GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – To the many honors that Bob Kaser has earned during his distinguished 42-year career in hockey, he will soon add one more: Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Famer.
Kaser, the Grand Rapids Griffins’ longtime vice president of community relations and broadcasting, has been announced as a member of the 2021 induction class for the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame. He will be inducted as the winner of the Warren Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony that will be held on a to-be-determined date this fall at Van Andel Arena.
Kaser, who will begin his 22nd season with Grand Rapids in October, has been the Voice of the Griffins on Newsradio WOOD 106.9 FM & 1300 AM since 2000, and he made his NHL broadcast debut during the 2016-17 season, doing radio play-by-play for 13 Detroit Red Wings games and calling one telecast on Fox Sports Detroit. In addition to his broadcasting duties, he supervises the Griffins’ extensive community relations efforts and has served as president of the Griffins Youth Foundation since 2006.
Alongside color commentators Larry Figurski and Lou Rabaut, Kaser has won 10 broadcast excellence awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He earned the American Hockey League’s James H. Ellery Memorial Award for outstanding radio coverage in 2009-10, after twice receiving the International Hockey League’s Bob Chase Award as broadcaster of the year (1993-94 and 1997-98) during his 10-year stint with the Kansas City Blades. A Kalamazoo native who grew up in Flint, Kaser is also a member of the Kansas City Hockey Hall of Fame.
“It was incredibly exciting to hear the news and especially meaningful to get a phone call from [GRSHOF vice president] Bob Sack, whom I have tremendous respect for after having worked with him for a number of years with the Griffins,” said Kaser. “The opportunity to return to Michigan back in 2000 meant so much to me. Michigan has always been home, and my wife and I consider ourselves extremely lucky to be in West Michigan, in such a phenomenal community working for an incredible organization around amazing people. Many times I’ve wandered the Van Andel Arena concourse and looked at the names on the hall of fame plaques, and to think of my name being alongside those is both surreal and humbling. What an honor it is to be associated with both those past winners and this induction class.”
Joining Kaser in this year’s GRSHOF class are former U.S. Olympic shot-putter Tia Brooks-Wannamacher; former NFL lineman Kelly Butler; current University of Utah women’s volleyball head coach Beth Launiere; golfer Tom Werkmeister; and the five consecutive state football championship teams (2006-10) from East Grand Rapids High School.
Kaser will become the Griffins’ third inductee and the fourth DP Fox Sports honoree in the GRSHOF, joining defenseman Travis Richards (2016), co-owner/CEO Dan DeVos (2011, as a member of the DeVos family), and the 2001 ArenaBowl champion Grand Rapids Rampage (2014). Current Griffins assistant coach Mike Knuble also earned induction in 2014 in recognition of his longtime NHL career.
Information regarding ticket sales for the induction ceremony will be announced by the GRSHOF in the coming weeks.