It’s taken Ferris Assistant Athletics Director for Communication Rob Bentley 26 years, 14 trips to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and six prior regional championship game losses to reach a box he’s never crossed off: a trip to the Elite Eight.
In his seventh trip to the regional championship (and third against the University of Findlay, coincidentally), Bentley finally called the words across the broadcast he’s been waiting on since he was 21.
“When it got late in the game, it was pretty cool knowing that this was finally an opportunity to go to the Elite Eight, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a freshman in college,” Bentley said.
Known well for his impassioned “Bingo!” when the Bulldogs hit a long shot, the Nebraska native has had to pull the phrase out a potential record-setting number of times. The Bulldog men’s basketball team is the top seed in the Elite Eight, stands at 35-1, has won 23-consecutive games and finished 22-0 at home in 2017-18—all of which are school records.
“This team has some great talent and great character. It will be tough to top what we have on this team. This team obviously stacks up well with anybody in the country but also some of the great teams we’ve had here at Ferris,” Bentley said.
The voice behind the hoops squad has certainly reached a milestone, yet he hardly has the time to enjoy it. At home games, Bentley is also the official scorer, a duty he carries out by himself while on the broadcast.
Producing online live stats is generally a job that takes two people. One will call out what’s going on in play, while another enters it into the computer at furious speed. Bentley does all of this by himself without a caller.
“I once attempted to learn how to input volleyball stats in the same manner,” Athletics Communications Associate Harrison Watt said. “I had a caller and everything. My first attempt was a miserable failure. It’s funny because when I tell most other sports information directors in the league that Rob is doing that, their jaws drop.”
Bentley’s longtime broadcast partner Sandy Gholston has been right by his side throughout the process, getting a courtside view of what makes him so special.
“We always talk about Rob being the hardest working man in show business because he does so many things for the university. He seems to have an endless amount of energy and the great thing about him is he has tremendous Bulldog pride, a great work ethic and he’s so talented. We’re really blessed to have him at Ferris,” Gholston said.
Bentley and Gholston will have the call for all Ferris basketball games on Sunny 97.3 FM as the Bulldogs look to bring home the first national championship in school history—three wins away from another box for Bentley to check off.
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