For over 40 years Gene Deckerhoff has been the “voice of the Seminoles” and when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL, Gene became their voice too.

After 43 years of calling football and basketball games, Deckerhoff has announced that he is retiring as a broadcaster in April. Deckerhoff’s final broadcast will be the annual Seminoles spring game on April 9.

Via a press release, Deckerhoff said, “it has been a lifetime of great moments—great players, great coaches, great games, great memories, and most of all great Seminole fans. A life’s work that reads like a best-selling novel played out on the radio. I have been blessed. Thank you FSU.”

The 76 year old Dekcerhoff has been a part of the Bowden dynasty, five National Championship games, three college national championship titles, and Super Bowl appearances including Super Bowl LV when the Bucaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs for the championship.

Deckerhoff began his career at Florida State University in 1974 calling the Seminole basketball games, in 1979 he began calling the Seminole football games, and in 1989, he added the Buccaneer games on Sundays. In that time he has called 529 Seminole games and 1,324 basketball games. Deckerhoff estimates that he has uttered the phrase “touchdown FSU” some 2,218 times.

But there is much more to Deckerhoff than calling football and basketball games. His impressive list of accomplishments include the Chris Schenkel Award, the Lindsey Nelson Award, the Woody Durham – Voice of College Football Award, and the George Langford Award for Lifetime Service. He is also a member of the Florida Sports. The Florida Community College Activities, and Florida State University Athletics Halls of Fame. He is also a 14 time Florida Sportscaster of the Year winner, an 18 time Best Play-by-Play Announcer, and has received the Circle of Gold medal from FSU.

In a press release FSU said, “Deckerhoff is a bona fide legend in broadcasting and among the most heralded and beloved announcers in the history of college and professional sports.”

After 40 years of calling Seminole football games, Seminole football coach Mike Norvell invited Deckerhoff to be a guest coach for the Seminole football team during last year’s spring game.

Speaking on his opportunity to coach, Deckerhoff told Tomahawk Nation, “I’ve been a broadcast guy…and I have never had that experience. You know, you just take it for granted. Football is a complex story. And it moves at the speed of light and you just have to tip your hat to those coordinators. Coach Norvell, he wanted us to do that and invited us to do it. It gave an old guy like me new appreciation for the work they do. And I think he was even more excited about us calling the plays than we were during that spring game.”

FSU Athletics Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford spoke on Deckerhoff saying, “I don’t think I can put it any better than Gene Deckerhoff is FSU. 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.” He continued, “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.”

The father of three sons and six grandchildren, Deckerhoff spoke on his future plans saying he is looking forward to, “an extended off-season with more time with Ann (his wife). We have missed 48 years of weekends and we look forward to traveling to our favorite places for longer vacations. We will be attending FSU sports events as fans and dancing to the War Chant. I hope to enjoy the rest of my life in Tallahassee until God tells me he needs another play-by-play announcer in Heaven. Go Noles!”

The Florida native grew up around sports, as a player and a scorekeeper. He was a Little League All-Star and an All-City Basketball player in high school. His record setting 32 points while at Lake City High School stood for many years. In Junior College he was a part of the State Junior College Championship team. His broadcasting career began at WWPF in 1964.

A new “voice of the Seminoles” will be named in the coming months.

As for his role as the voice of the Buccaneers, Deckerhoff said, “I will finish my commitment to the Buccaneer Radio Network and who knows maybe broadcast another Super Bowl.”


photo by David Stout, taken from the Tomahawk Nation Facebook page