Longtime Michigan Play-By-Play Man Frank Beckmann To Retire Following '13 Season
IMG College on Friday announced Univ. of Michigan announcer Frank Beckmann "will make 2013 his final season" after 33 years with the school, according to Mark Snyder of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. Beckmann succeeded Bob Ufer in '81, continuing "one of the great play-by-play stretches in college football," as the only two men have "held the post in the past 65 years." Beckmann has held various roles at WJR-AM "over the past 41 years, from sports director to the midday radio show he has hosted for the past decade." That show "will continue." Additionally, an IMG exec said that Beckmann "might be used in projects in the future." A possible "successor for Beckmann would be Matt Shepard, who already works for IMG, calling Michigan basketball games" as well as play-by-play for Eastern Michigan Univ. football. Beckmann's impending departure comes after UM football Equipment Operations Dir Jon Falk and Associate AD/Special Projects Bruce Madej have said that they will retire after the season, meaning the "old guard is leaving Michigan football -- seemingly all at once" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/10). Beckmann said, "The first conversations about this started a couple of years ago, so it's sort of been a gradual process leading up to it. This has been such a big part of my life, and I'm sure I'm going to miss it." In Ann Arbor, Nick Baumgardner noted UM "scolded" Beckmann for a Detroit News column he wrote earlier this year surrounding the Sergio Garcia-Tiger Woods fried chicken comment. But Beckmann said that it "had nothing to do with his decision to leave." He said the decision to step down was "absolutely" his call. Beckmann added that he has "talked with IMG College ... about having some type of role in the game going forward -- but no plans have been finalized" (ANNARBOR.com, 8/10).