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Rockin' the Mic

  • Author:
  • Published:
    Winter 2016


Here are snapshots of five sportscasters:



1997 , Comm. Arts & Sciences

TV, ESPN – National Columnist,

Co-host of His & Hers

·         Has worked for ESPN since 2006

·         Spent six years at Detroit Free Press

·         Helped raise money to fund expedited testing of old Wayne Co. rape kits

·         Was Grand Marshal of 2014 MSU Homecoming Parade

Known for: Her intrepid love of MSU on ESPN broadcasts, including telling

Michigan fans, “We own you,” after the Spartans beat the Wolverines in football for

the seventh time in eight years.



1977, Comm. Arts & Sciences

Chicago Blackhawks – Team Announcer and Hall of Fame broadcaster

·         ­ In his 33rd season as the Chicago Blackhawks TV play-by-play announcer

·         ­ Was on the mic when Chicago won its first Stanley Cup in 49 years

·         ­ Won four Emmys

·         ­ Inducted into Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame

·         ­ Won Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding

·         contributions as a hockey broadcaster

Known as: "The Voice of the Blackhawks."



1985, Comm. Arts & Sciences

Fox Sports Detroit – TV, Play-by-Play for

Detroit Tigers Baseball team

·         ­ Won Ty Tyson Award for Excellence in Sports Broadcasting

·         ­ Won a Michigan Emmy in 2006

·         ­ Won 2011 Michigan Sportscaster of the Year

·         ­ Author of If These Walls Could Talk

·         ­ Grew up idolizing former broadcast greats from Detroit, including Ernie Harwell, Paul Carey and George Kell

"It’s been a dream to be at the mic cov­ering Tigers teams that made the postseason in four consecutive seasons and two World Series appearances."


2013, Social Science

CBS/TBS, NBA TV - Basketball Analyst

·         ­ Covers the NCAA basketball Tournaments; also Studio Analyst for NBA TV

·         ­ Played in the NBA for 14 seasons and was a 1998 All-Star

·         ­ Was a gold medalist in the 2000 Olympic Games

·         ­ Two-time All-American in his four years at MSU

·         ­ Was inducted into: MSU Athletics, World Sports Humanitarian

·         and Michigan Sports Hall of Fame

·         ­ Donated more than $2 million to MSU to fund the Clara Bell Smith Student

·         Athlete Academic Center and to endow the Steve Smith Scholarship for

·         Academic Achievement

·         ­ Won NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2002.

"I’ve had great coaches but none greater than my mom. I have had great teammates and fans, but none greater than Clara Bell Smith."



1999 , Comm. Arts & Sciences

Fox Sports Live - Anchor and Studio Host

·         ­ Joined the brand new Fox Sports 1 Network in 2013

·         ­ Previously with Fox Sports Detroit

·         ­ Former sports director for FOX 47 in Lansing

·         ­ Won six Michigan Emmys, including Best Sports Anchor in 2009

·         ­ Won ‘Best College Radio Sportscast’ as a senior at MSU in 1999 presented by

·         Michigan Association of Broadcasters

"It’s great to see people I went to school with doing big things around the country in

this wild and crazy industry."



Other sportscasters hailing from Michigan State University feverishly follow college and professional athletes, their teams, their back stories and yes, their trash talk. Here are their profiles. Know of others? Email


John Ahlers

1986, Comm. Arts & Sciences

TV, Play-by-play Team Announcer for NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Sports USA Radio Network, calls NCAA football and hockey games.


Joe Block

1999, Comm. Arts & Sciences

Radio, Play-by-play for MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers. Formerly with Montreal Expos, L.A. Dodgers and New Orleans Hornets.


Rico Beard

1992, 1998, Comm. Arts & Sciences

Radio, Co-host of Detroit’s Ryan and Rico Show and The Drive With Jack. Covers MSU and UM Athletics, as well as Detroit teams: Lions, Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings. Inducted into Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.


Terry Braverman

1960, Comm. Arts & Sciences

Team Announcer for Spartan Football. His signature phrase is, “It’s a beautiful day for football.” Also co-host WKAR-TV’s Sports Talk; former public and commercial radio/TV broadcaster nationwide.

Mateen Cleaves

TV, CBS Sports Network Studio Analyst; former Pistons analyst for Fox Sports Detroit. Spartan Basketball All-American, 1997-2000, National Championship team captain; NBA player for Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Seattle Supersonics, Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers.


Audrey Dahlgren

2011, Comm. Arts & Sciences

TV, Sports Anchor and Reporter for KDSK-TV in St. Louis; Former sports anchor, reporter for WLNS-TV and KVLY-TV in Fargo, North Dakota. Spartan cheerleader from 2008-­2010.


