August 4, 2014 - Midwest League (MWL) - Fort Wayne TinCaps
Minor League Baseball is about development. That holds true not only for those playing the game on the field, but also broadcasting it. And for two members of the TinCaps' TV and radio broadcast team, they've received a call up.
Mike Couzens, who served as Fort Wayne's Broadcasting and Media Relations Manager since March 2012, and David Hentz, Assistant Video Production Manager since April 2012, both worked their final day with the TinCaps on July 31.
For Couzens, 25, the next step is a full-time role as a national TV play-by-play broadcaster. Hentz, also 25, moves on to work for Mobile TV Group, a mobile sports broadcasting company. He'll be an engineer on television production trucks for broadcasts of the NFL, NHL, MLB, Big Ten, and more.
"We're sad to lose Mike and David," TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. "But at the same time, we couldn't be happier to see them take the next step in their careers. They've been tremendous assets to our organization during their time in Fort Wayne."
Both said they have similar bittersweet feelings about leaving the TinCaps.
"I'm grateful to the TinCaps organization, especially Mike Nutter and Vice President of Marketing, Michael Limmer, for being not only great people to work for, but great friends," Couzens said. "My time here has been one of the best stretches of my life, and I'll always fondly remember the city, the team, and its fans. I thank everyone who has helped me grow here, and I look forward to my next step."
"I may have an opportunity that will take me far from my birthplace, but I hope to be a positive influence in the sports broadcasting market here in Fort Wayne," said Hentz, who grew up in the Summit City. "The Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Memorial Coliseum, and IPFW have all been vital in my development and I want to return the favor in the years ahead."
The TinCaps are one of only four out of 160 teams in Minor League Baseball to broadcast all of their home games on TV. The other three are Triple-A clubs. While Couzens was a visible face for the team during his time with the TinCaps, Hentz worked behind the scenes.
An alumnus of Snider High School and Ball State, Hentz was responsible for much of the technical success of the TinCaps' TV broadcasts, as well as elements of Parkview Field's video board.
Couzens called all road games on ESPN Radio 1380 and worked on XFINITY Channel 81 for games at Parkview Field. He was also a regular guest at events in the community through the TinCaps Speakers Bureau.
The White Plains, N.Y., native and Syracuse University grad is considered a rising star in sports broadcasting. Over the last two years, he's done play-by-play for a variety of events on ESPN and the Big Ten Network.
"The good news is that we don't truly have to say goodbye," Nutter noted. "Because now we can just turn on a game on national TV and there's a good chance we'll hear Mike and know David is engineering, and it'll be just like watching a TinCaps game again. We wish them well."