Cleveland, Oct. 12th - As Cavaliers radio announcer Joe Tait prepares for a remarkable 35th season as the voice of the Cavaliers, the team announced today that a two-year contract extension agreement has been reached. The agreement keeps the broadcasting Hall of Famer telling the story of Cavaliers games to fans everywhere at least three more seasons, through the 2008-09 season. As the club's sole radio announcer, Tait has become one of the most recognizable and popular members of the Cavaliers family. "I am delighted to know that I am continuing my long association with the Cleveland Cavaliers and sincerely hope that the future holds not one, but several NBA Championships," said Tait.
"When we purchased the Cleveland Cavaliers we were excited to learn that 'batteries were included'. It is quite obvious what, or, rather, who those 'batteries" are in Cleveland, Ohio. They are Joe Tait. And just like the Energizer bunny, Mr. Tait keeps on going. We are thrilled that Joe has agreed to continue on as the voice of the Cavs for at least the next three years. As long as Joe Tait can and wants to call the Cavalier games he will be the voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers. We believe that all of Ohio and beyond will want to hear Joe Tait call the game when we win our first championship. And the ones after that," said Dan Gilbert Majority Owner of the Cavaliers
Joe's call of the game is known for being honest, exciting, and often filled with humor. As a one-man show, his play-by-play is accompanied with his own one-of-a-kind color commentary. Joe's notable phrases like "Wham with the right hand!" and "Three ball…Got it!", have become part of basketball phraseology for Cavs fans everywhere.
"Joe is part of the fabric of our team and we are very, very happy to extend his contract. First and foremost, though, this is great news for our fans. Joe is simply the best in the business. Period," said Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena President Len Komoroski.
THE JOE TAIT JOURNEY:
For the first 11 years of Cavaliers history, he was the voice that let everyone know "It's basketball time at The Coliseum" (or, "It's basketball time at the Cleveland Arena" until the 1974-75 season). During that time, he became an institution in the area while earning a reputation as one of the top sportscasters in the country.
In 1981, he left Cleveland to become the radio play-by-play announcer of the New Jersey Nets. A year later he handled the play-by-play of Chicago Bulls games on SportsVision, the team's cable-TV outlet, and broadcast the CBS Radio College Game-of-the-Week. Tait returned to the Cavaliers radio post in 1983.
From the 1987-88 season to the 1992-93 season, Tait performed the television play-by-play duties for the 20 games each season which were telecast on WOIO and the Cavaliers Television Network. For the past 13 seasons, Tait has broadcasted all 82 games on News Radio WTAM 1100 and the Cavaliers Radio Network which covers most of the state of Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania. Tait also served as the radio play-by-play voice of the WNBA Cleveland Rockers from 1997 to 2003.
Prior to his full-time association with the Cavaliers, Tait broadcast Cleveland Indians baseball for 16 years. He has also done selected college basketball games that were carried nationally on the CBS Radio network. Tait was named the 2004 "Sportscaster of the Year in Ohio." He also received the honor in 1974, 1976, 1978, 1991, 1996, 1999 and 2002. In addition, Tait was voted the best radio/TV announcer in the area in a poll conducted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1985 and 1986. Tait kept active during the summer of 1992 as the play-by-play voice of the World Basketball League on both SportsChannel America and ESPN.
A graduate of Monmouth College in Illinois, Tait began his radio career while still in college, broadcasting local sports events in the Illinois/Indiana area. In 1969, Tait became the network voice of Indiana University football and the pregame host of Indiana Pacers basketball in the old ABA. A year later, with the birth of the Cavaliers, Tait began his association with the club.
Throughout his broadcasting career, Tait has been honored with a number of awards, including being elected to the Monmouth College Athletic Hall of Fame in October 1991, to the Media Hall of Fame by the Sports Media Association of Cleveland and Ohio (S.M.A.C.O.) in September 1992 and to the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in October 1992. In November 1996, Tait was awarded the C.S. Williams Founders Award by the Broadcasters Hall of Fame for long and meritorious service in broadcasting. They have recently given him The Broadcasting Legacy Award for 2004. In the summer of 2001, he was inducted into the Cleveland Sports Legends Hall of Fame and the Lorain Sports Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame in September of 2003.
Tait and his wife, Jean, reside in Lafayette.