When Penn State’s Tony Carr banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer at Value City Arena on Jan. 25, it marked more than just the end of a perfect start to Big Ten play for the Ohio State men’s basketball team.
It turned out to be the final game on the microphone for longtime public-address announcer Matt McCoy. After 21 years on the job, McCoy has been replaced by Matt Leinenger, known locally for filling the same position for the Columbus Clippers.
The decision was made by the athletic department’s executive team, which is comprised of leaders from the various areas of the department. A Dispatch request to event management and facility scheduling director Ericka Hoon, who delivered the news to McCoy, resulted in a statement from a program spokesman.
“A decision was made by the department’s executive team to make a change with the men’s basketball public address announcer,” the statement said. “Positive feedback generated from Matt Leinenger’s efforts while filling in for Matt McCoy at our Nebraska game reached the executive team. After discussion among the group, it was decided to provide Mr. Leinenger the opportunity to become the PA voice at men’s basketball games for the remainder of the season.”
McCoy, who hosts a radio show weekdays from 3-6 p.m. on WXZX-FM (105.7), is the sports director for WTVN-AM (610) and is an Associated Press voter for both college football and men’s basketball, addressed the situation on his Wednesday show. He missed the Nebraska game while on vacation and returned for the Penn State game before learning the news last weekend. Leinenger was on the microphone for Tuesday’s game against Indiana.
McCoy told The Dispatch that he holds no hard feelings.
“I respect the University's decision to make a change,” he said. “It really was an honor to sit courtside for 21 years. I'm also amazed at the number people who have reached out to me since this happened. I have received notes from people thanking me for my work and that's been heartwarming. I love OSU...I'm a former athlete and an alum and am always a Buckeye.”
McCoy and Leinenger possess different styles that are equally appreciable in opposite ways. More of a classic, composed announcer, McCoy’s voice often felt like an organic part of the game experience. Leinenger, on the other hand, possesses a louder, booming delivery seemingly designed to fire up the crowd.
According to the statement, McCoy’s time with Ohio State isn’t necessarily at an end.
“Matt McCoy is a true professional,” it said. “His contributions over the years to Ohio State Athletics is appreciated. Leinenger has been used as a PA announcer at other Ohio State Athletics events and both he and McCoy will be offered opportunities in the future.”