Little League fields in Ft. Walton Beach and Jacksonville, and
junior high and high school gyms around Jacksonville, Gene Deckerhoff
grew up around sports. As a kid he kept home made score cards
on baseball games broadcast over radio.
||He was honored as a Little
League All-Star, and named Basketball All-City as a senior at
Forrest High School in Jacksonville. His 32 points in a game
against Lake City HS was a school record that stood for several
years. As a freshman he was the starting point guard and second
leading scorer on the St. Johns River Junior College Vikings
basketball team that won the State Junior College Championship.
began his broadcasting career as a direct result of his sports
participation. WWPF – Palatka Program Director John Tilghman
was also the stations sports play-by-play announcer. He offered
Gene a job as a weekend announcer.
And in 1964,
Gene successfully passed the FCC License exam for broadcasters
and began working “behind the mike”. His first sports
assignment was as engineer/announcer of a Little League All
Star game in Palatka during the summer
In 1966, while finishing
work on a Bachelors Degree in International Relations, Gene became
evening announcer at WGGG in Gainesville, Florida. He began his sports
broadcasting career at the station when WGGG needed "someone
who knew something about basketball" to broadcast high school
After four and a half years in management and sales with Southern
Bell Telephone and General Foods Corporation, Gene re-started his
broadcast career at WTRL in Bradenton, Florida. He spent a year as
a weekend “part-time” announcer, and then began full time
work at the station in 1972
as a DJ, account executive and sports announcer. His first football
broadcast was in the fall of 1972 when
he shared the play-by-play chores with News Director Dean Edwards.
WTNT-AM, Tallahassee, Florida was Gene’s next stop. He
became the basketball voice of Florida
State Univeristy in the winter of
’74 sharing play-by-play
duties with Ed Littler and became sole play-by-play announcer
Gene began his television career in September
1976 as the original Sports Director at
WECA-TV channel 27, an ABC affiliate in Tallahassee. He continued
to broadcast daily 2 minute radio sports shows on WGLF-FM in Tallahassee.
In January 1978, Gene
became co-Sports Director at WCTV-TV, channel 6, a CBS affiliate in
Tallahassee. In 1979 Gene
auditioned for the FSU Football Play-by-play job. Among the finalists
for the position was the late Tom Meese (ESPN) and Craig Sager (Turner Sports).
Gene was named "Voice of the Seminoles" in the summer
of 1979, and his first play-by-play broadcast of FSU football
was in September when the 'Noles opened the season against Southern Miss. Florida State
went undefeated in the regular season and played in the school's first New Year's Day Bowl
"Voice of the Seminoles"
Gene co-hosted the weekly "Bobby Bowden Show". The program was produced by WCTV and
distributed state-wide during football season over a seven station network.
In November 1983, Gene was named Director
of Electronic Media for Seminole Boosters Inc. His primary duties
were coordination of the Seminole Radio Network, and Executive Producer
of "The Bobby Bowden Show"(football) and "The Pat Kennedy Show" (basketball) on television.
He sold advertising, negotiated all TV contracts with stations throughout Florida and in Atlanta, and
acted as talent on both shows. He also began producing "Great Moments
in FSU Football" with Burt Reynolds. The Great Moments Series debuted in the Fall of 1984, and
continued through 2009 (26 seasons).
During 1983-85 Gene was the play-by-play
"Voice of the Tampa Bay Bandits" of the USFL. Gene teamed with his
FSU color analyst Vic Prinzi for the three years the summer league was in existence,
broadcasting many memorable games coached by Steve Spurrier.
The Bobby Bowden Show
"Great Moments in FSU Football" with
Gene started Gene Deckerhoff Productions. Obviously specializing in sports play-by-play
announcing - with contracts with the Florida State Seminoles (IMG Collegiate) and The
Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gene produces radio commercials and acts as talent in various
television commercials. He also is an "in demand" speaker for sports organizations and
Gene has broadcast five National Championship Games for Florida State, and in 2002
he broadcast Super Bowl XXXVII from San Diego over the Buccaneer Radio Network. With
the Buccaneers 48-21 win over the Oakland Raiders, Gene became the ONLY "team radio
voice" to have broadcast for a Super Bowl Champion and a National Football Champion.
Gene and Dave Moore get
ready for some football
Bucs Super Bowl XXXVII victory
In 2000, Gene was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame (Auburndale).
In 2002, Gene was inducted into the Florida State University Athletics Hall of
Fame. And in 2004, Gene was inducted into the Florida Community College Activities
Hall of Fame. He was been named Florida Sportscaster of the Year by members of
the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association 14 times. And for 18
consecutive years was named the Best Play-by-Play Announcer in Florida by the
Florida Sportscasters Association. He was honored with the Florida State University
Circle of Gold Medal for outstanding service to the university.
In 2013, Gene was presented with the "Chris Schenkel Award"
by the National Football Foundation, and the College Football Hall of Fame.
The award recognizes long and distinguished careers in broadcasting college football.
In 2017, iHeart Media's 98 Rock-97.9FM became the Flagship Station of the Buccaneer Radio Network.
Gene is the father of three sons and six grandchildren.
He and his wife Ann reside in Tallahassee.
GENE DECKERHOFF MINI-BIO
Voice of Seminoles 1979-2014 36th Season
It's a great day for a ball game!
Voice of the Buccaneers 1989-2014 26th Season
Through 2013 Gene has called:
- 430 FSU Football Games
- 510 Tampa Bay Buccaneer Games
- 1115 FSU Basketball Games
- 1822 Touchdowns FSU
- 773 Touchdowns Tampa Bay
- National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association Florida Sportscaster of Year 14 Times
- Florida Sportscasters Association "Best Radio Play-by-Play" 18 seasons
- Florida State University Circle of Gold
- Florida State University Athletics Hall of Fame 2002
- Florida Community College Activities Association Hall of Fame 2004
- Florida Sports Hall of Fame 2000
- 2013 National Football Foundation "Chris Schenkel Award"
Born in Warren Ohio 1945
Raised in Jacksonville, Florida 1956-1963
WWPF Palatka FL
WGGG, Gainesville, FL
WTRL Bradenton, FL
WTNT Tallahassee FL
WGLF Tallahassee FL
Check out Gene's personal photo
Check out Gene's personal