UM broadcasters Jim Brandstatter, Dan Dierdorf to step down at season's end

Angelique S. Chengelis | The Detroit News | 8:52 pm EDT September 4, 2021

Ann Arbor — Michigan football radio broadcasters Jim Brandstatter and Dan Dierdorf will be retiring from the booth after this season, their eighth year together.

Brandstatter, 71, who handles the play-by-play, and Dierdorf, 72, the analysis, announced their joint decision in the opening minutes of Saturday’s season-opening game broadcast. Brandstatter had been the radio analyst on Michigan games for 34 years when he shifted responsibilities and Dierdorf joined the booth in 2014.

Michigan football radio broadcasters Jim Brandstatter, right, and Dan Dierdorf, hang out at a tailgate before the start of a game between the University of Michigan and Western Michigan at Michigan Stadium, in Ann Arbor, September 4, 2021. The pair will be retiring from the booth after this season, their eighth year together.
David Guralnick, Detroit News

The two said they reached the decision early this year.

“Neither of us wants to make this about us,” Brandsatter told The Detroit News. “It’s about Michigan football. We had a great run. I have had the best run of all. It’s been a dream job. Now, it’s time to move on and get somebody else in there.

“I thank the gods of broadcasting that brought Dierdorf to work the final eight years. It isn’t often when you get an opportunity to go out on your own in this business and do it in the best scenario possible, and that’s exactly what I got.”

Dierdorf, enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football of Fame, joined the Michigan football broadcast after spending three decades in the television booth calling NFL games for ABC and CBS. He was part of  ABC’s Monday Night Football crew from 1987-1999 and then moved to CBS. He retired from television broadcasting after the 2013 NFL season.

He said the only reason he took the Michigan job was to work with Brandstatter.

“That sealed the deal,” Dierdorf said, who made a promise at the time to then-athletic director Dave Brandon that he would be part of the radio broadcast for three years.

In January, the two started to discuss retirement.

“At least five years ago, we said when the time is right we’ll both know it, and we’re going together,” Dierdorf said.

“Then it became a question of when,” said Brandstatter, who has been a fixture on the Michigan broadcasts for four decades. “We’re at peace with this decision, and neither of us is sitting here going, ‘Oh, my God, what did we just do?’ We’re looking forward to this year big time.”

They said they don’t want to be the story today or this season and will make their goodbyes later this fall.

“We hope our last year is a resurgence of sorts for Michigan football after last year,” Dierdorf said. “We’re both happy. We’re happy because we know in our heart of hearts we made the right call.

“Having said that, next fall for both of us is gonna be weird. I’ve been in a football stadium every Saturday or Sunday of my life since 1967 when I was a freshman here at Michigan and Jim since 1968. It’s gonna be weird having time for myself in the fall.”

Twitter: @chengelis

Originally Published 11:55 am EDT September 4, 2021
Updated 8:52 pm EDT September 4, 2021
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