Chris Ackels named new public address announcer for Notre Dame Stadium
Fall Saturdays at Notre Dame Stadium will look, feel and, particularly, sound, a lot different for Chris Ackels.
Having attended his share of Irish games over the years as a fan, the 2021 college football season will be different for Ackels, a Chicago resident and Dallas native.
For starters, he won’t need a ticket. Ackels will have his own seat — and his own booth — on the west side of the stadium.
On Tuesday, Notre Dame announced that Ackels is the new voice of Notre Dame Stadium. He replaces Mike Collins as the stadium’s public address announcer.
The announcement was made in an interview with Ackels on the school’s athletics web site, und.com.
“I’ve been rooting for them since I can remember,” Ackels said of Notre Dame. “My goal is that nobody comes to the game to hear the announcer. I am not the show, I’m not the center of attention. If I'm ever the center of attention, I feel like it shouldn't be that way.
“It's about the game, it's about the community, it's about the family, and I'm one small piece of that experience.”
Ackels first started as an announcer when he was in high school, at Jesuit College Prep in Dallas when he asked the school athletic director if he could announce basketball, football and baseball games. He attended Saint Louis University as an undergraduate and earned a Master’s from DePaul.
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Ackels has served as an announcer at events at Northwestern, DePaul, Southern Methodist and Saint Louis. He currently serves as the in-stadium host and emcee at Guaranteed Rate Field for the Chicago White Sox. He’s also worked for the Chicago Blackhawks. Ackels considers Sox and Hawks public address announcer Gene Honda his role model.
Collins retired following the 2020 season after 39 years as the voice of Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame's home opener — and Ackels' debut — is Sept. 11 against Toledo.
Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI