Monday, March 9, 2015

Sports Announcers I Grew Up With: Joe Dean

There is a special place in my heart for the radio and TV sports announcers I grew up with. From ABC's Wide World of Sports to roller derby and wrestling, and everything in between, sports was a big part of my life growing up. At my house, we watched on TV whatever sport was 'in season,' especially on Saturday's. If there was a sports event on radio, we listened to it. I was very blessed to grow up with many now- legendary voices and characters. Today, I want to pay tribute to Joe Dean.

Joe Dean grew up in New Albany, Indiana, where he played basketball for New Albany High School. Influenced by his coach, Dean chose to attend college at LSU, where he was a star player. In 2009, he was named to the LSU All-Century Team. Other members include Pete Maravich and Shaquille O'Neal. He is best known, though, for his work as a color analyst for Southeastern Conference basketball games, which he covered for 18 years. He coined the phrase "String Music" and is also known for other phrases such as, "Stufferino" and "Lexington, K-Y." During his run, he worked with NBC, TBS, ESPN, TVS and Jefferson Pilot.

Dean retired from announcing in 1987 and became athletic director at LSU. During his 14-year tenure, the LSU baseball team won five national championships, while the men's and women's track teams accounted for 22 national championships combined. At the time of his retirement, the 27 national championships under Dean's guidance were an SEC record. Dean is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. I loved Joe Dean's voice and I miss him on SEC basketball games. He was major part of my Saturday's during my growing up years. He was, without a doubt, one of the legendary characters in Southeastern Conference history. Joe Dean died on November 17, 2013. He was 83.

(Joe Dean and former University of Kentucky basketball coach Joe B. Hall.)

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