PHILADELPHIA- The University of Pennsylvania has announced Rich Kahn as the new “Voice of the Palestra.” Kahn will take over public-address announcing duties at The Palestra, including Penn men’s and women’s basketball games and all Big 5 basketball games contested at the historic arena.
Kahn will begin his tenure for the 2005-06 Penn basketball seasons; he will fill the void left by John McAdams, who served as public address announcer at The Palestra for 24 years before passing away June 16.
“Rich has large shoes to fill, obviously -- John McAdams was a Philadelphia icon, and a centerpiece of The Palestra experience for so many years and so many people,” said Penn Athletics Director Steve Bilsky. “However, our staff worked hard to find someone whom they thought could continue John’s legacy, and I agree with their confidence in the professionalism that Rich will bring to this position. I am excited to have Rich assume public address duties at The Palestra.”
“It is an honor and a thrill for me to be a small part of the great tradition of Penn and The Palestra,” said Kahn of his appointment.
Kahn comes into the job with outstanding credentials. He was the long-time public address voice of the New York Jets in the National Football League (NFL), serving in that capacity for 19 years from 1983-2002. In addition, he spent 13 years (1982-95) as the public address announcer for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). Within college basketball circles, he has experience through working as P.A. for Seton Hall and Fordham. Presently, he is one of the voices people hear at New Jersey Nets games at Continental Airlines Arena and Hofstra University football and men’s basketball games in Hempstead, N.Y.
One of Kahn’s other claims to fame is that he was the first public address announcer for an NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four, serving in that capacity at the 1982 and 1983 events in Norfolk, Va.
Other P.A. experience that Kahn has includes a year with the New Jersey Gladiators and the New York-New Jersey Knights in Arena Football; the New York Stars of Women’s Pro Basketball; and the Westchester Wildfire of the United States Basketball League (USBL).
The Penn women’s basketball team will be the first team to play with Kahn at the microphone, as the Quakers host Lehigh on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. The men’s team is at home for the first time Monday, Nov. 21 against Siena at 7 p.m.
-Written by Mike Mahoney, director of athletic communications