic Iowa (as well as the 2nd one ever in the UNI Dome) The only sports I’ve never called a state championship game in has been baseball and softball. Being able to work with Curt Bladt from Harlan, the late Ed Thomas at Aplington Parkersburg and Randy Hinkel at Madrid has been a treat.
What’s the best golf score you’ve had?
I think I shot a 39 when I was a Freshman in college (it’s been awhile since I was in the low 40’s)
What type of weather is better: summer heat or winter chill?
I hate heat, absolutely HATE being hot so bring on the wind chill!
What’s the best part of your job?
Being around high school sports without having to worry about the practices, and it’s alot of fun to talk with coaches about their philosophies.
What’s the worst part of your job?
No question being away from my family alot. When it’s tournament time it’s not uncommon to have 5 games in 5 days and that can make for late nights (depending on where I’m going) I think sometimes people forget the travel to games can be a long trip and when the game is over you also have to drive back home (which can make for a long day/night)
What is the best thing about living in Boone, Iowa?
Growing up just 10 miles away in Ogden I know the area and watching it turn into a nice community with good people has been a bonus and having little things like HyVee, Fareway and some food spots to eat is an added bonus (no need to drive to Ames or Des Moines)
Thank you Ryan for responding! If you’d like to actually hear his voice check out KWBG 1590 AM or KWBG.com.
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