ASA member Jerry Canaan can tell you from experience that changing professions is never easy, but the end result can be very rewarding. Canaan recently iced his legal career to become the radio and TV personality of the Augusta Lynx hockey team of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).
Canaan, who received his law degree in 1991 from the University of Richmond, clerked for two years with the Supreme Court of Virginia before going into private practice. He also taught entertainment and copyright law at J. Sargeant Community College. Although his career seemed promising, Canaan soon realized that practicing law was not what he really wanted to do.
While attending a career counseling course, Canaan discovered two things: his love of sports and his passion for performing.
When he combined these interests, sports broadcasting seemed to be a logical career to pursue. Canaan began taking weekend classes at the Columbia School of Broadcasting, in Arlington, where he received positive feedback about his broadcasting ability. He also attended a sportscasting seminar in Los Angeles, where he was also praised for his work.
Soon after, Canaan called Andy Davis, voice of the Richmond Renegades of the ECHL, and offered his services just to gain experience. Surprisingly, Davis allowed Canaan to handle some of his radio broadcasts. Canaan also hooked up with the Virginia News Network, agreeing to do the weekend grave yard shift while still practicing law full time and teaching his classes.
Canaan's big chance to leave his law practice behind for good came when he learned that the Lynx hockey team, formerly of Raleigh, NC, was relocating to Augusta, GA, and was in need of a radio and TV man. Out of a highly competitive field of applicants, Canaan landed the job. He will be calling the action for the Lynx when they begin play in the ECHL in the fall.