WRTV celebrates Simmermaker as dean of Indiana sportscasters

White River Broadcasting’s veteran sports director Sam Simmermaker was featured in a segment Wednesday night on WRTV celebrating his nearly 65 years in Columbus broadcasting.

Simmermaker, 90, grew up in Pulaski County, graduating from Star City High School  and  Indiana University in 1954. He began his radio career in Goshen in 1958, after serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. From 1958 to 1963 he covered Indianapolis Indians games for WTTV.

He started his career in Columbus at WCSI on Jan. 1, 1960. Sam talked about his early career last year:

His first role in Columbus was in news, but he soon began his sportscasting role on WCSI.  Since then, he has covered generations of high school athletes here. In his interview with WRTV, Simmermaker said that one of his favorite parts of the job is when he is approached by a parent who is thrilled to have their kid’s name on the radio during a game.

Among the honors Simmermaker has received during his career include:

    •  Indiana Sportscaster of the Year in 1976 and in 1997 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
    • Indiana Sportscaster of the Year in 1971 by the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.
    • Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame inductee in 1998.
    • Indiana Associated Press Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame inductee in 1991.
    • Best Sports Play-by-Play award by Network Indiana in 2002 and 2004.
    • Best Sports Play-by-Play award by Indiana Broadcasters Association in 2005.
    • Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.