It’s a sad week for Michigan State University sports fan as Jim Adams, the longtime broadcaster for the school, died Saturday of pneumonia. He was 82 years old.
The Lansing State Journal reports that Adams, a native of East Lansing, first worked at MSU’s WKAR broadcasting station as a university student in 1948.
Jim went on to serve in the Korean War, and, after stints at stations in Kalamazoo and Waterloo, Iowa, he returned to WKAR in 1961 to give play-by-play broadcasts of football, basketball, baseball and hockey — at times handling five daily sports broadcasts for Michigan State University.
“He didn’t seek fame,” said Andrew Adams, one of Jim’s two sons. “He sought contribution.”
“He was such an upbeat person about the world,” added Tim Staudt, sports anchor at WILX-TV in Lansing. “There was almost never any bad news in sports, certainly no bad news at Michigan State, and I think that was a big factor in his longevity.”
For three decades Adams was the “voice of the Spartans,” tallying up over 1,500 broadcasts till his retirement in 1993. Prior to retiring, Jim and his colleague Earle Robinson started a daily sports call-in program on WKAR-AM, which attracted the station’s largest daily audience.
In 1998, he was recognized with a Special Award from the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.
“I always loved Jim Adams, I knew him from almost the first day I got there,” said MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo, after hearing of Adams’ passing. “He was an encyclopedia of knowledge. I think he knew every game that was ever played by Michigan State.”