Gene Deckerhoff is known as "The Voice of the Buccaneers," an indication of the faithful following he has enjoyed from radio listeners and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans over the past 22 years. Deckerhoff has called the play-by-play for more than 450 Buccaneers games since 1989…and that's just the beginning of his impact on sports fans in the Sunshine State.
Deckerhoff has also provided play-by-play for the Florida State football program since 1979. He called the action for the Seminoles' national title game against Virginia Tech in 1999 and was in the booth in San Diego when the Buccaneers defeated Oakland after the 2002 NFL season. Those career highlights make Deckerhoff the only "team radio voice" to have broadcast a title game for the winning team in both college football and the NFL.
Seminoles fans are hoping that Deckerhoff soon gets the opportunity to add a third entry to that list, as the FSU basketball team has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. Deckerhoff, who has been bringing Seminole basketball to life for radio listeners since 1974, will call the action on Friday when Florida State takes on Virginia Commonwealth in San Antonio.
It's no wonder that Deckerhoff's name is practically synonymous with sports broadcasting in the state of Florida. It's also no surprise that, for the 12th time in his illustrious career, he has been named the Florida Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Deckerhoff was identified as one of the three finalists for the prestigious honor in December, along with Eric Reid of the Miami Heat and David Steele of the Orlando Magic. In January, the NSSA announced its complete list of winners, including national awards and sportscaster and sportswriter honors for each state. In Florida, for the fourth time in the last five years, Deckerhoff was sportscaster choice.
Deckerhoff and other winners will be officially honored during the NSSA's 52nd Annual Awards Weekend, May 14-16, in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Deckerhoff first won the Florida Sportscaster of the Year award from the NSSA in 1983, the first of three straight annual selections. After that 1983-85 run, he again took home the honor in 1986, 1989, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
The Jacksonville native and former prep hoops star has won the NSSA sportscaster award for his home state more often any other broadcaster. The NSSA has handed out its awards since 1959, and the only other Florida broadcaster to win the award at least 10 times was Milt Spencer, the honoree in 1965 and every year from 1967-75.
For the Buccaneers, Deckerhoff has provided the play-by-play for hundreds of preseason, regular season and playoff games since taking his spot in the booth in 1989. He has called the action for six Tampa Bay head coaches, countless players and seven playoff teams, often uttering his signature, "Touchdown Tampa Bay!" Deckerhoff was also the voice of the Tampa Bay Bandits during the USFL's three-year existence in the 1980s.
Deckerhoff was also enshrined in the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, becoming just the fourth broadcaster to receive that honor.
The NSSA is a 700-plus member organization that honors sportscasters and sportswriters for their crafts. More than 80 sports media legends have been inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame, which began in 1962 with the induction of Grantland Rice.
The NSSA is dedicated to honoring, preserving and celebrating the legacy of sportscasters and sportswriters in the United States – for their creativity in storytelling, their pursuit of truth and their conveyance of information – all of which helps American sports fans form lifelong connections to both participatory and spectator sports. NSSA also seeks to develop educational opportunities for those who are interested in pursuing a career in sports media, through networking, mentoring and scholarship programs.