Chris Gervino, sports director at KOMU-TV, will replace Gary Link as the radio color commentator for Missouri men’s basketball games this season, the Mizzou athletic department announced Thursday.
Gervino has been the football sideline reporter for the Tiger Radio Network since 1992. Gervino will work basketball games alongside the network’s play-by-play broadcaster, Mike Kelly.
“It’s a one-year agreement,” Gervino told The Star of his contract, “but my first 25 football contracts have been one-year agreements. I hope that bodes well for my basketball future.”
Link had been a radio broadcaster at MU since 1996, but the department announced Oct. 19 — just a few days before the Tigers’ exhibition game against Kansas at the Sprint Center — that Link had been “relieved of his duties with Mizzou Athletics, however, it would be inappropriate to comment further on a personnel matter.”
Said Gervino of Link: “I’m honored to follow Gary. He’s a friend, and he did a great job for 21 years. I’m just flattered to be in this position. …
“He set the bar high. He did a great job. I know he’s very supportive of me, and that means a great deal to me.”
Link, whose official title was special assistant to the athletic director, also used to work with the Tiger Scholarship Fund, but department spokesperson Nick Joos said Link stopped working with the fund “about a year ago.”
The Tiger Scholarship Fund fell under new leadership in December 2016, when Ryan Alpert became the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development. Alpert came to MU 10 months prior from the University of Memphis.
Link overlapped one season as a player, 1973-74, with Kim Anderson, for whom Link later lobbied to become Mizzou’s basketball coach once Frank Haith left MU for Tulsa. Anderson’s teams floundered for three years, though. He was fired from his job after last season and now coaches at Pittsburg State.
Gervino began working as sports director at KOMU-TV in January 2000. The station is a teaching laboratory housed within the Missouri School of Journalism, which Gervino graduated from in 1988. He also served as the play-by-play voice for the Kansas City Brigade of the Arena Football League from 2006 through 2008.
“We’re thrilled to have Chris work alongside Mike to provide Tiger fans a great experience this season,” Nick Garner, general manager for Learfield’s Mizzou Sports Properties, said in a release. “Chris has been a valued member of the Tiger Network for the past 25 years, and we’re pleased to have him moving into the role of color analyst on our men’s basketball broadcasts.”
Gervino’s first regular-season broadcast will be Nov. 10, when the Tigers play Iowa State at Mizzou Arena.
“I’m thrilled to start …,” he said. “Home game, sold-out arena. I can’t imagine a much better way to begin. …
“I’ve stayed here (Columbia) my entire career. I’m really thankful for Learfield and Mizzou for the opportunities they’ve given me.”