New Jersey Devils broadcaster Mike “Doc” Emrick visited Paul Miller’s Introduction to Mass Media class Tuesday, Nov. 23.
Emrick has local ties to Port Huron as a former announcer for the Port Huron Flags, of the International Hockey League (IHL) in 1977.
Emrick earned a bachelor’s degree in 1964 from Manchester college, a master’s degree from Miami University (Ohio) in 1969, and a doctorate in radio/television/film from Bowling Green State University in 1976 – a degree which earned him his nickname, “Doc.”
Since then, Emrick has done play-by-play for CBS, NBC, TNT, ESPN and more for sports such as hockey, basketball and football. In 2004, Emrick called the men’s and women’s water polo competitions for the Summer Olympics.
Emrick returned for the 2006 Winter Olympics, calling men’s and women’s hockey.
The class began with “Doc” having students give their names, what their most significant moment was and what they would like to be doing in the next five to ten years.
“When I invited Doc to come speak to my class, I was hoping he could provide some insight into how a national sporting event is produced,” said Miller.
Miller said, “He also made it relatable to students pursuing other communications careers, and how the same work ethic and sacrifice applies when it comes to careers in film, music, journalism, and others.”
“I think the most important thing he communicated was the fact that he came from a town smaller than Port Huron,” said Miller. “I think he inspired some people to keep reaching for their goals.” Emrick is from La Fontaine, Indiana which according to him had a population of 600 people.
Emrick told the students how he always wanted to be a baseball announcer until he saw his first hockey game. That was his significant moment.
According to Emrick that and the late Ernie Harwell was his inspiration.
Emrick stressed persistence by saying “It was something that I didn’t want to fail at, and your chances are good if you can outwork the other guy.”
“If it is what you really like doing, it’s not work,” Emrick said.
Student Dan Pettee of Port Huron said, “His life shows that anybody can do anything. It doesn’t matter where you came from.”
With all of his accomplishments, according to Emrick he still has more to do.
Emrick said, “I would like to put together five games in a row I’m really happy with. It’s a flawed business to describe an event and I’d just like to get a stretch of them together.”
“I give myself a letter grade after every game, I’d just like to string a bunch of A’s together,” said Emrick.