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Alex Del Barrio blazes broadcast trail

Versatility pays for Alex Del Barrio

In a rivalry game between San Diego State and San Jose State two years ago, most television sets around the country were tuned elsewhere as Alex Del Barrio and Steve Wolf broadcast the game nationally for CBS Sports.

The Winter Olympics in Beijing dominated television screens at the time. While the ratings were low, Del Barrio realized the game meant more for Latinos who aspire to broadcast. 

Del Barrio, who was one of two Latino broadcasters who called play-by-play games nationally in English for CBS, was approached by Sharlene Sairia-Mansfield. She was the stage manager at the broadcast that day.

’Our time’

“The only time I saw a Latino broadcaster was when there was a Spanish broadcast,” Sairia-Masfield said. “I let him know, as myself being a minority, I thought it was great to support each other. I felt like it was our time.”

After many years on the job, she told Del Barrio that he was one of only a handful of Latinos she saw in the broadcast booth for basketball games. They both had an extensive conversation, acknowledging the minimal representation Latinos had in the broadcast booth. 

Del Barrio loved sports and wrestling at an early age. The Mission, Texas, native recalls driving six hours to Houston to watch Hakeem Olajuwon and the championship Rockets. Inspired to learn the game, Del Barrio joined the Mission High basketball team.


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During a junior varsity game Del Barrio dove for a loose ball. The dive resulted in hairline fractures in three of his front teeth. 

The injury ended his basketball career.  It was the inception to what would be his future career. He started announcing the starters before Mission High varsity basketball games. 

“That is where I got my first scratching of the itch,” Del Barrio said. “Then I went to school at Boston University. I did a lot of student radio there. I called hockey, soccer, softball games and (did) a sports talk show.”

In the summer between his junior and senior years, the University of Texas Pan-American alum garnered his first big break. He did the English radio play-by-play for the independent league Edinburg Roadrunners.

Alex Del Barrio got a break with Globetrotters

After a year with the independent league club, he got a plethora of media opportunities around the Rio Grande Valley. Del Barrio did the radio call for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the Rockets’ minor league affiliate, the RGV Vipers.

In 2011, Del Barrio aimed for a new challenge and a promotion. He took a life-changing risk. He sent out demo tapes to WWE, the Harlem Globetrotters and other big-market sport teams. After he waited anxiously for a response, the Globetrotters invited him to a two-week training camp.

Alex Del Barrio quit his job and booked a flight to Long Island, N.Y. Without a guarantee of a job, he abandoned everything he knew.  He went off to an unknown city with limited money to chase a job that wasn’t promised. 

His gamble was rewarded when he was hired for the job. Del Barrio spent two years with the Globetrotters. He traveled with the team to different parts of the country. With the Globetrotters, Del Barrio earned enough experience to secure his dream job.

WWE experience

In 2013, he joined WWE NXT as their ring announcer and backstage interviewer. After a short cameo with WWE, Del Barrio has been a jack of all trades throughout the media. He’s been a sports director, worked in radio and live television.

Alex Del Barrio currently is a late night host on ESPN radio. He also does play-by-play for CBS. 

Del Barrio will call about 25 games between basketball and football before his tenure at CBS ends. The more big games he calls, the more of a representation he is for the next generation of Latinos in the media. 

“You don’t think about your journey while you are doing it,” Del Barrio said.  “You think about it when you are asked about it and you have no concept of how it can affect others.”

“It makes them proud to see someone who looks like them, sounds like them and has a similar last name to get to a level they aspire to be or they never thought could be possible.” 

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