Imagine having an immensely experienced sportscasting mentor available to you 24/7 in your own home. For Todd Vrooman, that was a reality with his father Dean working as the voice of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.
Vrooman Sr. was recently acknowledged by the team for 32 years of service to the organization after retiring in May 2019. He was on the air starting in the 1982-83 season before stepping away from the broadcast booth in 2007. His son took over the mantle for a few years between 2012 and 2016…meaning the Vrooman’s have been calling Winterhawk hockey for the better part of four decades.
Pamplin Media recently took a look at Vrooman’s career and what’s made him a mainstay on the air in Portland, and such a huge part of that community and that team.
Aunt Martha’s teacup is safe in the cupboard. Granted, Dean Vrooman last uttered one of his signature phrases for listeners at the end of the Winterhawks’ 2006-07 season. But his affiliation with Portland’s Western Hockey League team was much more than being its radio voice for a quarter century.
The man affectionately known as “Scooter” retired May 31 after seven years as the team’s Director of Corporate Partnerships, a role he accepted after six years away from the club. Vrooman’s 32 years with the Winterhawks will be celebrated on Saturday when Seattle visits Portland, 6 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum. Dean Vrooman Appreciation Night will honor a man who knew little about hockey when he was hired at age 28 to be the team’s radio voice at the start of the 1982-83 season.
“I didn’t know anything about the Winterhawks. I had never been to a game and didn’t know anything about the league,” Vrooman said. But he knew he wanted the job.
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