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Jay referees a Helena High football game

KBLL Sports Director Jay Scott has an extensive history in sports, as a broadcaster, official, and a little bit as a player.



Jay Scott's playing days were almost brought to a close in ninth grade, when his left knee was blown out playing quarterback, and then mis-diagnosed. 

He was told to "put a heating pad on it, and don''t let it stiffen up." 

Pioneering knee surgery in 1970 undid some of the damage, but for the most part ended his high school sports career. 

It was after that injury that he was "bitten by the bug" in two areas: sports broadcasting and sports officiating.

He began umpiring Little League and Babe Ruth baseball in 1964, passed the Minnesota High School League/National Federation football test in the fall of 1964, and at the age of 15, he was the youngest official in the State of Minnesota at that time.

He also passed tests for basketball, hockey, and baseball, and worked his first varsity baseball and football games in 1965.

He moved to small college football in 1968, replacing the legendary referee Jerry Markbreit in two college conferences, and was hired by the Big Ten in 1971.

His job broadcasting Northwestern University sports prevented him from working varsity games in the Big Ten in football and basketball, but he did work freshman sports unti they were discontinued.

He was able to work Big Ten baseball, beginning during his freshman year at Northwestern University, in the spring of 1968, when he moved from the broadcast booth to the field to fill in for an injured umpre. He worked Big Ten baseball until 1989, and then in the Pac Ten from 1991 until 1996.

He was nominated by the Big Ten for two College World Series assignments, but was not assigned when the Big Ten did not qualify any teams for the Series. He did work Mid-America and other conferences in football, basketball, and baseball for over 20 years.

He has worked high school football, basketball, hockey, baseball, softball, and volleyball, with playoffs in Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, California, and Montana, a state championship baseball game in California, a softball state tournament  in Montana, 15 consecutive American Legion State Tournaments in Indiana, a state ASA tournament in Minnesota, and State Tournaments for Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, and Little League baseball in Montana, Indiana, and California.

He also served as a high school state rules interpreter in football and baseball in Indiana and California, and helped write the high school baseball and softball "designated hitter" rule. He has been consulted by the National Federation over rules in several sports.

Jay's work in the Big Ten led to pro baseball, in the old Northern League in 1968. He worked there in 1969, filled-in in the Texas League in 1972-3, where he helped develop the modern two-man professional baseball mechanics, and filled-in in the American Association, the International League, and the Pacific Coast League, in 1974-5.

He was signed by the  National League as an umpire in 1973, but was released from pro ball after a conflict with his job broadcasting baseball for NBC Radio.

He continues to work high school and semi-pro football in Montana, and lower level baseball, basketball, and football when his broadcast schedule permits.

He was rated the # 1 Referee by the Rocky Mountain Football League for six years.

Jay's desire to be a sports announcer also dates to middle school, listening to Ray Scott (no relation) broadcast the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Twins.

After stints as a public address announcer in prep school, he began his play-by-play career in the fall of 1967, broadcasting Northwestern University football, basketball, baseball and hockey for the student station, WNUR.

He was the first undergraduate to broadcast sports at the station-all the previous sports  announcers had been graduate students.

He added Evanston Township High School sports to the WNUR roster in 1968, and in 1970, the broadcast the Chicago Bears when the Bears were forced to play at Northwestern University by a conflict with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

His NFL games had more listeners than those of WGN Radio in Chicago in some rating areas.

After graduation from Northwestern, Jay was hired by WMAQ Radio in Chicago to run their broadcasts of Chicago Black Hawk hockey, White Sox baseball, and Northwestern University football, working with Hall of Fame announcers Lloyd Pettit, Bob Elson, and Harry Caray, along with Red Rush, Gene Osborne, Bill Mercer, Lorne Brown, Pat Sheridan, and Jim Fleming.

