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Jamie Walker: The man behind the microphone
Walker feature

If you ask him, Jamie Walker will say he is a teacher by trade. Serving as a public address (PA) announcer is something he “does on the side,” but is passionate about just the same. 

Walker’s voice has been heard from the middle school to even the semi-professional ranks. There is something special for Walker, though, about announcing Alcovy and Newton high schools’ athletics. 

“Alcovy and Newton are the favorites only because I’m familiar with the county,” Walker said. “I live here. I know the administration at both of those places and I know a lot of those kids.”

Walker got his start in PA announcing in 2002 at Meadowcreek High School in Gwinnett County. 

Coach Mike Ireland called on Walker in an emergency situation to announce a game and the rest is history. 

“He just asked me and said, ‘You know what? You got a pretty good speaking voice,’” Walker said. “Like I said, I’m fresh out of college. So, he asked me to do it and I’ve always been into sports just hearing the voices of sports anyway. He asked me to do it and I was just a natural at doing PA. That’s how it all got started.” 

Walker said he is a “Gus Johnson guy,” while also admiring commentators such as Pat Summerall and John Madden. As far as stadium voices go, Walker admires Ryan Cameron who does PA for the Atlanta Falcons and previously for the Atlanta Hawks. 

Throughout his time behind the microphone, Walker has taken inspiration from the aforementioned individuals while developing his own style as well. 

“If I’m doing basketball, for example. I’ll say something like, ‘A few too many steps.’ Or I’ll elevate and stymy the voice when it comes to third down,” Walker said. “Everybody has a third down call where they like to extend it in football. I’ll chop up my voice kind of like a record. Like, ‘Thirr-rr-rr-rr-rrd.’ I’ll go in that manner.” 

In addition to his work on the local level, Walker has taken his talents to various other arenas. 

He has done voice work for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) such as Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College. Walker has commentated for semi-professional leagues as well as Emory University. 

Walker has also been a part of many ESPN+ broadcasts. 

Actually, one of those broadcasts delivered Walker’s favorite game and call ever. It was during Tuskegee University’s homecoming game on Oct. 14, 2023 against Edwards Water. 

The game came down to the last play. 

“It was a last-second hail mary throw that we called. I was actually on color for that game,” Walker said. “The guy caught it and that is definitely my favorite game to call, because of how the game went — just up and down, action packed the entire game.”

Not only has Walker witnessed high profile moments on the gridiron and court as an announcer, but has come across some high profile individuals, too. 

Walker has met the likes of Deion Sanders, Michael Vick, Doug Williams and Jay Harris. Just this past high school basketball season, Walker saw Dominique Wilkins at an Alcovy home basketball game.

Before announcing for today’s student-athletes, Walker was one himself. 

When he was in high school, he played football and baseball as his main two sports. Walker’s playing career carries over to his announcing repertoire.

“Just knowing what’s going on,” Walker said. “What the precursor is to what a play may be. What situationally may be coming.”

Walker is in the first year of his second stint teaching at Clements Middle School. He is a physical education teacher and is the head football coach for the Wolverines. 

He holds a bachelor’s of science in history from North Carolina A&T University and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Walker earned his specialist from Piedmont College, now referred to as Piedmont University. 

Outside of teaching and coaching at a Newton County school, Walker announces at athletic events. This school year, in particular, Walker did PA for Newton and Alcovy football games  at Sharp Stadium and Alcovy home basketball games. 

Alcovy girls basketball head coach Justin Hunter shared the value Walker’s announcing adds to the home game environment. 

“Jamie Walker's announcing at Alcovy High School  home basketball games definitely brings a narrative component that keeps the masses engaged into the presence of the contest taking place between two high school basketball teams/cheerleading squads and supporting stakeholders,” Hunter said. “His commentary presence puts you in the mindset as if you are watching a live television to get a sense of the game and environment surrounding it. This has been the case for the last several years and Tiger basketball nation appreciates Jamie Walker's first class service to us.”

Teaching, coaching and announcing all in Newton County has helped Walker form bonds with the coaches and players he announces about. 

Doing so adds a special flare for Walker. 

“Being able to gain their trust and them know that I know them and care about their well being. Even to the extent of the social media realm,” Walker said. “A lot of times, if they have something going on, especially if they’re trying to go to school, trying to get something going, a simple retweet I can easily do. Just knowing the kids, knowing the parents, knowing the situation or just knowing what they’re trying to do often benefits me being within the local community.”