Jay Rokeach, from Brooklyn’s FDR HS to voice of Miami Dolphins
Jay Rokeach likes to talk. A lot. And he even gets paid for it.
As a member of the first graduating class at Brooklyn’s FDR High School (1968), Rokeach served as student manager for basketball coach Lenny Schroder.
“He was like a second dad to me,” Rokeach told the Brooklyn Eagle. “He got me started on what was to be my lifelong profession.”
As team manager – and announcer for the then FDR Navigators – today they are the Cougars – Rokeach got his taste for not only sports – but being the centerpiece of sporting events.
Next stop was the University of Miami (Fla). “I was wanted to continue my involvement with athletics.”
That is an understatement.
As a freshman, the recently-turned 70-year-old Rokeach approached then- Hurricanes’ basketball coach, Rod Godfrey.
“I asked if he could use an extra student assistant,” Rokeach said. “It was a quick no thank-you.”
But basketball’s and Godfrey’s loss turned into baseball’s gain for the Brooklynite.
“I introduced myself to Hall of Fame coach Ron Fraser, and asked if he needed some student help,” Rokeach said. Fraser replied, “When can you start?”
In less than an hour, Rokeach found himself washing University of Miami baseball uniforms – and later during his freshman year he was handling PA duties.
Oh, by the way – the 2021 baseball season will be Rokeach’s 53rd consecutive year behind the microphone at Miami’s Ale Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
He’s done football, basketball and baseball games for the South Florida school.
“I’ve been lucky, really lucky,” he told the Eagle. He’s been behind the microphone for five national championships in football; and has called 58 consecutive home football wins – an NCAA record set September 3, 1994.
Add to that list four national titles in baseball.
Not impressed – well, there’s more.
When major league baseball arrived in South Florida – 1993 – Rokeach was there. “My goal,” he said, “was to be the first PA announcer for the Marlins.”
He had a five-year run as stadium voice through their championship season of 1997 when they defeated the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.
Oh, there’s more – much more.
He’s been the PA voice for Florida International University (basketball, men’s soccer and volleyball), Barry University and Johnson and Wales (basketball).
That’s a lot of talking.
Throw in the stadium voice for the Miami Dolphins of the NFL and a stint with the NHL’s Florida Panthers, Jay Rokeach is truly the Mouth of the South.
Or at least South Florida.
Later this month he’ll be behind the microphone for the Junior Orange Bowl. “That’ll be 24 games in three days,” he said.
So how does a voice stay in shape?
“My voice seems to maintain itself. It’s a gift that God gave me,” he said.
And it’s a gift Brooklyn gave to South Florida.
Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle.
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