Broadcaster Siefker To Be Honored at Community Day
It wasn’t necessarily by design, but when Jim Cole became Alma
College’s head football coach in 1991, another individual was making
his debut as a fixture with the Scots.
Greg Siefker became the play-by-play radio voice of the Scots on AM 1520 WMLM in 1991 and has been going strong ever since. He begins his 18th season this fall as the official broadcast voice of the Scots for football, basketball and softball.
“In 18 years of broadcasting Alma College athletics, there has not been one bump in the road,” says Siefker. “There has not been a season, sport or coach who has not bent over backwards to be helpful. That, to me, has meant as much as anything.
“Sometimes, in working day-to-day with individuals, you lose track of the quality of the individuals you are dealing with. That has been the case here,” he says. “The coaches and all the people associated with Alma College Athletics are class acts.”
Siefker, shown here as the emcee for Alma College's 2005 Athletics Hall
of Fame induction ceremony, is the 2008 recipient of the Community
Siefker is the recipient of the second annual Alma
College Community Service Award, which will be presented during the
College’s Community Day festivities on Saturday, Sept. 6. He will
receive the award during halftime of the Alma College football game
against Bluffton University.
Born in Alma, Siefker lived on Yale Street about a block from campus until the age of 7.
“I used to ride my bike on the clay tennis courts where the Heather Room in the Tyler-Van Dusen Campus Center now sits,” he says. “As a 7-year-old, I sold popcorn at old Bahlke Field to make money.”
His family moved to Ypsilanti, and he eventually attended Eastern Michigan and Brown universities. He returned to Alma in 1977 when he built WMLM. For more than 30 years the station has served Gratiot County with news, information and entertainment. Ready for retirement, Siefker sold the station to Krol Communications last May. As part of the sale negotiations, Siefker retains his play-by-play broadcast duties.
“The 30 years has been extremely rewarding, and I have lots of memories and stories,” says Siefker. “One that made me especially proud to be associated with Alma College was the first time the football team went to Wittenberg. The team was staying in a nice hotel and was having breakfast. Coach Cole was standing at the cash register making some arrangements when the waitress came up and told him that this was the most well behaved football team she had seen in the 20 years she had worked there. Over the years, that has impressed me more than anything else.”
Siefker approached the College in 1991 to see if there was any interest in broadcasting the games. He met with College officials, with WMLM gaining exclusive broadcast rights.
“The first game was at Western Georgia, and we couldn’t make the trip – the only game we couldn’t originate with our broadcast crew,” he recalls. “We used Western Georgia’s crew, which, with their southern accents and idiosyncrasies, was a stitch to listen to.”
Another highlight was the graduation of Greg’s son, Anthony, in 1996 from Alma College. Anthony provided the color commentary when WMLM broadcasted the national women’s basketball championship game in 1992.
A number of activities are planned for the College’s Community Day. An open house with guided tours of campus will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., originating at Bahlke Field. A family cookout and kids games are planned from noon to 2 p.m. adjacent to Bahlke Field prior to the football game.
Alma College also is participating in the NCAA’s “Take a Kid to the Game Day” promotion. Local high school athletes who wear their team jerseys or warm-ups will receive free admission to the 2 p.m. football game against Bluffton. General admission to the game is $5 for adults and students and free for children 12 and under.
Win, lose or draw, the first 100 people with a ticket from the football game to stop in the Alma McDonalds will receive a free drink.
For ticket information, call the Alma College Alumni Relations Office at (989) 463-7245.
Alma College’s Community Day festivities also coincide with the Seventh Annual Lucky MacDuck Community Day, sponsored by the Pine River Arts Council and Alma Action Association. Activities include kids games along the Alma Riverwalk by the Alma Public Library, the Lucky MacDuck Derby at Alma Riverwalk Park, various entertainment, downtown merchant retail sales, and evening beer tent.
Posted: Wed, August 20th, 2008 at 8:45AM