UNH alum earns media award

By Jennifer Gagnon
On October 1, 2013

Dan Parkhurst, the voice of UNH hockey, was recently acknowledged for his coverage and promotion work of Hockey East, as he received recognition as the 22nd recipient for the honorary Joe Concannon Hockey East Media Award. The award was presented last Tuesday, Sept. 24 by Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna

"I felt extremely honored," Parkhurst said. "Having worked with the league and on so many broadcasts, I have become great friends with many of the past recipients of the award.  To also have my name on that list is terrific.  I don't do what I do looking for accolades, but it is very nice to be recognized."

Parkhurst, who graduated from UNH in 1993, demonstrated exceptional drive and passion for his career path as a sports broadcaster at the University of New Hampshire. Parkhurst was the student-manager for the UNH hockey team and, in addition, gave the play-by-play on UNH's student radio station. Parkhurst graduated with a degree in sport studies, along with a minor in psychology.  

Parkhurst continued through with his ambitious efforts of consistent growth, diligence and the perseverance to go that extra mile. He began his career reporting online for the Hockey East Online Game of the Week in the 1997-1998 season, featuring college hockey teams on one of the first online broadcasts.

In 1998, Parkhurst dedicated three seasons to three teams; calling for Merrimack College hockey, Merrimack College basketball and select UNH hockey games with New Hampshire Public Television. This led to him becoming the full-time, play-by-play voice for New Hampshire Public Television in 2008. 

In 2007, Parkhurst became the primary radio voice for the University of New Hampshire Wildcats hockey team, taking on his seventh season this year, with the addition of television broadcasts through the production of UNH Athletics. 

"Our fans know him as the voice of the Wildcats on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network," UNH Associate Director of Athletic Communication Mike Murphy said.

"I have always tried to put my best effort into the work I do," Parkhurst said. "I have been fortunate that people have seen that effort and I have been rewarded for it.  I have been fortunate, however, in that I have been able to make a living, both in my business and as a broadcaster, covering college hockey, which I still have great passion for."

"Dan does so much more than the voice of the Wildcats," Murphy said. "It is not uncommon to see him hours after the game is over, still updating the official Hockey East website with scores of other games. To think he then has to drive all the way back to his home in Conway and then come back the next day to do it all over again is amazing. He is a solid professional, a terrific play-by-play announcer and a great person."  

"I view my UNH hockey play-by-play job as two-fold," Parkhurst said. "First, I am there to provide the call of the action and provide things like statistics and other data.  Second, we want it to be entertaining, and I think that Pete Webster and I do a good job of that. We want to have fun on the broadcast because it makes for a better experience for the listener, and it makes it fun for us. I love doing it, and I hope I get the chance for many years to come." 

Aside from his hard work and the love of the game, Parkhurst truly feels the support he has had behind him over the years has led to his success. 

"I still view UNH professor Steve Hardy as one of the great mentors in my life," Parkhurst said.  

Parkhurst is very grateful for all of the support he has received. His support system ranges from broadcasters to athletes to coaches. 

"I owe a great deal to the folks in the UNH Athletic Department for such great support over the years," Parkhurst said. "My broadcast partner on the UNH broadcasts is Pete Webster and he also deserves to someday win this award.  Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna has been extremely supportive of me over the years and my website business [SportDesigns.com] is a success because of his support. 

"If there is one person who I would like to thank most of all, it would be coach Umile.  I lost it a bit when thanking him during my speech in Boston.  His support for me has been unwavering ever since he brought me on board as a student-manager during my time at UNH.  I can't say enough about what I think of him as a person and a mentor." 

Parkhurst also wanted to thank and appreciate those who mean the most to him, including his wife, Lynn, his son, Jonny and his daughter, Riley. 

"They would watch me drive away every weekend all winter and have always been extremely supportive," Parkhurst said. "I have missed a lot of my kids growing up so I could be on the road. I could not do all of this without them."

Lastly, Parkhurst wanted to leave the students of UNH  with one last note, "I would say that for any student who wanted to pursue a similar career path that it is all about perseverance. I decided a long time ago that I would not work in broadcasting full time because it would not be fair to my family, but I was able to build a business that revolved around sports and stay involved with broadcasting.  A lot of my achievements have been because I was able to meet the right people which led to opportunities down the road.  If you are a writer, get your byline on as many articles as you can.  If you're a broadcaster, volunteer or work for low money to get your chops.  You've got to stick with it to get noticed. Also, never be afraid to network."

Parkhurst's long and impressive résumé also includes various regular season college hockey games and six NCAA college hockey tournament regionals for ESPNU from 2006-2012. In 2008, Parkhurst went to Pittsburgh, Pa., for the national championship to give the radio play-by-play for the Eagles at the Frozen Four. Parkhurst has even called games for NESN for the 2013 Women's Hockey East Championship game. This year will be mark Parkhurst's second year calling select college hockey games with NBC Sports. 

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