"I'd tell you, you can take the last three years and spread them out to fill 20 years. I've been a part of memories that will last a lifetime," said Vandeermeer, 26, who was recently named radio voice of the NFL expansion Houston Texans after filling the same capacity for the University of Miami Hurricanes since 1999.
"I can't put into words what the University of Miami has meant for me. They gave a guy that nobody had ever heard of a chance and I will always be grateful for that. I will never forget this program. Most people could only dream of what I've been a part of here."
As ‘Voice of the Hurricanes' on 560 WQAM , Vandermeer was behind the microphone for three national championships seasons –1999, 2001 baseball and 2001 football teams- calling the football team's 37-14 victory over Nebraska in the national title game Rose Bowl last January and the baseball team's College World Series clinchers against Florida State in 1999 and Stanford last year.
Vandermeer, along with game analysis Joe Zagacki, was part of a remarkable streak calling 43 consecutive Hurricanes victories dating back to the baseball season a year ago. The run, which included a 17-game winning streak in baseball, an undefeated season in football and 14 consecutive wins to start the basketball season, ended this past January 5 as the Hurricanes fell 76-75 to Connecticut in a Big East basketball game. Vandermeer missed one game during the steak.
After pausing for several seconds after being asked what assignment he'll remember most, Vandermeer said being in the announcing booth for the culmination of the fifth football national championship in school history was definitely special. The emotion of seeing a team that had battled back from probation with a relatively unknown first-year head coach was enough to almost bring him to tears as he called the final seconds of the victory over the Cornhuskers.
"That was an amazing evening and something I wish everybody in this business could be part of at one point or another," said Vandermeer. "First of all, Coach Coker is one of the classiest individuals I've come in contact with and to see him celebrating was something very gratifying. I can't say enough. Being around a tremendous group of kids all season long was great."
The University of Massachusetts graduate came to the Hurricanes as a little known commodity after having called just athletics at Umass. And he's moving to the professional ranks with a limited resume. Vandermeer has only worked one NFL contest and the opportunity came abruptly.
This past January Vandermeer was notified within hours of a Baltimore-Pittsburgh playoff game if he would be interested in doing the radio play-by-play. He booked an overnight flight and went straight from the airport to Heinz Field.
Vandermeer's call of the game on CBS Radio was heard by Texans official and the rest is history.
"They really liked my call and contacted me," said Vandermeer. "This is an opportunity I can't pass up."
Vandermeer added that he will pack his ‘Rock and Roll' touchdown call and take it with him to Houston. But he won't debut it until the Texans score their second touchdown in franchise history.
"That will be a special occasion for the franchise and I don't want to grab the spotlight. I'll wait for the second touchdown," said Vandermeer.
Vandermeer's last UM assignment is a baseball game against Elon College March 31.
"I haven't really given much thought to what it's going to be like to sign off for the last time," Vandermeer said. "I'm sure there are going to be a lot of things running through my mind. I've had a blast."
Vandermeer moving to new booth
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