The Morning Sports Page, FM 98.1 The Ticket Operations Manager, Cumulus Broadcasting Abilene
By Laura Gutschke
Photography by Beth Dukes
You may not know Trace Michaels at first sight, but you will recognize the voice. He has been an Abilene radio presence off and on since 1992, including covering Wylie High School football games for 18 seasons. He also hosts radio shows with Abilene High and Cooper High football coaches. In 2015 he started hosting The Morning Sports Page 7-9 a.m. on FM 98.1 The Ticket.
Background: A Lubbock Cooper graduate, Michaels came to McMurry University in 1989 to play football and study theater, but theater drew him away before he even played one down. He was hired in 1992 as a weekend host at the new radio station FM 103.7 (now Power 103) and later moved into management. The station, along with three others (FM 98.1 The Ticket, FM 99.7 KBCY, 102.7 The Bear), became a part of Cumulus Broadcasting about 1998. About seven years ago, he started the company Bulldogs Live Online to offer live broadcasts of boys and girls sports.
Not Just a Radio Guy: “The two things I love the most are the Bible – and Jesus – and sports,” Michaels said. He commuted for nine years between Abilene and Dallas to earn a bachelor’s degree at Criswell College and a master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary, completed in 2015. While commuting, he was head preaching/teaching elder at South Pointe Church and he hopes to pastor a church again.
Football Fever: Having never played college football, Michaels wondered if he “still had it.” He scratched that itch playing semi-pro football for the Abilene Knights. Later he was on coaching staffs for Abilene Roughnecks, Abilene Bombers, San Angelo Bandits and Abilene Christian University.
Most Influential Person: Charlie Hukill, McMurry theater professor. “What I learned from him I use every day in sports broadcasting and preaching,” Michaels said.
Family: Son Koller, 13, plays football and golf and attends Mann Middle School.
Other Interests: “I read a lot of books, mostly on theology,” Michaels said.
Sports – Football and golf.
Teams – Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Texas Tech Red Raiders and Chicago Cubs. “I grew up a Cubs fan with my grandfather,” Michaels said.
Player – Troy Aikman.
Sportscaster – Eric Nadel, radio broadcaster for Texas Rangers.Spo
rts expression – Control what you can control.