Few in the crowd of 9,073 in Turpin Stadium Saturday night were aware of one of the best moments of Northwestern State’s second home football game, one witnessed in person by just a select few.
Acclaimed Louisiana broadcaster Lyn Rollins, whose 44-year career began at NSU as a journalism student, was presented the university’s Nth Degree at halftime during a surprise on-air visit from Northwestern president Dr. Chris Maggio.
Rollins handled play-by-play for the Cox Sports Television game broadcast. While Rollins was nearing the end of a halftime interview with Demons’ athletics director Greg Burke, Maggio entered the sixth-floor broadcast booth and made the presentation to Rollins as viewers in 14 states watched.
“Lyn has risen to the highest levels in his profession. For the past 44 years, he’s become widely admired and respected in broadcasting and his other endeavors. We’re so proud of him and this is one way we can express our admiration for the credit he’s brought to Northwestern State University,” said Maggio.
The Pineville resident was stunned and nearly speechless, momentarily, but recovered nicely after he was awarded one of the top honors the university issues. The Nth Degree recognizes remarkable service and achievement by alumni and friends of the university.
“I have no words to describe this. This truly is extraordinarily meaningful for me. I cannot thank you enough. I accept this with great gratitude,” said Rollins, who then managed to tell Maggio, “and come back and hijack an interview any time.”
The CST production crew and fellow NSU alumnus Carley McCord, the CST sideline reporter, then briefly reviewed some prominent recipients on Nth Degree awards, which date all the way back to the late 1960s under President Arnold Kilpatrick. Recent recipients include Gov. John Bel Edwards (a West Point Army alumnus, saluted for his commitment to higher education) and Rollins’ fellow NSU journalism alumnus, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Gary Fields.
Rollins is a four-time Louisiana Sportscaster of the Year, an award voted on by his peers in the state. Rollins has also won multiple Addy Awards for advertising and marketing productions and campaigns.
A 1973 NSU journalism graduate, Rollins was a protégé of legendary Natchitoches broadcaster Norm Fletcher and a broadcast colleague of another Fletcher protégé, now-retired LSU play by play man Jim Hawthorne.
An editor for the Current Sauce student newspaper, Rollins also was a student government senator. He earned a master’s in journalism from LSU and has served roles in higher education, the private sector and all the while continuing his broadcasting career.
Rollins succeeded Fletcher as voice of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. He also serves on both the Hall of Fame’s 35-member selection committee and the Hall of Fame Foundation’s 25-member board of directors.
He has extensive collegiate and high school play by play experience, including 10 years (1993-2003) as the lead announcer on the Demon Sports Network before he joined CST for LSU coverage.
Rollins has been part of LSU baseball television coverage since 1994. Nobody in the country has called more college baseball games than Rollins.
He has done state high school football game of the week telecasts, hundreds of high school football radio broadcasts, and has called a wide range of sports including soccer, gymnastics, softball, soccer and volleyball collegiately, primarily for LSU coverage on various networks.
Rollins also was a college and high school baseball umpire until the late 1990s.
His charitable work includes service to the Salvation Army in Central Louisiana.
Rollins’ wife Debbie, also an NSU alumnae, was among those watching in the booth, along with another NSU graduate, Rollins’ broadcast partner in the booth, former NFL quarterback Stan Humphries.
One thought on “Iconic state broadcaster Lyn Rollins surprised by big honor from NSU president Dr. Chris Maggio”
Sincere congratulations to Lyn Rollins, another successful Demon! I remember very well the spring semester of 1969, teaching Lyn in radio news broadcasting class. The course was a 200 (now 2000) level, and I was a new instructor, and Dr. Edna West was head of the speech-theatre and journalism department. We were housed in the (old) Fine Arts Building, with the radio studio on stage level between the Green Room and the Yellow Room (before renovation), with glass windows on two walls. Our class was held in the Green Room and our programming was broadcast through our facilities over K-NOC (Natchitoches On the Cane) radio station. I always believed that Lyn would excel in broadcasting; another joy of teaching! H. Arthur Dew (NSU)
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