John Freeman is coming home.
The Crozet native was officially named the University of Virginia’s radio play-by-play announcer for football and men’s basketball on Monday by the school’s athletics department and Playfly Sports Properties.
Freeman had been handling the role on an interim basis since the departure of Dave Koehn, who left UVa after 14 years to become the play-by-play announcer for the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in October.
Now, the job is officially his.
“Growing up in Crozet, this is the job I always coveted,” Freeman said in a release announcing his new role. “I now get to talk to people about the Hoos for a living. Today, I am simply speechless.”
In addition to handling radio play-by-play calls for UVa football and men’s basketball games, Freeman also will have several other duties, including serving as the host for Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall and men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett’s weekly radio programs that air once a week during their seasons. Ahmad Hawkins had been serving as the guest host of Mendenhall’s weekly coach’s show since Koehn’s departure.
Freeman first event in his new full-time role at Virginia will be Tuesday’s season-opening men’s basketball game against Navy at 9 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.
“We’re beyond excited to bring this Wahoo home,” said Brad Ferrell, the general manger of Virginia Sports Properties, said in a release. “John’s passion for broadcasting was clear when he enthusiastically stepped in as our interim voice, but his allegiance to UVa is in his blood.”
Freeman, a 2009 Virginia graduate, has handled various announcing duties for the Virginia Sports Radio Network and UVa streaming platforms since 2006. He has handled fill-in announcing duties for a variety of Virginia sports, including men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, wrestling and softball.
Freeman has been working in Tennessee for the past several years. In 2017, he was named the play-by-play announcer for the Nashville Soccer Club and continued with the franchise as it became a part of Major League Soccer.
Prior to his time with Nashville SC, Freeman handled announcing duties for Tennessee State men’s basketball, VCU women’s basketball, the Atlantic Ten Network, Randolph-Macon and Georgia athletics.
Now, after a long path that has included the voice of his hometown team and his alma mater.
“It’s been a long, winding journey home,” Freeman said, “and I’m so grateful for all the countless people who have helped me along the way including those who held this very role over the past three decades.”