Tom Mees

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For the cricketer, see Tom Mees (cricketer).
Tom Mees
Mees.jpg
Tom Mees on the SportsCenter set.
Born (1949-10-13)October 13, 1949
Springfield, Pennsylvania
Died August 14, 1996(1996-08-14) (aged 46)
Southington, Connecticut
Cause of death Accidental drowning
Resting place Chestnut Hill Cemetery
East Brunswick, New Jersey
Nationality  United States
Alma mater University of Delaware, 1972
Occupation Sportscaster
Spouse(s) Michelle Mees
Children 2 daughters

Thomas E."Tom" Mees (October 13, 1949 – August 14, 1996) was an American sportscaster best known for his play-by-play of professional and collegiate ice hockey and for being a prominent personality on ESPN during that network's early years.[1][2]

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Springfield, Pennsylvania,[3] Mees began his career as a student at the University of Delaware in Newark. After graduation in 1972, he became the sports director at WILM-AM radio in Wilmington.[4] Mees returned to Delaware in 1992 when he announced the Blue Hens' America East Championship for ESPN from the field house.

After six years in Wilmington and one year at WECA-TV in Tallahassee, Florida, Mees was hired by ESPN as one of their first on-air personalities for the network's launch in 1979 on September 7.[2][4] In 2005, he was inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.

ESPN[edit]

Mees was a lead anchor on SportsCenter from 1979 to 1987 when he took on play-by-play duties for NHL games on ESPN. ESPN later lost the NHL contract to SportsChannel America and Mees returned full-time to SportsCenter. When the NHL returned to ESPN in 1992-93, Mees worked NHL games during the season and hosted SportsCenter in the off-season. Mees was also the powerful guiding voice of NCAA Ice Hockey on ESPN, and was a forceful advocate to help the growth of the Frozen Four (NCAA Hockey's championship tournament) into its national status today.

Other sports Mees called for ESPN included college basketball, college football, and Major League Baseball. He also anchored the network's coverage of the United States Football League in the 1980s.

By the 15th anniversary of ESPN, Mees was one of three, along with Chris Berman and Bob Ley, original SportsCenter anchors still with the network.[5]

Death[edit]

On August 14, 1996, Mees, who did not know how to swim, drowned in a neighbor's swimming pool in Southington, Connecticut.[6][7] At first, police said Mees had jumped into the pool to save his daughter, Gabrielle. They later retracted that account, saying that they did not know how Mees ended up in the pool and that Gabrielle had not been in it. He left behind Michelle, his wife of almost ten years, and two daughters: Lauren, who was eight years old, and Gabrielle, who was four.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raissman, Bob (August 16, 1996). "Mees' fingerprints on ESPN from network's dubious start". Toledo blade. (Ohio). (New York Daily News). p. 32. 
  2. ^ a b Kern, Mike (December 3, 1988). "ESPN show set standard". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Knight-Ridder Newspapers. p. B3. 
  3. ^ Find A Grave
  4. ^ a b "ESPN sportscaster Mees drowns in pool accident". Ludington Daily News. (Michigan). Associated Press. August 15, 1996. p. 12. 
  5. ^ "ESPN celebrates 15 years". Beaver County Times. (Pennsylvania). wire services. September 2, 1994. p. B2. 
  6. ^ "ESPN announcer dead after swimming accident". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. August 15, 1996. p. 3D. 
  7. ^ SAD ENDINGS RECENT DEATHS HIT HOME
  8. ^ Moreau, Carolyn (August 16, 1996). "Death of ESPN sportscaster called accidental drowning". Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 10, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Drowning listed as cause of Mees' death". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. August 16, 1996. p. 4C. 

External links[edit]

Tom Mees at Find a Grave