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Gene Deckerhoff, longtime voice of Seminoles, to retire after spring game

76-year-old has served as play-by-play announcer for FSU football games since 1979, Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1989
Gene Deckerhoff, voice of Florida State Seminoles, in 2013
Posted at 3:15 PM, Mar 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-19 15:21:31-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The longtime voice of the Florida State Seminoles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers is calling it quits.

Florida State announced Friday that Gene Deckerhoff, 76, will retire at the conclusion of the April 9 spring game.

Deckerhoff began his career as the voice of the Seminoles in 1974, first calling FSU men's basketball games before assuming play-by-play duties in 1979. He has been the play-by-play announcer for the NFL's Buccaneers since 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. "A life's work that reads like a best-selling novel played out on the radio. I have been blessed. Thank you, FSU."

Deckerhoff's signature phrase, "Touchdown FSU," has been uttered 2,218 times through 529 games. He has also called 1,324 FSU basketball games in his career.

Inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Florida State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002, Deckerhoff said he will fulfill his commitment to the Buccaneers — "and who knows, maybe broadcast another Super Bowl" — before relinquishing his Sunday radio responsibilities.

Gene Deckerhoff at Tampa Bay Buccaneers induction of Warren Sapp in 2013
Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio broadcaster Gene Deckerhoff helps induct former defensive lineman Warren Sapp into the team's Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony against the Miami Dolphins, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, in Tampa, Fla.

"I don't think I can put it any better than Gene Deckerhoff is FSU," athletic director Michael Alford said. "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."