Speaking of Sports:
The Job of His Dreams
Chris Denari 83 parlayed lessons learned at Wabash to launch his
avocation as the voice of the Indiana Fever, Butler Basketball, and the
By Brent Harris
Director of Sports Information
a sports fan in the Indianapolis area, youve heard his voice. He
might have been calling out another Butler University basket or a defensive
stop by the WNBAs Indiana Fever. Maybe you heard him over the roar
of the engines at the Indianapolis 500. Or you might have heard him providing
an update on the latest events in the Indiana High School Athletic Association.
You might have seen him working as the co-chair of the Dribble & Dream
Tour during the summer leading up to the 2002 World Basketball Championships.
Theres no doubting Chris Denaris passion for sports.
It started at a young age and built a head of steam when he played basketball
at Westfield High School for his father, Bob.
That was one the highlights of my sports career, said Chris.
I was thrilled to be able to play basketball for my father at Westfield.
Family has always been very important to me and to have a chance to have
my father guide me as a player was so special.
Denari would have other mentors when he came to Wabash to play basketball.
Graduating in 1983, he was a member of the Division III National Championship
basketball team that won the title in 1982.
It was amazing to be around a coach like Mac Petty, said Denari.
He was such an influence in all of our lives. I learned a lot about
being a leader from Pete Metzelaars 82 and Mike Holcomb 82,
the captains of that 1982 team. We may not have had the best talent in
the nation that year, but we had that chemistry that so many teams try
and find. We cared about one other as friends and teammates. It made a
difference. It made us better players because we wanted everyone to succeed.
Denari credits much of his success in his career to his experience at
I have to do a lot of time management in terms of my commitments
to the Indiana Fever, Butler basketball, and my regular job as the director
of sports communications and marketing for Methodist Sports Medicine Center
in Indianapolis. I learned those skills at Wabash. I was involved in so
many activities at Wabash, in addition to spending time at basketball
practice and getting class assignments done. I was working at WNDY, the
student radio station. I was a writer for The Bachelor, and I was
active in my fraternity. There were so many things that I wanted to do
at Wabash. I made time and forced myself to be responsible for my time
spent on each project. Thats helped me a great deal in my duties
Denari has to juggle his time even more these days. In addition to his
sports duties and his job at Methodist Sports Medicine, he also has a
wife, Terry, and three childrenEvan, Willie, and Max.
The support I receive from my family and my workplace is unbelievable,
said Denari. My family understands that this is something that I
really enjoy doing. They support me, allow me to have time to prepare
for a broadcast and travel with teams. I may not start to prepare for
a broadcast until 9 or 10 p.m. because I want to spend my time at home
in the days leading up to an event with my family. Im also very
fortunate to have an understanding employer. Methodist Sports Medicine
works with my schedule and allows me to have time to continue to pursue
something that I love.
Denaris career has put him in the thick of some of Indianas
most exciting sporting moments. But it was fairly easy for Denari to pick
his five most memorable sports moments.
Playing for my father has to be my favorite, then playing on the
national championship team at Wabash ranks second on my most memorable
list, Denari said. Two Butler basketball broadcasts come to
mind, as well. The two victories over Indiana Universityone in 1993
at Hinkle Fieldhouse and the other this past season at Conseco Fieldhouseare
certainly memorable, particularly in this state with its great basketball
The other Butler broadcast Ill always remember was the NCAA
Tournament game when Butler had a 43-10 lead over Wake Forest.
My fifth most memorable moment would be working in turn four as
a broadcaster on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Racing Network. Growing
up as a racing fan, you never dream youll have the opportunity to
be in turn four and see the cars come by for the start of the race and
through the turn to take the checkered flag. Its as exciting as
any moment in sports.
From playing basketball at Westfield to turn four of the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway, Denari has always been involved in athletics. Nearly everyone
who participates in sports dreams of continuing to the professional level
by finding a job in the sports field. Denari is living that dream every
day and loving every minute of it.
are your thoughts?
here to submit feedback on this story.
Return to the table of