Mick Hubert steps down as the voice of the Gators


Mick Hubert steps down as the voice of the Gators

More Than A Voice (Hubert profile, May 2019)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The booming voice and his signature “Oh My!” are unmistakable. As the longtime “Voice of the Alligators” Me Hubert has declared national championships, landmark games and more than 2,500 games in Florida.

Hubert calls it after 33 years of career.

Hubert, 68, informed Gators’ athletic director Scott Stricklin Earlier this week that he was retiring following this weekend’s UF South Carolina baseball series at Condron Ballpark.

“It will be,” said Hubert. “This was not the end of a five-year plan. I don’t know if I can explain how I knew, but I knew. I’ve been thinking about that for a while. I just had to pray about it a bit and enjoy every game.”

Hubert, Mick (Gators play-by-play voice, 1989-2022)
Me Hubert cemented his place in Gators history behind the mic in a 33-year career as “the voice of the Gators”. (file photo)

Hubert and his wife Judi recently sold their home in Gainesville and will be starting a new season of living in Sarasota where they bought a home in 2019 and plan to move next week.

While his departure will certainly cringe at die-hard fans who have been listening to his spirited style and meticulous preparation over the airwaves, Hubert said he is at peace and looks forward to living a different life in retirement.

“Five years ago, I probably told you I’m going to do this until I’m at least 80,” Hubert said. “That was five years ago. A few years ago I started changing. I had a change of heart. Only God can change a person’s heart. I’m just being obedient at the moment.”

Hubert said he couldn’t identify a specific moment when he decided to retire from the mic that defined his professional career. He said it was more of a feeling that now is the right time, a place he has reached through strong faith and conversations with his wife and her pastor. Judi retired in May 2021 after 32 years as a kindergarten teacher at Oak Hall.

The Gators announced Hubert’s hiring on May 4, 1989 to replace David Steele as “the voice of the Gators”. Hubert spent the last 10 years as an athletic director at CBS affiliate WHIO in Dayton, Ohio. He also served as the radio play-by-play announcer for the University of Dayton football and men’s basketball teams.

Hubert came as an underdog, but over time became synonymous with the Gators. Hubert, Steele and Otis Boggs are the only three full-time play-by-play voices in UF sports history. It is the only broadcaster in history to have declared national championship wins for the same school in college football (three), men’s basketball (two) and baseball (one). He stopped doing baseball play-by-play on radio after the 2017 season, but has continued to call games for the SEC Network and its streaming services.


A look at Gators’ play-by-play voice Me Huberts career from 1989-2022 in numbers:

Sports games
Soccer 419*
Men’s Basketball 1,061
baseball 1,027
In total** 2,507

Most games Year
92 1996
90 1998, 2005
88 2002
87 2011

* Called every UF football game since the 1989 season opener; **Doesn’t include about 100 events in women’s basketball, soccer, softball, tennis and gymnastics

Hubert credits his call from Danny Wuerffel’s touchdown pass to receiver Chris Doering in the dying seconds of a win in Kentucky in 1993 as what got him “on the map” in Gator Nation.

“I’ve probably heard that over 100 times in my life,” said the former UF athletic director Jeremy Foley called. “You could feel his passion. He didn’t just call this a play-by-play type. He called it a Gator. That’s the magic he brought to a Gator show.”

Hubert is stepping down with no regrets after a career of honors and recognition, including induction into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.

Hubert made his play-by-play debut nearly 50 years ago as a student at Illinois State University at a high school football game on WMDB in Peoria, Illinois. Last month he was inducted into his alma mater’s Communications Program Hall of Fame.

A native of St. Anne, Illinois, Hubert is grateful for his longevity in an area that has undergone significant changes throughout his career.

“No one is invincible. They can always be replaced and I understand that,” said Hubert. “But like me [told Stricklin], I think by doing it now I’m going to what I consider to be the top of my game. It’s just time. It’s only time for me to go I still can, but my wife has sacrificed her entire career. We missed so many meetings, parties and meetings.”

The preparations for the move reminded Hubert of how much he had missed at home when he and Judi cleared out photos and looked through old scrapbooks. There have been so many photos of Judi in her native Illinois with family and friends. He was always out of the picture at the last football, basketball, or baseball game.

“I wanted to cry,” he said. “Nothing was more important than the Gators. That’s what this business needs.”

In the meantime, Hubert’s departure will stir emotions for generations of fans who have shared the ups and downs of their beloved Gators through Hubert’s broadcasts.

The University Athletic Association will honor Hubert’s career on the video board at the stadium during this weekend’s baseball series. There are also plans to honor him at a UF football game in the fall.

Me Hubert
Me Hubert Courtside at a UF men’s basketball game. (file photo)

Me Hubert has shared his immense talents and represented the Gators incredibly well over the past 33 years. The entire Gator Nation will be eternally grateful for providing the soundtrack for so many of Gator’s special sporting moments,” said Stricklin. “It’s hard to imagine a UF football or basketball broadcast being a part of it without his voice. Mick is a true professional and one of the greats. We wish him and Judi the very best for the next chapter of their lives. “

Foley was part of the committee that screened 150 applicants for the job in 1989. Three decades later, the committee has undoubtedly hired the right man.

“Over the years, you could feel his incredible passion for the Gators through the shows,” Foley said. “If the Gators were winning or something exciting happened, he could bring it to life. I used to love watching Gator highlights on TV that were requested of him. He’s incredibly talented.

Me Hubert, in several sports, was part of the structure of the Gators’ succession. He meant a lot to this program. Obviously, he’s rewarded our faith in him by becoming one of the greats.”

Hubert has worked with several different analysts throughout his career in Florida, most notably Lee McGriff in football, Mark Wise and Lee Humphrey in basketball, and Nick Belmonte and Jeff Cardozo in baseball.

Belmonte, a former UF baseball player, veteran announcer and scout, has been with Hubert since the beginning. They will be at the SEC Network booth Thursday through Saturday for the Gators South Carolina series.

“It was an incredible 33 years together with 530 broadcasts, 1,600 hours on the air – or 65 days of our lives. And I loved every minute of it,” Belmonte said. “In many ways he’s the best ‘teammate’ I’ve ever had!”

When asked which shows stand out the most, Hubert said the national championships are moments he will cherish forever. In 33 years, Hubert never missed a game due to illness and only missed a handful of men’s basketball games due to conflicts with football.

He said what he values ​​most is the relationships he has built with coaches, players, colleagues and fans.

“I didn’t do brain surgery,” he said. “I was in the toy department at Life Calling Games. But I will do it to the best of my ability that God has given me. I also liked the preparation from Monday to Friday. When Saturday came I was sort of a fan, ready for the game.”

In an hour-long interview the day after meeting Stricklin, Hubert answered two questions I’m sure many have.

Will he name games in the future if the opportunity arises?

“Maybe, but I don’t see it.”

Finally, what does he hope Gators fans have taken away from the past 33 years of listening to him on the radio and TV?

“I hope they heard the enthusiasm, and credibility is important to me,” he said. “You have to be factual and credible, but you have to be enthusiastic. I’ve always felt that. I’ve always wanted to take my audience on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I also wanted to give them enough information to paint that picture in their heads.”

When he turns off the microphone, the images remain.

You May Also Like