Dean Huppert - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Sports Director

Dean Huppert

When I started announcing men's fastpitch games at Sunnyside Park in Bremen in the 1970's, I could never have imagined the ride it would take me on.  I thought I was just following in my big brother's footsteps making money in the summer and helping out our local league.  I actually have a letter from my freshman year in high school from Mr. Reed's class that talked about my career goals and it was going into TV broadcasting.  Now I've been the Sports Director at FOX 28 for 20 years.

After graduating high school in '85 and going to UIndy, I realized the days of making $3 a game and a hot dog and pop were over.  I had two TV internships, taught tennis at the Sports Center in Indianapolis and also worked with the Indianapolis Indians for 3 years in tickets and public relations.  I always knew I wanted to be involved in sports.  I played varsity baseball, basketball and tennis in high school and took my racquet onto college where I finished with the most wins in Greyhound history.  But the sport I have carried on for 30 years is men's fastpitch softball.  Playing for teams like Stan's Tackle, Bornemann Products, DC Current and the DC Outlaws has kept me in touch with competitive sports, training and what it takes to work together as a team.  We've won 6 state championships, had a national runner-up finish and have played all over the country.  I was fortunate to be named to the All-World NAFA team in 2006 and took home the most valuable hitter award in Petoskey, MI in 2014.  Third base is where I feel at home and it's not a shock to anyone that I like to talk when I play.

This business can be tough.  In fact once I thought about moving to another market and told my dad.  He asked, "Are you happy"?   I said, "Yeah, I'm in my hometown, with my family, doing the job I love".  He said, "Most people wish they could have what you have".  I'm also lucky that I have my very supportive wife Chris, who is my best friend.  She's seen the long hours of work and adding in 18 weeks a year on the FOX 28 Golf Challenge.  Although golf isn't my best game, I've been honored to play against Notre Dame players and coaches, Bobby Plump, Heisman winners, PGA and LPGA players and of course some of the best kids and adults in our area.  But my favorite competitors are always the people who aren't used to being in the limelight.  In fact those are the people I relate to the best.  They have real stories about where they came from and they have touched our community in a sincere way.  I guess that's why I have such a passion for bringing the stories home every Friday night on the FOX 28 Sports EXTRA.  We were pioneers when we started doing more than 10 football games in a broadcast.  Now our team can bring home 20 games in one night and we broadcast all over the world.  Our "Highlight of the Night" was original and it branched off into the "Fans of the Night" and then the "Hit of the Night".  The kids my partner Adam Shear and I are covering in Indiana and Michigan are our kids.  They're your kids.   They represent their community and do their best to make them proud.  They pour their heart and soul out for the love of the game.  There is no better story.   Trust me.  I've been to the College Football National Championship, the Super Bowl, NBA Playoffs, PGA Majors, Indy and NASCAR races.  The purest form of sport is right here in our communities.  Kids growing up and learning valuable life lessons.  Families sitting in the stands more nervous for their kids than the athlete themselves.   It's where memories are made and I'm honored to have been able to capture them.

I've been blessed to coach girls softball from the little league level all the way up to varsity.  I've won numerous AP Best Sports Awards and was the first TV personality in this market to receive the IHSAA Distinguished Media Award.  I was recently honored as an inductee to the Michiana Racing Hall of Fame for my years of coverage to our local tracks.  I've also franchised a summer series called "Huppert's Hometown" that calls attention to all the great places in Michiana.  But what I'm most proud of is the people I hope I helped.  I spent almost 20 years hosting the MDA Telethon.  I've been involved with a number of speeches and golf outings to help raise money for charities.  And I started the 3 C's Memorial Scholarship in honor of my good friends Carey Jones, Casey Miller and Chad Beeson who were killed by a drunk driver in 2003.  It's a privilege for me to go on TV with incredible broadcast professionals like Traci, John and Tom.  And I hope when my mom, family, neighbors and friends are watching me that they can smile and say, "I remember when he was announcing those softball games".   I hope I make them proud with my effort to do my best.  And I hope my dad is looking down and saying, "That's my son.  He's Happy".


dhuppert@fox28.com
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