Luis Perez ’12
Bachelor of Arts in Communications & Bachelor of Science in Sports Administration
What brought you to St. Thomas University?
I liked that they offered both of the majors I was interested in. I also loved that it was close to home!
Where are you now and what are you doing?
I currently tour the world as the Public Address Announcer for the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters.
What do you like most about what you are doing?
There is no better feeling than being part of a team like the Harlem Globetrotters. We create an atmosphere where long-lasting memories are made.
How did your experience at St. Thomas University shape your career path?
I had creative freedom at St. Thomas University. The former Athletic Director Laura Cortley-Todd let me do my thing. She trusted me with game presentation and that made room for me to experiment and get creative with creating an amazing live atmosphere. While I was announcing for the STU Baseball team they had a successful season. This success brought attention to the team and myself from the South Florida community, which eventually led to many of my gigs in Florida, the country and now the world.
Share your favorite St. Thomas University memory?
I’ve only ever lost my composure in a press box once in my life. It happened at the 2019 NAIA Opening Round of the World Series hosted by St. Thomas. Our second baseman Jackie Urbaez hit a Grand slam in a tied game that all but punched our ticket to the World Series. I was overcome with emotion. It is a very sweet memory for me. I knew it was probably going to be one of the last times so many of the people I loved would all be in the same stadium. My career was undoubtedly taking off so I knew I wouldn’t be able to visit STU as regularly. We literally went out with a bang.
What is the most important thing you learned while you were attending St. Thomas University?
Always trust Carlos DeYarza, current communications professor and Digital Media Services Manager at St. Thomas. Everything he ever said to me was to make me better in every area of my life. He was instrumental to my success at STU. At the time he wasn’t even a professor, but he is the most valuable coach I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t be the editor, teacher, announcer and human being I am today without his influence.
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
Respect the butterfly effect. You will have a series of small moments that will build up to your “big break”. Many people recognize me from my time with the Harlem Globetrotters, Orlando City, Miami Heat and Florida International University and more. They see me now, but those moments all came from a conversation I had at a local restaurant in 2009. My now mentor Laura Cortley-Todd gave me the opportunity to join the STU Athletic department back then. It’s only been up since then. Also, get as much experience as you can. Volunteer and get internships in your field to help you nurture your skills.
How did your education at St. Thomas University prepare you for what you are doing today?
Phil Shepardson was my speech professor my second year at STU. As a former TV host he taught me a lot about how to use my voice as a tool. Once he learned about my aspirations to be an announcer and public speaker, he got on board to help me achieve that dream. He was critical of me and pushed me to lose my ‘Miami tongue’ if I truly wanted to branch out further in my dream field. He went ton to pass away the next year. I often think about him and his lessons, especially when I’m teaching my speech courses at St. Thomas University and Florida International University.
What activities were you involved in when you were at St. Thomas University?
If I was given the opportunity to announce a sports game, that’s where you’d find me outside of class.
What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
I am big into water sports. You can always find me out on the water. Jet skis have been my latest vice.