Tim Doty

1994, Comm. Arts & Sciences

TV, Sports Anchor, Reporter CBS4, WTTV Indianapolis; Previous anchor at WXMI, Grand Rapids area.


Jack Ebling

1973, 1975, Comm. Arts & Sciences

Radio, Host of The Drive with Jack. Inducted into Greater Lansing Area Sports Hall of Fame, 2006. Author of The Heart of a Spartan.


Matthew “Mo” Gerhardt

2000, 2002, Business, Education

Radio, Sports Analyst with Spartan Sports Network coverage of the Spartan Women’s Basketball Team. Hosts radio's One Mo Minute with Suzy Merchant.


Kirk Gibson

TV, Studio Analyst for MLB’s Detroit Tigers on Fox Sports Detroit. Spartan football and baseball player, 1975-1978; Two-time MLB World Series Champion with Detroit Tigers, 1984, and the L.A. Dodgers 1988. Manager of Year in 2011, Arizona Diamondbacks. Inducted into Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.


Greg Kelser

1981, Social Science

Radio and TV, Basketball Analyst for Fox Sports Detroit and the Big Ten Network. Spartan Basketball player, 1976-1979, 1979 NCAA National Championship team, Two time Academic All-American; NBA player for the Detroit Pistons, Seattle Supersonics, San Diego Clippers and Indiana Pacers.


Al Martin

2012, Comm. Arts & Sciences

Radio and TV, Sports reporter for WKAR’s Current Sports with Al Martin. Former WLNSTV sports reporter.


Matt McConnell

1985, Comm. Arts & Sciences

TV, Play-by-play announcer for Arizona Coyotes, freelance play-by-play broadcaster for CBS Sports Network and Pac-12 Network. Former play-by-play announcer for NHL teams; radio voice, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 1993-1996, Pittsburgh Penguins, 1996-1999.


Jim Miller

Radio, co-host of Sirius NFL Radio’s Movin’ the Chains, analyst on Bears Postgame Live on CSN Chicago, host of ­ The Jim Miller Show on Real Football Network. Spartan Football player, 1990-1994. NFL player for Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Giants.

Morris Peterson, Jr.

2000, Social Science

TV, Basketball Analyst for Toronto Raptors and NCAA March Madness. The Sports Network. Spartan Basketball player, 1997-2000, 2000 NCAA championship team member; MSU Sports Hall Fame inductee; NBA player for Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder.


Mike Prisuta

1984, Comm. Arts & Sciences

Radio, Sportscaster, Pittsburgh's ­ The DVE Morning Show.


Joe Rexrode

1999, Comm. Arts & Sciences

Radio, Monday Co-host and regular on The Drive with Jack.


Justin Rose

2007, Comm. Arts & Sciences

TV, Sports Reporter, Anchor and Host on WXYZ-TV. Formerly WBOY, West Virginia; WLNS-TV; WTAE-TV Pittsburgh. Shares AP's Best Sportscaster Award.


Shireen Saski

1990, Comm. Arts & Sciences

TV, Sideline Reporter and Pregame Host for CBS Sports Network covering college hockey. Won three Michigan Emmys at Fox Sports Detroit, BTN's NHL Network; ESPN Heisman voter.


Jamal Spencer

2009, Comm. Arts & Sciences

TV, Sports Director at WZZM 13, Grand Rapids. Former Sports Director, KVLM-TV in Fargo, North Dakota.


Tim Staudt

1971, Comm. Arts & Sciences

Michigan's longest -running TV sportscaster and known as Dean of Sports. Anchor WILX, Lansing. Former Sports Director at former WJIM-TV, Lansing. Radio, Staudt on Sports, Sports Radio 730 WVFN. Won many sportscasting awards.


Matt Steigenga

1993, Business

Radio, Basketball Color Analyst for Spartan Sports Network. Spartan Basketball player and All- American, 1989-1992. NBA player for Chicago Bulls.


Rob Woodward

2000, Social Science

Radio, Hockey Analyst for the Spartan Sports Network; Co-host of weekly Spartan Hockey Coach Tom Anastos’ Show. Spartan Hockey player, 1989-1993.



Sports reporters, many of whom are MSU graduates, visit campus every fall to mentor students at the Spartan Sports Journalism Classic, hosted by the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

The Spartan Sports Journalism Classic is a day-long forum that in fall brings together MSU sports journalism alumni with faculty and students. Activities include speed resume coaching, panel discussions and opportunities for students to network with professionals in their fields.

As many as 100 sports outlets  around the country seek out MSU’s student interns and close to 50 of the college’s graduates work in high-profile sports journalism positions today.