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Campbellsville University’s Matt Payton earns top award from Kentucky Broadcasters Association

By Ariel C. Emberton
Campbellsville University

Matt Payton, broadcast operations coordinator and voice of Tiger basketball at Campbellsville University, has been named Broadcasting’s Best Sports Play-By-Play by the Kentucky Broadcasters Association (KBA), the largest broadcasting organization in Kentucky.

The award recognizes the best locally organized sports play-by-play in Kentucky.

“I’m humbled to have received this honor from the KBA. There are many wonderful individuals who sacrifice their time to cover athletes across the state and to be recognized as the best is quite overwhelming,” Payton said.

Matt Payton (left) interviews head coach Ginger High-Colvin after a Lady Tigers basketball game. (CU photo)

Payton said he was nominated by Jeannie Clark, general manager at WLCU-TV/FM, assistant professor of broadcasting and director of broadcast services. “We are thrilled he received this well-deserved recognition. His dedication to Campbellsville athletics is evident in his passion for the CU teams,” Clark said.

This was his first time being nominated for the award and while he was unsure how many people were initially nominated, Payton said he was a finalist with Scott Brown. Brown announces for Trigg County Athletics on WKDZ.

According to the KBA, those who were nominated for the award had to submit multiple audio calls and be a member of KBA.

Payton is in his fourth season as the voice of both the men’s and women’s basketball programs, broadcasting on 88.7 FM The Tiger, Comcast cable channel 10 and other avenues of the CU Sports Network.

He worked as the graduate assistant for WLCU for two years before becoming a full-time employee. Payton began working full time at Campbellsville University in 2014 and became the Voice of Tiger Basketball in 2017.

“Matt Payton is the consummate professional who has become the voice and heart of the Tigers’ broadcast,” said Dr. H. Keith Spears, senior vice president and assistant to the president.

He was on the call for the Tigers’ 2015 Mid-South Conference (MSC) Basketball Championship and also during the Lady Tigers’ run to the 2018-19 MSC championship. Payton has been part of the broadcast for three Fab Four appearances, two for the Lady Tigers and one for the Tigers. Payton was also providing color commentary when the Fighting Tiger Football team won the 2014 and 2015 MSC conference regular season titles.

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“Former CU sports information director Jamie Browning asked me to do color commentary for Campbellsville High School about 12 years ago. This was the first rung on the ladder to where I’m at today,” Payton said.

He also does color commentary for Fighting Tigers football.

Payton helps with commentary on the pre-game football show, “The Tiger Tailgate Show,” and serves as host for “The Perry Thomas Show” and “Inside CU Sports.”

“Our students emulate his passion for sports and CU. This award is well deserved and reflects the quality of WLCU-FM and our CU Sports Network,” Spears said.

“I’m so fortunate to have an administration, athletics department and family that fully supports me. My wife and sons make the most sacrifices for me to do what I love. Those sacrifices do not go unnoticed,” Payton said.

Payton graduated from Campbellsville University in 2011 with his Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and obtained his Master of Arts in Special Education in 2015.

He is married to Whitney, and they have two sons, Clark and Kellen.

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