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THE LAST WORD: DAVE GAMACHE, VOICE OF MARIST SPORTS, RETIRES

Longtime PA Announcer Called More Than 700 Games

 

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

A significant piece of Marist College sports history is stepping aside.

Dave Gamache, who has been the public address announcer for men’s and women’s basketball games and football games for nearly 25 years for the Red Foxes, has called his last game.

The longtime Pawling resident decided to retire back in November after the final home football game and before the newest basketball season started.

“It’s been a great ride,” Gamache told HVSR. “It has been one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in my life.”

Gamache, a former Dutchess County legislator who graduated from the prestigious Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, began his second career by filling in for Rich Stevens in the mid- to late 1990s.

“I had some radio background and I was doing PA for the Red Fox Shootout, and it kind of evolved from there,” Gamache said. “When Rich left, I kind of just slid right in.”

Gamache recalled that his first game at the James J. McCann Recreation Center – now McCann Arena – was a men’s basketball game against Army back when Dave Magarity was the Red Foxes’ coach.

And that’s all he remembers.

“I don’t recall who won, I don’t recall when it was, I only remember that I felt like it was an audition for me,” he said.

Gamache has helped evolve the position, noting that 20 years ago it was nothing but a direction from above to “make sure you get everything in.” Now, a night out at a Marist game is a tightly scripted event that includes reading sponsor spots, school promotional spots, weaving in correct times for the cheerleaders, the dance team, the band, and more.

“Marist men’s and women’s basketball and football have been very lucky to have someone of Dave’s quality as their public address announcer,” Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray said. “His professionalism, loyalty and dedication can’t be matched. For the last several years he arranged his personal calendar and commuted from Florida for our games. Our fans and coaches will miss his great calls and enthusiasm for our games.”

Gamache estimated he has done more than 600 men’s and women’s basketball games and more than 100 football games. He has been through six men’s basketball coaches, one football coach and two women’s basketball coaches.

The evolution of the women’s program has been one of his pride and joys.

“When I first started dong the games the women’s games were almost a rehearsal for the men’s games because nobody was there. It was family and friends. Everything was set up for the men’s games but nobody showed up for the women,” he said. “What (coach) Brian Giorgis has done is miraculous. You’re not supposed to be that good for that long as Brian has. You went from having family and friends in the stands to packing the place. Absolutely phenomenal.”

His favorite memory of all, however, was the 2007 regular-season finale for the men when the Red Foxes beat Siena for the regular-season MAAC title.

“The game was on ESPN. Gary Thorn and Bob Valvano called the game. It was a Noon game and the line was out the door. Brian Giorgis bought donuts for all the kids in line,” Gamache recalled. “We won the game in overtime and it was as loud and as electric as any big-time arena. My hope is that it someday gets back to that because Marist is a special place.”

Gary Sussman, Marist’s Director of Tennis who formerly called games for the New Jersey Nets before they moved to Brooklyn, has taken over for Gamache.

 

One Comment

  1. Mary

    December 28, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    I am a personal friend of Dave’s, and I can attest to his unmatched loyalty and dedication to friendship also. He is a special man. It doesn’t surprise me that he also ended up at the special place called Marist. You’re the best, Dave! Oh, the places you’ll go from here!

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