Mike Koon




Communications Lead

Mike Koon has had a diverse communications career, the majority of which has been in higher education. He began as the Communications Lead for the Agroecosystem Sustainability Center on August 7, 2023. He has spent 21 years at the University of Illinois, 14 as an assistant communications director for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and 7 as assistant communications director for Grainger Engineering.

At Grainger Engineering, he handled media relations as well as speech writing, awards nominations, and stewardship for the Advancement and Dean's Office.

In between, Mike was the Director of Sports, Events, and Film for Visit Champaign County (from 2020-23), taking the lead on VCC's hosting of the IHSA Boys Basketball, Football, and Wrestling Tournaments and bringing new events to the area with an economic impact of more than $7 million.

Mike was inducted into the Monticello (Illinois) High School Hall of Fame in 2021 and added membership into MHS's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2023.

From the time he was in single digits, Mike has had a passion for being behind the microphone. While still in high school, he made his on-air debut as the play-by-play voice of Sages football and basketball games on WVLJ radio, covering teams that went deep into the post-season. 

Fans of University of Illinois athletics have grown accustomed to hearing Mike’s voice. Since 1998, Mike has announced women’s basketball games for the Illini Sports Network and WDWS radio. Since 2019, he is the full-time play-by-play voice for Illini women’s basketball, which included an 2023 NCAA Tournament appearance.

Over the years, he has also been the regular public address announcer for Illini football, volleyball, and softball while also being an arena voice at State Farm Center for Illini men’s basketball. 

In addition to his sports announcing work, Mike spent a combined 19 years in athletic public relations at North Central College and the University of Illinois. He was the lead publicist for North Central’s NCAA champion cross country and track & field programs, for Illinois’ national runner-up volleyball squad, and for the Big Ten champion Illini men’s golf team. 

Mike has supported media communications efforts at the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, for the Sugar and Florida Citrus Bowls, and for nearly a dozen Women’s Final Fours.