The voice of registered trademark “Holy Help Me Hannah” is coming to the University of South Dakota to announce and broadcast Coyote women’s basketball games for the 2011-2012 season.
Rich Roste of Harrisburg, S.D., has been a sportscaster since 1985, and since 2000, has been known as the voice of the Sioux Falls Storm, a five-time Indoor Football League championship team. It was with the Storm that Roste coined his trademark phrase.
“It’s something I made up almost by accident,” Roste said. “It just came to me and I’ve used it for many years. It’s something fans have gotten into because it’s different.”
Roste said what started out as a hobby turned into something more after sportscasting allowed him to stay involved with athletics.
“To be able to continue to be a part of sports has been a great ride for me,” Roste said. “The passion I have for sports – I try to put that into my broadcast.”
A native of Sacred Heart, Minn., Roste graduated from the University of Minnesota Minneapolis in 1976 where he was a successful walk-on with the Golden Gophers football team. With a degree in mortuary science, Roste was a funeral director for more than 35 years in northwest Iowa until he retired in 2005.
Roste said he is “thrilled to be a part of the USD athletic family” especially in light of the Division-I transition.
“It’s a really huge deal and with the teams and talents they’re facing, their opponents are at a whole new level,” he said. “To be a part of this is a very exciting thing.”
Assistant Athletic Director David Herbster said USD was looking to bring on a new sportscaster with the ability to travel to all games, home and away, and to bring enthusiasm and energy to the games.
“We really want him to open up and be able to identify with the ladies on the team,” he said. “We want him to carry on and continue the excitement we’ve come to expect in our women’s basketball games.”
Herbster said Roste has already started preparing by taking several trips to Vermillion to get to know the coaching staff and the players and begin to build relationships.
“He’s really dug in deep to learn as much as he can so when that first game tips off, he’s ready,” Herbster said. “He has very high expectations of himself, and I think I look for him to exceed our expectations for him.”
Roste said he’s looking to bring energy and knowledge to listeners and fans across the nation with new features, including play highlights and player interviews.
“Everything we do is a way to promote the University of South Dakota and its women’s basketball program, to make it so fans are excited and want to see the Coyotes play,” he said. “They’re Division I and they’re going to be playing some great opponents. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the Coyotes rise up to meet them.”
Women’s basketball head coach Ryun Williams said the radio announcement is a direct link between the game and the fan, so it’s important to have a person who’s going to represent the university in a positive way.
“He has a very passionate voice and we think that will continue into women’s basketball,” Williams said. “He’ll be a very loyal, passionate broadcaster, and we’ve always had that. He’ll carry on that tradition.”
Reach reporter Josie Clarey at Josie.Clarey@usd.edu