Ichabod Football Helmet

Home

Calling the Shots

Ichabod announcer, father-to-be enjoying life at home and on the road

Jake Lebahn

From The Ichabod - Spring 2020

Wherever Washburn University Athletics goes, Jake Lebahn follows, and as the MIAA expands across the Midwest, that sometimes means multiple hours-long road trips a week.

When he’s not hosting his weekday sports talk show on WIBW-AM 580, the 6-foot-4 former wide receiver crams into a car and travels to nearly every Washburn football and basketball contest to call the game on KTPK-FM 106.9. After all the uneventful drives to destinations in Kansas and surrounding states, it may come as a surprise to hear the Voice of the Ichabods refer to a 2014 flight to Hawaii as his “trip from hell.”

The journey began with multiple flight cancellations and delays that caused the men’s basketball team to miss their first game in Maui. After playing games
the following two days on two different islands, flights home on Thanksgiving weekend were canceled one by one.

However, the long list of inconveniences led to a silver lining Lebahn, ba ’07, never could have imagined. On a second straight day sitting in the Honolulu airport, he met Lindsay Potts, who also faced delays trying to fly home to Nashville, Tennessee. A three-year long-distance relationship led Lindsay to move to Topeka, and the Lebahns married in 2018. Their first child, a boy, is due in May.

“Washburn basketball is the reason why I found my wife, which is crazy to say,” Lebahn said. “Covering Washburn has been my job, but it’s also what I’m truly passionate about because I played here and went here. And also, it helped my social life out a little bit.”

Meeting Lindsay confirmed good things come to those who wait, but career-wise, Lebahn couldn’t have taken a faster track. He interned at WIBW while completing his all-conference Washburn football career and, after graduating with a mass media degree in 2007, joined Mark Elliott, b ed ’84, and Bruce Steinbrock, ma '20, on the broadcast team.

After just one year as a sideline reporter, Lebahn became sports director when Steinbrock left to become Washburn’s assistant athletic director and director of development - athletics.

Lebahn did color commentary alongside Elliott for two years and moved to his current play-by-play role six years ago. Steinbrock, who’s known Lebahn since childhood, realized the station was in good hands.

“What you love about Jake is his enthusiasm,” Steinbrock said. “He loves sports. He’s at home, to me, when he’s doing the talk show. That’s when he uses his enthusiasm and knowledge to his advantage.”

Another advantage is his familiarity with Washburn and its coaches, including Craig Schurig, who brought Lebahn to Washburn in his second recruiting class and will soon begin his 19th year coaching the football team, and Ron McHenry, ba ’85, who just finished his 20th year coaching women’s basketball.
McHenry, who talks to Lebahn in post-game interviews, coaches shows and off-air banter, said it helps when someone knows the ins and outs of college athletics.

“Jake may not come across as the straight and narrow with a big voice,” McHenry said, “but he just has fun at it and he knows a lot of sports, and he can give you that side of it.”

Lebahn said his favorite moments on the mic include Schurig and McHenry setting Washburn's all-time win records in their respective sports, and former men’s basketball coach Bob Chipman’s historic 800th win.

“I’m a Washburn fan,” Lebahn said. “I think what helps me out with play-by-play too, is I really do want Washburn to win.”

Covering football and basketball means Lebahn is away from home nearly every Saturday, with a weeknight or two mixed in, from September through March. Thankfully, Lindsay, a former volleyball player for the University of Rhode Island, shares his enjoyment of sports and understands the time and travel commitments.

“Without Lindsay being super supportive, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing,” Lebahn said. “She’s been great.”

Lindsay has embraced the local sports scene, cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals, and even working at Washburn for a year, earning the title of honorary Ichabod from Jake. Now, the couple is preparing for their most meaningful shared endeavor.

“Jake’s life is about to change when his son is born in May, and I know he’s really excited about that,” Steinbrock said. “He’s actually kinda lived his boyhood dream. The Chiefs won and the Royals won, and he’s not 40. Being a fan in the moment, as well as a broadcaster in the moment, I know he’s loving it.”

In six years’ time, Lebahn landed a dream job, watched his favorite teams win titles, married and became a father. It may have all started with a “trip from hell,” but for Lebahn, every aspect of life has been heaven on earth.

 

Voice of the Ichabods

Now broadcasting on KTPK-FM 106.9, below is a list of those known to have held the title “Voice of the Ichabods.”

1967-81 – Merle Blair, ba ’57
1981-84 – Mark Stubbs, ba ’84
1984-86 – Jerry Schemmel, ba ’82, jd ’85
1987-2001 – Ron Simon
2001-14 – Bruce Steinbrock, ma ’20
2011-14 – Mark Elliott, b ed ’84
2014-present – Jake Lebahn, ba ’07

 

The Ichabod magazine fall 2020

The Ichabod tells our story with features on alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends, along with the latest campus news. Read the 2020 fall edition online and look for it in mailboxes in October.

View past editions

 

Please enter your username and password below. If you do not have a username and password, click "New user registration" to register.

Login
New user registration
Forgotten password

1729 MacVicar Avenue
Topeka, KS 66604 Phone: 785.670.4483
Email: contactus@wualumni.org