LARAMIE -- "Mr. Fill in" is now full time.

Joshua Hunter last week was named the new public address announcer inside Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium, replacing Jack Nokes, who mouthed the mic at 7,220 for more than four decades.

Have you heard his voice before? Maybe?

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Hunter, as his unofficial nickname would suggest, has frequented the booth inside Mile High Stadium, Ball Arena, Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Folsom Field and many other venues up and down the Front Range.

He's riled up more than 76,000 Broncos fans with good ol' fashion Raider hate, called a Mikko Rantanen goal and witnessed just last year TCU take Colorado to the woodshed 38-13 in Boulder. That was just the beginning of the Horned Frogs unexpected march to the national championship game.

Nothing compares to this highlight, though.

Hunter was behind the microphone high above Seattle's Climate Pledge Arena Oct. 23, 2021. That was the very first time the expansion Kraken took the ice in franchise history. He called it one of the most exciting times in this wildly unexpected career.

You can hear it in his voice:

"There are 32 teams in the NHL. Those 32 teams only have one true opening day," Hunter said from his home in Severance, Colo., Tuesday morning. "To be the guy on the mic on opening day was an amazing experience. Ann Wilson, from the band Heart, sang the national anthem. That was cool to intro Ann. In my time with Kraken, the military recognitions and their stories were incredible. To narrate those was amazing."

Memories and experiences.

That's what drew Hunter to this profession. So did Alan Roach. Name not ringing a bell? Just think of that baritone voice that welcomes you to Denver International Airport. Nothing? How about the Super Bowl?

Hunter remembers hearing Roach on those warm summer afternoons inside Coors Field. He had prior interest in the profession. After all, he "weaseled" his way into the press box in 2003, offering to announce the starting lineup for the Colby Community College baseball team. Ironically, that's also the program he played for at the time.

"It wasn't live," he said with a laugh. "It was all pre-recorded stuff."

That was the beginning. Then came stints in the minor leagues: Hockey, baseball, soccer. If you had a press pass, Hunter was there. Only the Nuggets and Rockies have yet to ask for his services.

This passion eventually pushed him to reach out this spring when UW announced they were in search of a new PA announcer. That, and his brother, who just so happens to live in Laramie, sent him the listing.

Hint, hint.

Despite graduating from Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins and all the dues paid in that state to the south, Hunter is a "Wyoming kid." That's not just a figure of speech, either. He was born in Worland and lived in Washakie County until he was 4 years old. His family is still there today.

Baseball kept drawing him back to the Cowboy State, too.

He's the proud owner of two Legion state championships with the Worland Indians and even played on a collegiate summer team based in Rawlins.

When it comes to the Pokes, Hunter said he hasn't attended a game inside The War for at least 25 years. That's not on purpose, the guy has been a little busy on the weekends.

"We used to travel there, mainly with my cousins who would go to Laramie to catch a CSU game," he said. "It's been quite a while. It's not a lack of not wanting to be there, it's been the lack of time to be there. My spare time has been spent in venues and most Saturdays I'm on the mic."

That excuse is now in the rear-view mirror.

His mom was one of the first to break the news, posting in one of those "If you are from Worland you might remember ..." Facebook pages. His father, who still lives there, is a "diehard" Pokes fan. That's how Hunter described most of his kinfolk in the Cowboy State. Even his wife's cousin works at the university.

Meant to be? He sure hopes so.

Hunter said he applied for the basketball opening in Laramie back in 2018 to no avail. He found out he didn't get the gig thanks to a social media post from the guy who did. That, admittedly, left a bitter taste in his mouth. Still, he answered the phone. He was supposed to make his Arena-Auditorium debut last winter. A snowstorm had other ideas.

That shouldn't be an issue -- fingers crossed -- Sept. 2 when Texas Tech pays a visit to the High Plains.

Has Hunter thought about what that day will be like? You bet.

"I don't even know if I could daydream about it, I'm so far removed from the last time I was at the stadium," he joked. "I have this in my head -- it's going to be an incredibly loud, exciting moment. I'm going to come early and take it all in, experience as much of it as I can. I want to get a feel for what fans are, what they like. It's not that I'm trying to change myself, I'm not. I am what I am. But I want to get an idea of what it is. Hopefully it's what it used to be like.

"It's going to be a great day."

Hunter has been scouring through YouTube videos, attempting to recreate the gameday experience in Laramie. He knows hype videos and cellphone footage will never truly capture the atmosphere.

Hunter doesn't know how Nokes did things during his 41 years on the call. He doesn't particularly want to, either, respectively. He's bringing his own mic to the yard.

Perspective comes with that.

"I want to be great for the fans because I know how much they spend," he added. "I know what it takes to be a fan and support your team. I understand what goes into that and what they give of themselves. They deserve my best. I look at it that way every single game."

Just The Facts: Size Doesn't Matter For Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium

Did you know it would take the populations of Gillette (32,857), Laramie (32,381), Rock Springs (23,319), Sheridan (17,844) and Wright (1,200) to create a sellout inside Michigan's famed 107,601-seat Big House, the largest college football stadium in the nation?

For those of you not familiar with the Cowboy State, those are Wyoming's third through sixth most inhabited cities, along with the small mining town in Campbell County.

- Just The Facts: Size Doesn't Matter For Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium

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