Florida State’s announcer Gene Deckerhoff to retire after 43 years calling football

Jacksonville native will still call Tampa Bay Bucs games

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gene Deckerhoff, the “Voice of the Seminoles” for 43 years, has announced he’s stepping away from the microphone.

Deckerhoff, 76, is a Jacksonville native and said his last game will be at FSU football’s Garnet and Gold game on April 9. He will finish out his work with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Radio Network.

The Hall of Fame broadcaster and former WCTV Sports Director began calling Florida State basketball in 1974 when Hugh Durham still stalked the sidelines of Tully Gym, WCTV reports.

Deckerhoff grew up in Jacksonville and went to Forrest High School, now Westside High. He went on to St. Johns River Junior College in Palatka (now St. Johns River State College) and played basketball there.

He arrived in Tallahassee in the mid-1970s and started calling basketball games for Florida State in late 1974. He became the Voice of the Seminoles in 1979 and has been in that role ever since. Deckerhoff became the Voice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1989.

“It has been a lifetime of great moments — great players, great coaches, great games, great memories, and most of all great Seminole fans,” Deckerhoff said in a statement.  “A life’s work that reads like a bestselling novel played out on the radio. I have been blessed. Thank you FSU.

“I will finish my commitment to the Buccaneer Radio Network and who knows maybe broadcast another Super Bowl.”

Deckerhoff was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 and was enshrined into the Florida State University Hall of Fame in 2002,

Deckerhoff’s career has spanned nine head coaches (Bowden, Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart, Mike Norvell, Durham, Joe Williams, Pat Kennedy, Steve Robinson and Leonard Hamilton), three National Championship seasons, 15 ACC football championships, an ACC MBB regular-season title, a 2012 ACC MBB tournament title, three Metro Conference basketball titles and 39 bowl games.

“I don’t think I can put it any better than Gene Deckerhoff is FSU,” Seminoles Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford said in a statement. “We are so honored that one of our most visible ambassadors has been a person with unsurpassed expertise, unique talent, boundless enthusiasm and a personality that so perfectly reflected Seminole athletics.

“Our fans genuinely love Gene.  He is one of the most endearing figures in college athletics and it is truly remarkable to see him interact with fans from both teams. He is one of kind and thank goodness for the last four decades he was ours.”

About the Author:

Carianne Luter is an Award-Winning Digital Media and Engagement Manager for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She won "Best Social Media Engagement Strategy" during the Local Media Association 2022 Digital Innovation Awards. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.