When Mark Schuermann was 6, he became mad at his mother.
That’s because she had just signed him up for the morning kindergarten session rather than the afternoon and that meant he would not be able to watch the “The Price is Right,” and announcer Bob Barker.
Now 27, Schuermann is a big-time announcer in his own right.
At the Rio Olympics he will control the microphone at both indoor and outdoor volleyball.
“It’s cool to think about the fact that I just started working with USA volleyball four years ago, and now I’m at the Atlanta airport on the way to Rio, to announce on the biggest stage of the sport,” Schuermann said during his layover. “That’s pretty sweet.”
Schuermann has an extensive announcing resume, including the UCLA basketball and volleyball teams, the AVP, World League, Grand Prix, NBC, and the FIVB World Series of Beach Volleyball.
He was introduced to volleyball while at Shadow Ridge High School in Las Vegas when his freshman economics teacher, who was also the volleyball coach, asked the 6-foot-3 height, kid if he wanted to play volleyball.
Although he had never played volleyball previously. Schuermann quickly picked up the game and loved it, so much so that he became the team MVP his senior year as they won the state championship.
That led him to Santa Monica City College, coached by AVP Pro John Mayer. In his first Introduction to a broadcasting class he knew within the first five minutes of the class that he wanted to somehow, in some form or another, be another Bob Barker.
After transferring to CSU Northridge, he tried to walk onto the men’s team. He was eventually cut, but established key relationships that would allow him to broadcast the CSUN basketball, volleyball, water polo, baseball, and softball matches on a volunteer basis.
In 2012, Schuermann got his first opportunity to work for USA volleyball at the NorCECA continental qualifier as a fill-in. He parlayed that initial job into several more announcing positions including the coveted AVP announcer position for 2015 and 2016 thanks to a recommendation by Mayer, his former Santa Monica coach.
In 2016, AVP DJ Jeremy Roueche, who will DJ at the Olympics, recommended Schuermann for the announcer position at the Olympics. Schuermann dutifully applied, and hadn’t heard anything after six weeks. In a chance meeting at AVP Huntington, he was informed that he would be selected as one of the announcers at the Olympics.
By the way, when Schuermann was 11, he got a “Price is Right” board game and hosted his family’s The Price is Right with an audience of 20. The current Price is Right host, Drew Carey, is probably safe for now, especially with how busy Schuermann is with volleyball. What’s more, Schuermann is an active player and is a AAA player, the top rating the California Beach Volleyball Association offers.
And here’s more from our visit while he was hanging out in ATL.
VBM: How do you prepare for an event?
Schuermann: ”My job is to facilitate what is already a really fun event to go to. Everybody is already really excited to be here. It’s about building rapport with the players and fans by taking the excitement that the fans bring and taking it to another level. One of the things I’ve really learned from working with DJ Jeremy Roueche is to build the energy at the event so that those really special moments really stand out and you can punch those when them come.”
VBM: Do you know what your schedule will be like in Rio?
Schuermann: “The first week we’ll be in workshops and technical meetings to make sure everybody’s on the same page. When the event starts, I’ll be announcing on the indoor side, but doing some work on the beach side as well. I’ll be announcing two sessions a day (morning and evening) one day, followed by one session (afternoon) the next day.”
VBM: How do you deal with nervousness?
Schuermann: “I try to turn the nervousness into excitement, because I know the excitement is my desire to do a good job. I turn that nervousness away from anxiety and into excitement.”
VBM: What is your favorite part of announcing?
Schuermann: “It’s got to be interacting with the fans. I love interacting with individual fans and have fun and joke with them spontaneously.”
VBM: What do you do when you’re not announcing?
Schuermann: “I’m a huge outdoors person, I love playing volleyball, going hiking, having a lazy beach day. I want to experience the most out of life, I love experiencing new things, I love learning more about myself. I’m a pretty high energy person and love to have something to do.
“I still play CBVA tournaments, I play around twice a week depending upon my schedule.”