He was a frequent fill-in on the Sox and Hawk broadcasts, and on Chicago Bulls radio, and won a Chicago Radio Emmy for producing Black Hawk hockey. He also served as the Public Address Announcer at the Chicago Stadium for many events.

He also originated Chicago's first sports call-in program, "Sound Off On Sports," which is credited by some with being the first call-in sports talk show in the United States.

Jay was also the originator of the idea of singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in the seventh inning in White Sox broadcasts, in 1973. 

He served as radio producer for NBC Radio for the World Series in 1975, and his suggestions after a major rules controversy resulted in a re-write of the Major League Baseball rulebook. 

He also produced the Chicago segments of the NBC Radio New Year's Eve Special, featuring the Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey bands, and wrote and produced NBC Radio "News on the Hour" when it was fed from Chicago.

Jay left WMAQ in 1975, when the station was sold, dropped all sports, and ultimately went off the air.

He spent the next 14 years in LaPorte, Indiana, as a disc jockey, engineer, and play-by-play announcer, and filled in on Notre Dame, Indiana and Purdue University games.

He also was the play-by-play voice for Northwestern University for several Evanston, Illinois stations, before the rights were bought by WGN Radio in Chicago.

Because he had beaten WGN's Jack Brickhouse head-to-head in ratings for the Chicago Bears, Brickhouse refused to hire Jay for the Northwestern games there.

Jay was also slated to be on the NBC Radio broadcast crew for Olympic baseball in 1980, but the United States did not participate in the Games that year.

While in Indiana, Jay won "Sportscaster of the Year" awards in 1979-81-83-85-87-89, and received a National Baseball Broadcaster of the Year award in 1982 from the American Coaches Association.

He also was the first announcer in the United States to do volleyball radio play-by-play, in 1978.

Jay moved to California as a Program Director and General Manager of several radio stations in the late 1980's and early 1990's. 

As a Program Director in San Diego, his stations had their best ratings ever, as he turned one of them into the precursor of today "Hot Country" format.

As a General Manager and morning announcer in Palm Springs, he had the best ratings book (a 20 share) in the history of the market, and both his FM and AM stations were number one in the market. 

He returned to sports in 1993,  for KESQ-TV and Radio in Palm Springs, working high school and college footbal and basketball.

He filled in for the baseball Palm Springs Angels in 1995, and was the voice of the Palm Springs Suns baseball team in 1996.

He was named the Western Baseball League "Broadcaster of the Year," in 1996, and won the California Associated Press "Sportscaster of the Year" award in 1996 as well (beating, among others, Vin Scully, Dick Enberg, and Chick Hearn).

Jay moved to Montana in 1997, and begain filling in on Capital High and Carroll College games almost immediately.

He took over Capital High broadcasts in 2000, and began broadcasting American Legion baseball in 2001.
The American Sportscasters Association named Jay "Montana Football Broadcaster of the Year" in 2000,  2004, 2008, 2010, and 2011.

He has been named "Montana Baseball Broadcaster of the Year" by that group every year since 2001, and the American Coaches Association honored him for his work at KBLL, and for Omega TV, in 2002. 

Jay served as the "Voice of the Griz" for the University of Montana TV broadcasts on Omega TV as well.

Jay is also recognized as a national leader in Internet broadcasts.

His Capital High football and basketball games, and American Legion baseball games, consistently attract over 5 thousand hits per game, from as far away as Guam, New Zealand, Australia, Africa, Afghanistan, China,  Antarctica, and around the U-S "from coast to coast to Gulf Coast."                                                                                                        
Jay's playing career was highlited by a free-agent tryout with the Dallas Cowboys, as a kicker.

He was released at the end of the pre-season, but can claim two Hall of Fame holders: Craig Morton, and Roger Staubach.

He was the second-string kicker for Northwestern University for three years after lettering as a freshman walk-on, and kicked in high school as well.

He also played semi-pro football in Indiana from 1971-75.

Jay is on Facebook as Jay Scott, and on Twitter at #jayscottkbll
 

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