Ky. Wesleyan honors retired broadcaster Joel Utley following historic 61-year career

Ky. Wesleyan honors retired broadcaster Joel Utley following historic 61-year career
Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 11:35 PM CST
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Kentucky Wesleyan College celebrated longtime play-by-play broadcaster Joel Utley on Saturday.

After retiring at the end of the 2021-22 season, Utley stepped away from the microphone following 61 years of voicing Panthers’ basketball games. He worked 1,933 games over the course of his career, making him the record holder for play-by-play longevity and total games called in college basketball history.

Utley is also the only broadcaster to have called 12 national championship games, including the eight NCAA Division II titles won by Kentucky Wesleyan.

“The time I’ve had at Kentucky Wesleyan has been unmatched,” Utley said. “I could never ask for any better gift from God to be associated with young people as we have at KWC and the success that we have enjoyed over the years. I couldn’t get to the gym early enough -- my wife will tell you that -- and I couldn’t get home late enough. Many times I’ve been the last one out of the [Owensboro Sportscenter], savoring the activity that has gone on.”

Utley is a 1974 graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan, and he’s also won numerous awards and been elected to the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame (2016) and Kentucky Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (2022).