Longtime Nashville sports talk radio show personality George Plaster is switching career channels.
Plaster, host of afternoon drive “Sports Night” on The Game 102.5-FM, has been hired as associate athletics director for marketing at Belmont.
The new position means Plaster will step away from daily sports talk radio in Nashville where he’s been a fixture for more than 30 years.
The opportunity to join forces with new Belmont athletics director Scott Corley was one Plaster said he could not pass up. Corley, a former Belmont basketball player, and Plaster have been close friends for many years.
“I’ve never had a 9-to-5 job in my life so this is a radical switch for me,” Plaster said. “When Scott approached me with it, the wheels started turning and the more that I kept thinking about it, I was like, ‘This is getting you stirred up. This is something that’s right down your alley.’ There’s just a comfort level with everything about this. It’s probably the one scenario that I would’ve considered leaving radio.”
Plaster said he has talked with Bud Walters, owner of The Game 102.5-FM, about possibly staying on the station as a contributor from time to time.
Plaster’s official start date at Belmont is Aug. 22.
“This is obviously a huge decision for me and one that was not taken lightly,” Plaster said. “You don’t walk away from something so meaningful and gratifying — for me radio — unless it’s the perfect situation.”
Plaster, a Battle Ground Academy and Vanderbilt graduate, got his start in radio locally in the early 1990s on WTN 99.7-FM and then WGFX 104.5-FM.
“Sports Night” moved to The Game in 2011.
Plaster said his time on radio helped prepare him for the Belmont position in terms of marketing and promotions.
“I was allowed by some really good general managers the opportunity to kind of delve into this side of it in marketing,” he said. “Two or three of them knew that I had kind of the creative mind that could help radio stations make money. The more I got into it, the more I really enjoyed it. In 2011, when I left 104.5, I said there was a real chance I was going to do something in marketing if an opportunity like that came along.”
Plaster has also served as the radio play-by-play voice for Vanderbilt, Memphis, Georgia Tech, Western Kentucky, the Nashville Sounds and Nashville Kats of the Arena Football League.
When Corley was hired on May 31, he said one of his primary goals was to step up marketing of Belmont’s athletics. It wasn’t long after that when he decided Plaster was the best fit for the position.
“George will be responsible for overseeing all the marketing, all the sponsorship, help drive group sales for all the sports programs,” Corley said. “He’ll also have oversight of the cheerleading squad and the pep band as those are an integral part of the game day experience. His job is going to be determining the overall marketing strategies and campaigns for the athletic department.”
It was Plaster’s popularity and longevity on the radio that helped him develop many relationships and valuable connections in town, which Corley believes will make him successful at Belmont.
“I’ve gotten to know George over the years and it was his creativity and ideas that he would share with me when we would go to games together or whatever that made him keep popping into my mind when I started thinking about filling this position,” Corley said. “Obviously, we went through the formal process — we had over 40 applicants, a lot of good candidates. But as I continued to look at the options and what George brought to the table it just really became kind of simple that George was the clear choice just from the notoriety, the connections and the marketing creativity that he’s displayed.”
Corley came to Belmont after a long career in banking in Nashville. Plaster believes he and Corley will make a formidable tandem when it comes to raising money for Bruins athletics.
“I think between the two of us we know a lot of people in this city and hopefully we can use those connections to help Belmont and take it to a next level,” Plaster said. “Scott, with all of his connections in the banking world and the business world, and mine in the sports world, that’s what we’re going to use to our advantage. I’m excited.”
Courtesy of: The Tennessean