After spending most of his time since graduating college bouncing around and filling in at different schools for the IMG Sports Network, David Shumate is happy to finally have a school to call his own.
Shumate was named the next radio play-by-play announcer for Duke’s football and men’s basketball teams Monday morning, taking over for retired icon Bob Harris, and was introduced at a press conference Monday afternoon in Blue Devil Tower at Wallace Wade Stadium. Shumate gained experience with several ACC, SEC and Pac-12 schools in his five years as IMG’s Director of Audio Operations and filled in for Harris for a couple Blue Devil basketball games last winter.
“I’ve had a chance to work with a number of different colleges and universities across the country through my work with IMG, and you come on campus and obviously the success is unprecedented,” Shumate said. “You quickly learn about Duke people and the way they conduct themselves and people that work extremely hard but don’t take themselves too seriously, and that’s how I like to characterize myself.”
The hiring caps a swift rise in the broadcasting world for Shumate, who got started as a student broadcaster for Appalachian State women's basketball games before he graduated in 2006.
Shumate went through an intensive interview process that included conversations with men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, football head coach David Cutcliffe and vice president and director of athletics Kevin White before getting the job.
"It’s been great to hear from Dr. White and meet with Coach Krzyzewski and Coach Cutcliffe and hear what they want for these programs," Shumate said. "I was fortunate enough to work with Coach Krzyzewski in the fall.... When I came in to interview with Coach Krzyzewski, it was really more of a catch-up."
Shumate appears respectful of his new colleagues, referring to Krzyzewski by his full name instead of the shortened "Coach K."
A native of nearby Fayetteville, N.C., Shumate grew up following Harris and Krzyzewski as two symbols of Blue Devil athletics. He was born into a military family less than 100 miles from where Harris grew up in Albemarle, N.C., and returned to the town for high school with a few moves in between.
When asked for his favorite of Harris' radio calls, Shumate did not hesitate, remembering the Elite Eight matchup between Duke and Kentucky 25 years ago.
"It’s hard to top the Laettner call. That’s iconic and it’s iconic for a reason," Shumate said. "That’s the greatest call in the history of college basketball, not just in Duke tradition."
Shumate said a couple of his broadcasting influences are Harris and longtime Washington play-by-play man Bob Rondeau, with an exciting, bordering on "over-the-top" style.
But Shumate knows better than to compare himself to Harris and can only hope to evoke the same admiration for his own legacy 40 more years down the line.
"There is no replacing Bob Harris. He was here for 41 years. He is and always will be the voice of the Blue Devils," Shumate said. "My job is to go out and tell the story and call the games. Bob built that [legacy], but he built that over 41 years. That’s not something you’re going to do on day one."