ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — When the Texas A&M football radio broadcast took the air for the first time in the 2018 season, longtime color analyst and former football player Dave Elmendorf opened the call with an introduction to the new “Voice of the Aggies,” Andrew Monaco.
The Eagle reports despite insisting not to make the moment about him, the gesture has stood out amongst a whirlwind first five games of his Aggie tenure.
“Dave’s been here so long, (it was like) welcoming me to the family,” Monaco said. “I was touched by that, that he would do that for me. That’s not so much a call, but that meant an awful lot to me.”
Last Saturday, Monaco traveled with his new family to the big stage, calling his first game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington as the Aggies faced Arkansas in the annual neutral-site trophy game. Texas A&M won the Southwest Classic, 24-17.
While working for the San Antonio Spurs, Monaco said he worked inside some of the country’s great basketball venues, but he had never called a game in a sports palace as large as Jerry’s World. It’s an opportunity that still gets his adrenaline flowing, he said.
“You get a bowl-like atmosphere at a special neutral site with these two fan bases, I never take any of this for granted,” he said.
Monaco replaced former play-by-play man Dave South, who filled the Aggie radio booth for 32 years before retiring from the football call after the 2017 season. South remains the voice of Texas A&M baseball.
The change in guard conveniently fell in line with a new football coaching regime, which has allowed Monaco and new head coach Jimbo Fisher to build a rapport from scratch during their weekly radio shows. Each Wednesday at Rudy’s in College Station, Monaco said he feels like he’s slid into a front-row seat in a graduate-level class on football.
“I’m fascinated,” Monaco said. “It’s the type of thing where you always like to be around people that know more than you, and obviously he does.”
Frequently, the two break down coverages or specific performances of individual players, but usually it comes back to a much bigger picture, Monaco said.
“It’s nice, because you get the opportunity to go a little deeper,” Monaco said. “I think he talks football, but I think he also talks life. Like that light bulb finally went on (for me). It’s more than just football; (it’s) everything he talks about.
The Maryland alumnus also has taken a quick Maymester in Aggie tradition, including feeling the Kyle Field press box sway for the first time during the Aggies’ barn-burning loss to Clemson. Monaco said the experience was just as special for Elmendorf, watching Monaco experience it for the first time.
“I think Dave got a kick out of watching me experience it, and he’s like, ‘Can you feel it swaying? Can you feel it swaying?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, this is great,'” Monaco said. “It’s almost like he got to experience it again through someone else’s eyes. That was awesome. I want every game to be like that.”
Five games into his tenure, including two big matchups and a neutral-site trophy game, Monaco said he was still pinching himself.
“That welcome to being part of this Aggie family, that’s overwhelmed me in a very positive way,” he said. “Like I said, I can’t get the smile off my face, and I still kind of giggle when I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m the Voice of the Aggies.’ “