We’ve all heard his voice, whether we know it or not. He works anywhere from the broadcast booth of Beaver Stadium to Rec Hall with the volleyball team and a bunch of spots in between. I got a chance to catch up with the Public Address Announcer for multiple Penn State sports, Dean DeVore, and here’s what went down:
Onward State: What made you get into public addressing and broadcasting at Penn State?
Dean DeVore: I had started to work in radio in 1989 and was doing sports broadcasting, among other things. At the time I was living in the same house as some of the lacrosse players. They asked me to come announce their games. That was the beginning, and, as other coaches heard me, they requested to have me do their sports. So I gradually kept adding sports. I think I have done the P.A. at some point for every Penn State sport, except fencing and tennis. My big break was women’s volleyball, which I started in 1994. I was honored to be named “The Voice of Beaver Stadium” in 2000.
OS: You’re currently a meteorologist for AccuWeather during the day. What made you get into the weather business?
DD: I was always a “weather weenie”, even as a kid. In fact, much to the chagrin of my classmates, I was giving a daily weather forecast, complete with my own hand-drawn maps in 4th grade. After leaving school, then working in radio, then returning back to school for a degree, I was hired by AccuWeather to be a broadcaster, and they felt one of the best ways to utilize my abilities was to help me get a degree in meteorology. It’s worked out very well for both of us.
OS: Knowing about both of your jobs, how are they different, or even similar?
DD: In terms of what the jobs are trying to accomplish, I think there are actually more similarities than someone might think. With both the sports and the weather, you can have a general idea of what’s going to happen, but the details and the results may be far different from your initial expectations. In extraordinary weather events, such as snow storms or severe thunderstorms, my radio play-by-play and P.A. background help me describe events in a concise and easy-to-follow manner. In both cases I’m trying to distill information down to a level where it’s easy to understand, even for someone who is not well-versed in weather or sports.
OS: You have worked in both weather and sports on the radio, do you have a preference?
DD: Don’t tell my bosses at AccuWeather this, but I must admit, I would love to get back into radio sports play-by-play and do it more frequently. It is my true love. Fortunately, the great folks at AccuWeather have been extremely flexible over the years to allow me to continue to dabble in it, including doing the radio call for the last three NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships.
OS: You were a student here at Penn State during the 1986 football national title season. Did you do any broadcasting with the team then? What do you remember about that season?
DD: I wasn’t broadcasting, but I was in the Blue Band. I also broke my ankle during the season. I wasn’t able to march the last half of the regular season, but was able to make it to the Bowl Game. Perhaps the craziest thing about that whole bowl week was the way it ended. Not only the win itself, but the fact that the Blue Band was on a plane back to Pennsylvania within about three hours of the end of the game. It had snowed here in State College, so I remember getting back in to my apartment, turning on the VCR and watching the game I had just been at about 12 hours earlier in the sun, and looking outside and seeing a foot of snow and wondering if it had been a dream to be there.
OS: You are currently the P.A. announcer for football, men’s and women’s volleyball, wrestling, men’s gymnastics and men’s lacrosse. Do you have a favorite sport to announce?
DD: Honestly, no! I like each sport for their own merits. Some are easier than others. Perhaps the easiest was when I did the P.A. for the State College Spikes for their first three years. Football is intense, volleyball has a great energy, I respect the abilities of the gymnasts and wrestlers, and lacrosse is the first sport I did, so I have a special place for that, and I’m not just the announcer for lax. I also run the “table,” keeping track of penalties and acting almost as a fourth official. But I’m the kind of person who likes doing many different things, not be tied down to one thing, so the variety is great!
OS: Putting aside announcing for Penn State, what is your favorite sport to play?
DD: I love to play tennis and golf. Not that good at either, but I really enjoy them.
OS: In all of your career broadcasting at Penn State, what is your favorite memory?
DD: Do I have to pick just one? A couple really stand out….first, announcing Adam Taliafero’s return to Beaver Stadium after his horrific accident. I happened to be in Columbus announcing for the Blue Band when he got hurt. So to see him “bounce” out of the tunnel and to announce his return was very emotional. In fact, I still feel it when I see tapes of it to this day. Then doing the radio play-by-play for the three straight Women’s Volleyball National championships and the Men’s Volleyball Championship over the past three years. It has been an amazing run.
OS: Prediction time! What are your predictions for the rest of the football season, and can the volleyball team win it all again?
DD: I hope the win against Michigan gives our football players some needed confidence and spark heading into the rest of the season. There is no doubt they have challenges coming up. But I think 8-4 is possible. I have to believe they can win at least one game they aren’t supposed to. Obviously, given the results so far, it would be easy to dismiss our women’s volleyball team. But the fact that we’re hosting a regional could help us get to the “Final Four”…and from there, I can think of no other coach I would want to be coaching for me than Russ Rose in that situation, he can get performances out of players in key situations like no other coach I have ever seen.
OS: Last question, if you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
DD: Damn, I had prepared for the dinosaur question! Well, it’s funny. I have a friend who likes to assign superhero names to his friends in fun. He dubbed me “The Voice.” So I guess mine would be to have my voice contain the power to make people do things. Actually, sometimes, I would just love if people listened. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just made an announcement, and someone will come up to me and say, “Can you announce this??”…“Already have!”