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You are the voice. We are the echo.
The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Thursday, May 30, 2024
The Echo

Conrad Otto: Voice of the Trojans

Senior sports announcer reflects on final season

Every Trojan, athlete and fan alike, has heard the same voice echo across the courts and fields of Taylor’s campus.

That voice belongs to senior Multimedia Journalism major Conrad Otto, a regular in the press box. 

Otto has been a regular over the speakers since the position opened up last year following the departure of previous announcer Matt Gerard. 

“I remember at a volleyball match I was sitting next to my buddy and I was like ‘I want to be like that guy. I want to have his energy,’” Otto said. “Fate would have he left and that spot was open.” 

In his time announcing for the Trojans, Otto has had the chance to work under Taylor Athletics play-by-play broadcaster Rick Johnston. 

Johnston has been announcing for 20 years, 11 in Upland. He said Otto has the perfect personality for announcing. 

“I think he’s got such a great energy for it,” Johnston said. “When he does lacrosse… he does the visiting starters with this very regular tone. Then, when he gets to the Taylor lineup, I mean I think you could probably hear his voice on the other side of the country, he goes up to 11.”

He also said Otto has a great feel for the moment and knows what tone he should have in each moment of the game, whether hyping up the fans or introducing a more serious topic such as the NAIA expectation or the National Anthem. 

The admiration between the two is mutual. Otto said he strives to have the same attitude as Johnston and share in the passion he conveys to the fans. 

“He’s always ready, he’s always willing. That’s the kind of mentality, especially with announcing that I want to try to adopt,” Otto said. “Really try to be as raw and authentic as you can, especially on the mic, but also have that work ethic to not make it seem like you’re just going through the motions.” 

Otto said he specifically likes working with Taylor’s lacrosse team and head coach Chad Newhard. He said he admires Newhard’s energy on the sidelines and the way he motivates his players and that there is no greater feeling than working in the same environment as a passionate coach like Newhard. 

“Seeing that on the sideline and knowing that I’m announcing his name and announcing his players’ names, it just fuels me with a lot of pride,” Otto said. 

Otto also shares his voice in another way, through writing for Taylor University’s student newspaper, The Echo. 

When Otto isn’t representing the Trojans verbally, he utilizes his writing ability through his articles in the sports section of the paper, under the supervision of co-editors Caleb Joshua Heffron and Mallory Dotson. 

“Working with Conrad is an absolute joy,” Heffron said. “He’s everything that you would want in a sports writer. He’s smart, passionate and has a real love for the athletes that he covers. It’s his passion that sets him apart. I really look up to and have immense respect for him.”

Otto has been a staff writer for the past four years, covering multiple sports. He said the most memorable beat he covered was during his sophomore year.

He covered the women’s soccer team as they had their best start in school history with seven straight wins. 

“One of Conrad’s greatest strengths is his versatility,” Heffron said. “He knows his sports like the back of his hand. Volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, football, you name it. Conrad has it covered.”

As the Trojans look for their new voice, the echo left by Otto will not be forgotten as he leaves his legacy on the Taylor community.