FRISCO, Texas – Longtime Lamar Cardinals’ broadcaster Dave Hofferth is the 2017 Southland Conference Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award winner. League commissioner Tom Burnett made the announcement Monday. Burnett will present Hofferth the honor this Thursday at Southland Football Media Day in Houston.
Hofferth served as the play-by-play voice at Lamar for 38 years, providing fans in Southeast Texas game action calls for Cardinals’ football, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball. During his four decades in the Golden Triangle, Hofferth has called many of the more memorable moments in LU sports history. He brought to life the basketball team’s first NCAA tournament victory (vs. Detroit University, 1979), followed by the team’s run to the Sweet 16 a year later. The 1979 season was a big year for the Cardinals, as Hofferth was also on the mic when the LU baseball team recorded its first NCAA Regional victory.
“Dave Hofferth is an outstanding selection for the Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award,” said Burnett. “His voice and memorable game calls are synonymous with Lamar Athletics. We are pleased to honor Dave, who richly deserves this honor.”
Hofferth is also a part of LU women’s basketball history. He called the team’s magical run to the Elite 8 in 1991. The upsets did not just come from women’s basketball. “The Voice” was also on hand to call LU’s thrilling one-point upset over Baylor on the gridiron as Cardinals’ kicker Mike Marlow drilled a 42-yard field goal with three seconds on the clock for arguably the biggest win in program history.
“I'm especially honored to receive this recognition from the conference,” said Hofferth. “To join a group headed up by Louis Bonnette, along with Rush Wood, Paul Ridings and Doug Ireland -- all guys who helped me with the information that added to my broadcasts -- is truly special. I was fortunate to be able to describe some of the memorable moments in Lamar and Southland history and, for that, I will be forever grateful."
Hofferth’s sports background goes far beyond being known as just the voice of LU athletics. Hofferth has spent nearly 20 years covering Southeast Texas sports at KBMT-TV in Beaumont, most recently as the sports director/anchor. For the majority of that time, he served as both sports director and men’s basketball play-by-play and could routinely be seen shooting video highlights while at the same time calling the action for fans listening in, without skipping a beat. In addition to his time with KBMT, Hofferth also spent approximately 25 years covering sports for Newstalk 560 KLVI in Beaumont. He also spent one season on the radio as the play-by-play voice for the Houston Astros.
"Dave will always be considered the play-by-play voice of Lamar athletics,” said Lamar Athletic Director Jason Henderson. “His voice still resonates with the Lamar fan base, even though he has moved on from radio into covering the Cardinals for television. His love for Lamar athletics has never wavered. He has been on the call for some of the greatest moments in Lamar athletics history and will hopefully be around to cover many more. We are truly honored that Dave was chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Louis Bonnette Award. He epitomized was this award represents."
The accolade, named after longtime McNeese sports information director Louis Bonnette, is presented annually to an individual that has made outstanding contributions in the field of sports information, print journalism, broadcasting or other media focused on the Southland Conference and/or its member institutions. The Southland’s sports information directors, athletic directors and other university personnel, and outside media executives nominate individuals for the award, and the sports information directors make the final selection.
Hofferth will be the sixth recipient of the award. Previous winners include: Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director Doug Ireland (2016); The Daily Sentinel (Nacogdoches) Sports Editor Kevin Gore (2015); Sam Houston State Sports Information Director Paul Ridings (2014), longtime Southeast Texas sports journalist and retired Lamar Sports Information Director Rush Wood (2013).
Louis Bonnette, who will be on hand when Hofferth is recognized Thursday during the media day’s luncheon, was the first recipient of the award in 2012.
Bonnette enjoyed a storied career as the first McNeese SID, holding the position for 46 years. As SID, he boasted a national record of 516 consecutive Cowboy football games worked. He was inducted into the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2007 and the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame in 2009. He has also been honored numerous times by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, who recognized Bonnette with its prestigious Mac Russo (1995) and Distinguished Service in Sports Journalism (2002) awards.