GENE'S BIO Download Printable Version

From 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.

Gene 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 of 1965.
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 games

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, 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 in '75.

Gene began his television career in
September 1976 as the original Sports Director at WECA (now WTXL) 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)

Gene was named "Voice of the Seminoles" in the
summer of 1979, and his first broadcast of Seminole play-by-play was in September when FSU opened the season against Southern Miss. The 'Noles went undefeated during the regular season and played in the schools first New Years Day Bowl vs Oklahoma.


"Voice of the Seminoles"

In 1980, Gene began co-hosting the weekly "Bobby Bowden Show". The program was produced by WCTV and aired state-wide during football season.

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, and subsequently "The Pat Kennedy Show". He sold all advertising for the television programs, 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 for 25 consecutive 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 team and the league were in business, broadcasting many memorable games coached by Steve Spurrier.

The Bobby Bowden Show


"Great Moments in FSU Football" with Burt Reynolds

In 1989, Gene was named "Voice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers" and was hired by flagship station WRBQ to broadcast all Buc's games with the unique team of Deckerhoff, Jessie "The Body" Ventura and local TV personality Al Keck. The trio manned the mikes for two seasons. In 1991, WQYK-Infinity Broadcasting acquired the broadcast rights and Gene continued as the "Voice of the Buc's" teaming with former Buc's defensive standout Dave Logan. In 1999 Gene was joined in the booth by former Buc's linebacker Scott Brantley.

Since 2004, the new flagship stations for the Buccaneers are US 103.5 FM and 620 WDAE "The Sports Animal" on AM. Since 2007 Gene has teamed with former Buccaneer Tight End Dave Moore in the booth, and T.J. Rives on the side lines.

 

"Voice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers"

 

In 1990 and 1991, Gene acted as host of the Ray Perkins/Richard Williamson Show on WTOG Channel 44 in Tampa-St. Petersburg.

In 1990, Gene started Gene Deckerhoff Productions specializing in sports play-by-play announcing, and the production of television and radio commercials and videos. Among his recent clients are Tallahassee Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Garnet and Gold, and Toyota of Winter Haven. He has done work for Camping World, Beef O'Brady's NAPA Auto Parts and EA Sports.

As voice of the Florida State Seminoles, Gene has broadcast three national championship football games – 1998,1999 and 2000. FSU defeated Virginia Tech and their talented Freshman Quarterback Michael Vick for the schools 2nd national title in 1999. During the 1990’s, FSU was named a football dynasty by the NCAA, as the Seminoles won more games (109) in a ten year period, than any school in NCAA history. Gene worked for WTOG Tampa-St. Pete as Voice of the Tampa Bay Storm and for Sunshine Network as Voice of the Orlando Predators – both teams are members of the Arena Football League – for a total of eight seasons.

In 2002, Gene and his Buccaneer’s Radio Network teammates broadcast the most successful season in Tampa Bay history, culminating in the Buc’s Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the Oakland Raiders on January 26, 2003. With that broadcast in San Diego, Gene became the only “team radio voice” to have broadcast a college championship and a super bowl championship game for a winning team. During Gene’s forty plus year broadcast career, he has accumulated numerous awards. He has been named Florida Sportscaster of the Year twelve times (more than any sports announcer in Florida) by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He received the prestigious “Silver Medal Award” from the Tallahassee Advertising Federation in 1991. Gene was judged “Best Play-by- Play” Announcer (17 straight years-1979-1996) by the Florida Sportscasters Association. The award has not been given since 1996.

Gene and PT get ready for
some football



Bucs Super Bowl XXXVII victory
In 2000, Gene was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, becoming just the 4th sports broadcaster to be enshrined in the FSHOF. In 2002, Gene was named recipient of the Moore-Stone Award and inducted into the Florida State University Athletics Hall of Fame. Gene was also honored by FSU with the Florida State University Circle of Gold Medal for outstanding service to the university. In 2004, he was inducted into the Florida Junior College Activities Association Hall of Fame.



It's a great day for a ball game!

Gene is the father of three sons and six grandchildren. He and his wife Ann reside in Tallahassee.

Check out Gene's personal photo gallery
Check out Gene's personal photo album


Gene, Gene the sports machine


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