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.
|Tom Mees on the SportsCenter set.|
|Born||October 13, 1949|
|Died||August 14, 1996 (aged 46)|
|Cause of death||Accidental drowning|
|Resting place||Chestnut Hill Cemetery|
East Brunswick, New Jersey
|Alma mater||University of Delaware, 1972|
Early life and career Edit
Born in Springfield, Pennsylvania, 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. 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. In 2005, he was inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.
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.
On August 14, 1996, Mees, who did not know how to swim, drowned in a neighbor's swimming pool in Southington, Connecticut. At first, police said Mees had jumped into the pool to save his daughter, Gabrielle. They later retracted that account, saying they did not know how Mees ended up in the water and that Gabrielle had not been in it. He left behind Michelle, his wife of almost 10 years and 2 daughters: Lauren, who was 8 years old and Gabrielle, who was 4.