Sioux football receives new voiceJack Michaels will call UND games starting with the 2011 season
Jack Michaels has been a sportscaster in North Dakota for two decades. He’s called hundreds of high school and college games. But his passion for calling games received a renewed boost Tuesday when he was named the new voice of UND Sioux football.
By: Wayne Nelson, Grand Forks Herald
Jack Michaels has been a sportscaster in North Dakota for two decades. He’s called hundreds of high school and college games.
But his passion for calling games received a renewed boost Tuesday when he was named the new voice of UND Sioux football. He’ll be calling Sioux games on the Fighting Sioux radio network starting in the fall. He’s taking over for Dan Hammer.
“There are so many reasons I’m excited to do it,” Michaels said. “UND is headed into a new venture with the Big Sky Conference. There is a lot of upside to UND football.”
Michaels, 44, is no stranger to the region. He spent nearly 15 years in Fargo, where he called North Dakota State football and basketball games. For the last five years, Michaels called University of Mary games in Bismarck, where he also worked for Clear Channel Radio.
Calling Sioux games is one part of Michaels’ new job. Also on Tuesday, Michaels was named the sports director at KFGO-AM radio in Fargo, which is the flagship station for North Dakota State athletics.
Hammer also was the sports director at KFGO before returning to television in Fargo. Michaels will have a similar working arrangement with UND and Radio Fargo-Moorhead, the management arm of KFGO.
“It was a neat thing that we could work that out,” Michaels said. “Out of the gate, I didn’t know how we’d swing it. But through a steady process we found a way to make it work.”
Shortly after Hammer announced he was leaving for Valley News Live in Fargo, UND senior associate athletic director Sean Johnson approached Michaels about announcing Sioux games.
“He was at the top of our list,” Johnson said. “We actually talked to him while he was in Bismarck. He has great name recognition. Everyone in North Dakota knows Jack and he’s a pro. He’s the kind of guy we want representing UND.”
While working in Bismarck, Michaels interviewed Sioux coach Chris Mussman a number of times. “We had a nice rapport on the air,” Michaels said. “To be able to do that in a bigger venue is exciting.”
When the Sioux open their 2011 season against Drake in September, Michaels is expected to be joined by color analyst Mike Berg, a former Grand Forks Central coach.
“I’ll bring everything I can as far as passion and play-by-play goes,” Michaels said. “But to work with Mike is a bonus. He’s so knowledgeable.”
Michaels begins his duties at KFGO today.
Nelson reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1268; (800) 477-6572, ext. 268; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.