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Kevin Beers: The Man Behind the Mic

Since arriving in the O’Rena and taking the role of PA announcer in 2005, Kevin Beers has firmly established himself as an Oakland legend from his work on and off the mic.

Path to the O’Rena

The career of Beers began after his graduation from Central Michigan University with a major in broadcasting and cinematic arts. This education was implemented in a short, yet fulfilling career in radio broadcasting in Gaylord, Michigan.

He began by using his vocal talent to create and sell ads to the local Gaylord radio station. Through that and building a relationship with the owner, the door was opened for him to start calling high school football games, which then opened another door to the “Kevin Beers Rock and Roll Oldies Show” on Saturday mornings for the next five years.

“I absolutely loved everything about it and I got really passionate about radio, even about the business of it. Threw myself in, threw myself into the community,” Beers said in an interview on "The GioMoShow".

By throwing himself into the community, was given the opportunity to start coaching high school basketball at Gaylord St. Mary’s High School. From this, he was able to branch out to a teaching career.

“Actually, the basketball coaching kind of acted as a calling to teaching. So I ended up going back to Central to be a teacher,” Beers said. “So I did that and ended up teaching at Waterford Mott for 14 years.”

While at Waterford Mott, an old friend of Beers gave him a call: associate men’s basketball head coach of Oakland University, Jeff Smith. Smith called Beers, wanting him to come to Oakland and work with the athletics department as the O’Rena host.

Beers took the position and met with athletics

He was told that there would be a possibility that he would have to cover for the PA announcers on rare occasions when the announcer had to miss a game. Beers, with his skill and comfort in front of a microphone, was not intimidated by this.

Beers accepted the position and was immediately put to the test, as the PA announcer was sick on Beers’ first day.

The day after the game Beers would announce, he gets a call from athletics saying that men’s basketball head coach, Greg Kampe, really enjoyed his announcing. This led to Beers being given the opportunity to split the role of PA announcer with the existing announcer: Beers covering just the men’s games and the women’s games being covered by the existing announcer.

“And the rest is history,” Beers said.

Beers eventually became the full time announcer for all Oakland home games: basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, etc, and has completed his 18th year on the job for Oakland athletics. Beers has even spent a season in the Palace of Auburn Hills as the PA for the Detroit Shock.

“And You Can’t Do That”

Anybody who comes to the O’Rena for a basketball game will most likely hear Beers’ signature and most popular call: “Thaaaaaaaat’s traveling! And you can’t do that!”

Starting in the 2006 basketball season, after only a year on the job, in a close rivalry game in the O’Rena, a travel was committed by the opposing team in a key moment in the game.

Up to this point, Beers has already been announcing opposing traveling violations by only saying, “Thaaaaaaat’s traveling!”

“And out of nowhere, no thought to this whatsoever, I couldn’t have stopped it if I had a clothespin on my mouth, it wouldn’t have stopped it. Out came ‘And you can’t do that!’ It’s that simple,” Beers said. “Immediately, I can hear, there was a buzz in the O’Rena and I could tell everybody was talking about it.”

Right away, people told Beers how much they liked the call. Beers says that the call was really cemented the following year, when the band started chanting back, “You can’t do that!”

His calls have become so iconic that other colleges and even professional sporting events will have the “You can’t do that’ chant. Beers even tells a story of a mother telling him that her sons will go around the house repeating his calls!

Off the Mic

Through his time here at Oakland University, Beers has built a reputation of positivity and friendliness matched by very few, offering a fist bump and a big smile everywhere he goes.

Beers’ coworker, Director of Philanthropy in the School of Education and Human Services, Anthony Gallina, had nothing but positive things to say about his colleague.

“He is such an engaging person that you can’t help but just love to say hi,” Gallina said remembering his time as a student at OU. “So over the years, looking forward to those fist bumps as he walked by is always rewarding and even now where I sit for the games, it's always that fist bump.”

Gallina, an alumni of Oakland, has plenty of experience with Beers’ through his time as a member of Grizz Gang, the student section organization, as well as the pep band, but now that Gallina works with Beers professionally, he has gained a whole new perspective on the announcer.

“I think he can teach a masters class in interpersonal skills and communication," Gallina said. “Even if we’re just out to lunch and we have our server come over, he will ask their name because he wants to know. Even in an hour or half hour lunch dining experience, he wants to make sure too that the interaction with that individual is comfortable and he just does it so naturally.”

Beers, after 18 years and counting, is a cornerstone of Golden Grizzlies athletics, making the gameday experience one of a kind, all with a big smile on his face.


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