Saturday, August 13, 2011

Iowa Broadcaster Adds to Responsibilities

Iowa has been very fortunate to have had great announcing teams broadcasts their sports teams. Prior to 1997 fans were able to choose between a number of different personalities. Names like Jim Zabel, Bob Brooks, Gene Claussen, Frosty Mitchell, Ron Gonder were found in various places around the dial and Hawkeye fans found that one voice to bring Hawkeye athletics into their homes, cars and corn fields. And in both basketball and football the analysts describing the action have been among the best in the Big Ten, if not the nation. Fans enjoy hearing their teams broken down by former Iowa athletes in Ed Podolak and Bobby Hanson.

In 1997 the multiple networks were down to one, and Gary Dolphin was brought in to describe the action to all of Iowa. The deal with Learfield Communications was common at the time as Iowa was one of the last schools who didn't have exclusive rights with one network. And while some fans were disappointed their favorite guy was no longer calling the games, it did provide more teams at Iowa the opportunity to find their way into the airwaves of the state of Iowa, as well as many of the surrounding states.

Forgotten by many was the duo elevated from one of Learfield's Flagship stations to call women's basketball. Iowa natives Mike Grimm and Karen Schulte were the voices of Lisa Bluder's first season at Iowa, and an historic one that found the Iowa ladies win the Big Ten Tournament title and become a four seed in the NCAA tournament. Grimm and Schulte didn't broadcast the most popular sport, but may have been the best announcing team of the entire Iowa network.

The Manchester native, Grimm has moved on since the 2001 season. In 2006 he was named the play by play person of Minneosta Golden Gopher Men's Basketball team. And as of yesterday he has now added the football duties as well. Quite a journey for a young man who was calling eastern Iowa high school football as recently as ten years ago.

Below is a quick video of him and Schulte calling pieces of the 2001 first round game versus Oregon. The game was broadcast back to Oregon with their local announcers. But we were able to tap into that broadcast with the radio call of Grimm and Schulte. It was a rough trip for Mike as he was battling a bad cold, so bad that he did every little trick to keep his voice ready to go for a three hour game. (The video is the tv broadcast with the Learfield Network Radio feed over it).

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