Longtime voice of Michigan football, Frank Beckmann, dies

February 13, 2022 GMT

DETROIT (AP) — A heralded broadcaster who served as the voice of Michigan Wolverines football for 33 years and also called games for top professional teams has died. Frank Beckmann was 72.

WJR-AM, the Detroit-based radio station where Beckmann spent most of his career, reported Sunday that he suffered from vascular dementia, a rare brain disease, and had also suffered strokes. It said he died Saturday at a hospice center in Clarkston.

Beckmann started at WJR in the early 1970s and was, at the time, the newsroom’s youngest-ever reporter. Within several years, he became WJR’s sports director. At various times, Beckmann served as announcer for both for Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions games. He also called Pistons and Red Wings games.

His partner for the Michigan broadcasts, Jim Brandstatter, told the Detroit Free Press that it was Beckmann’s versality that stood out.


“He was able to do news talk, political talk, football and baseball play by play, and knew golf as well anyone,” he said. “Everything he did, he did extremely well. There aren’t too many guys who could wear so many hats and have them fit so well.”

Beckmann is survived by his wife, Karen, two children and three grandchildren.