The voice of Bronco athletics, Robin Hook

September 23, 2009


By Eric Woodyard
Western Herald

 For general purposes, over 400 professors teach, around 25,000 students are enrolled, and more than 900 employees work full-time on Western Michigan University’s campus. With this immense number of personalities, it’s a distinctive honor for only one man to be dubbed “the voice of the Broncos.”

This man is Robin Hook!

Hook has been handling the play-by-play radio announcing duties for WMU football, men’s and women’s basketball and hockey, since 1984. With 26 years in the profession, the job still continues to bring excitement and the motivation for him to want to return to work on a daily basis.

“I just enjoy athletics and sports in general and being around athletes because I’m a competitive person. And it’s not like a job, it’s just a lot of fun to come and be part of an athletic program every day,” Hook said.

Although Hook graduated from WMU in 1978 with a major in marketing, he was always interested in broadcasting even in his adolescent years.
“I like the variety, I like the fact that I’m able to do football, hockey and basketball because I like all of them. But I can’t say that I have a favorite.”

Growing up in Bellville, Mich. without cable networks like ESPN, he often listened to the legendary Michigan sports announcers like Bob Reynolds (Detroit Red Wings) and Ernie Harwell (Detroit Tigers) to be informed of the latest action.

Listening to these broadcasters sparked the early flames for Hook’s love affair with news casting which is perhaps why, after graduating with his degree in a vastly different area, he was still able to make a smooth transition to the airwaves so successfully.

Hook began his tenure as an on-air radio personality mostly with WKMI-AM in Kalamazoo, for 15 years. In 1995, he then joined the WMU Department of Athletics and was later promoted to the Assistant Athletic Director for Broadcast Services position in 1998, which is his current title.

Throughout the years, Hook has been awarded the opportunity to cover many of the great Bronco games.

“Back in 1988, we won the MAC football championship, [which] is only the second championship that we’ve won,” he said.

Hook also announced three of the four Bowl games in the history of Western Michigan football.

“We won the MAC basketball championship back in 2004 and went to the NCAA Tournament that year as well, so that was very exciting,” Hook said.
“I really like calling hockey games and we’ve had some big wins over Michigan and Michigan State over the years that are games that you always remember. I went to Joe Louis Arena and I’ve been to the NCAA Tournament in hockey too, so those tournament opportunities are always special.”

Chronicling these games has also opened the doors for relationships with former student-athletes.

“It’s really fun to see some of these kids to go on and play professional sports. Of course, Greg Jennings and all his great plays, and now he’s in the National Football League. And Louis Delmas, who is now with the Detroit Lions, who obviously played here for four years.

“It’s exciting to see them progress. And it’s not just the ones who have moved on and played professionally, but the other guys who have also had successful careers in business or whatever. It’s just fun to see them when they come back and have reunions.”

Forming these bonds is something that Hook hopes he can continue to do as long as the university permits him to work as an employee.
While it may be a battle for certain employees to differentiate themselves on the campus of WMU, it’s clear to see that Robin Hook has had no problem excelling as the ever present voice of Bronco athletics.

*click on the pic to view this post at the Western Herald!


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