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St. Thomas announced Wednesday it will partner with KSTP-AM 1500 and SKOR North for broadcasts this fall as the Tommies start their first season in Division I athletics.

They also have hired Corbu Stathes to be the play-by-play voice for Tommies football and men's basketball. Stathes spent 14 seasons broadcasting Gophers women's basketball and has also done play-by-play for Gophers volleyball and the St. Paul Saints.

"It's really exciting to get in on the ground floor and help mold what they want the broadcast to be and work with the institution, work with the university in terms of how we're going to promote football, how we're going to promote men's basketball and how we're going to promote all of the other sports," Stathes said. "I think it's a little bit of a blank sheet and I think that's exciting and we're going to have fun."

He added that while he wouldn't trade his time broadcasting women's basketball and volleyball at the University of Minnesota for anything, this was the realization of a longtime goal.

"I've always wanted to be the voice of a program," Stathes said.

The fact the Tommies are going from being an institution in Division III athletics to a new player on the Division I stage in Minnesota also gave him pause.

"Somebody said to me, there's two Division I broadcasting jobs for football and men's basketball in this state and you have one of them," Stathes said. "That was like, 'Oh my gosh. I do. Holy cow.' "

The first radio broadcast will be the St. Thomas football season opener at Michigan Tech at noon Sept. 11. That game became the season opener after the Tommies were forced to cancel their scheduled opener Saturday against St. Francis (Ill.) because of COVID-19 protocols on the St. Francis team.

"This is such an exciting time for the University of St. Thomas, their thousands of alumni and the entire Twin Cities, as we welcome a new Division I sports program to Minnesota," DanSeeman, vice president and region manager for Hubbard Radio in Minnesota, said in a statement. "We are proud to be a partner in what promises to be an exciting new era for Twin Cities sports."

Live game broadcasts will be available on two networks — 1500 AM and 94.5 FM HD-2.