North Texas Daily

Dunham to be inducted into Hall of Fame

Dunham to be inducted into Hall of Fame

Dunham to be inducted into Hall of Fame
April 15
23:53 2015

Akshay Mirchandani / Sports Editor

It was Feb. 26 at the Super Pit. The Mean Green basketball team was playing the University of North Carolina – Charlotte and George Dunham was doing the play-by-play broadcast. Just like usual.

But the night was far from normal for Dunham. It was his final broadcast of a Mean Green game, either football or basketball, after announcing his retirement from play-by-by duties in January. At halftime, Dunham and his family were brought to the court for a video tribute and Dunham addressed the crowd afterward, saying even though he wouldn’t be calling the games, he’d still be around.

“Thank you again for listening, thanks for being here tonight and let’s kick some a– in the second half,” Dunham said at center court that night.

Now, about a month and a half later, Dunham will once again be honored. This time, he will be inducted into the Mean Green Athletics Hall of Fame as the Fred McCain Award recipient at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, just before the football team’s annual spring game at 2 p.m.

“I don’t know how I’m going to make it through that day,” Dunham said. “It just means so much to me. I want to make sure the five minutes I’m up there and taking that whole experience in, and I’ve already started thinking about it, just to truly thank people.”

Dunham spent 25 years with the Mean Green Radio Network and had many memorable calls, including his signature, “Do you believe in the Mean Green?”

On Friday, also University Day, Dunham will return to UNT with his other job as one of the hosts on “The Musers,” an award-winning morning talk show with “The Ticket” in Dallas.

The show has been doing a college week, stopping at various area universities. UNT will be the show’s last stop, and it’s not a coincidence that it comes right before Dunham’s induction.

“The guys that I work with, including our producer Mike, were saying it would be a good idea to be at North Texas the day before [I] go into the Athletic Hall of Fame. That was very nice of them to think of me that day. It’s a really big week,” Dunham said.

The show will broadcast from 5:30 to 10 a.m. at the Pohl Recreation Center. Dunham will be joined by his usual co-hosts: Craig Miller, who was Dunham’s roommate during their time at UNT, and Gordon Keith. Dunham said scheduled guests are head football coach Dan McCarney and UNT president Neal Smatresk.

Smatresk said he has been a fan of “The Ticket” and “The Musers” long before he came to UNT, and is excited about them coming to campus on Dunham’s big weekend.

“[‘The Musers’] I guess is the No. 1 rated program in North Texas, if not in Texas. So, that type of exposure for the university has been wonderful,” Smatresk said.

But even after this weekend, Dunham said he wants to continue giving exposure to the university and bring back old alumni.

“It doesn’t have to be in broadcasting. It can be in other fields,” Dunham said. “I want to help them get these young people who are graduating now to come back and to reconnect with the university.”

Dunham said the image of North Texas lately has been that of an underdog in athletics. His goal is to get more people proud about UNT, instead of apathetic about it.

“I just think the perception of North Texas, even by our own graduates, is we don’t stick out our chests enough,” he said. “You don’t have to be obnoxious about it, but take pride in where you went. Realize that whatever success you have, there’s probably a piece of North Texas in there somewhere.”

Deputy athletic director Hank Dickenson, who was also Dunham’s broadcast partner on the Mean Green Radio Network, said Dunham is a valuable asset to the university and athletics department in getting people more involved.

“He’s kept so many people engaged with what’s been going on up here,” Dickenson said. “Whether it be other broadcasters that have ties to North Texas, they’ve looked at him as sort of the glue to keep them connected.”

Dickenson said fan engagement has increased when it comes to students, but can still improve with alumni with basketball and football.

“We got some work to do to get it back in basketball where it needs to be, there’s no question. But where does George come into that? George comes into that by being what he always has been, just a very positive person regarding North Texas athletics,” Dickenson said.

With Dunham continuing as an ambassador to the university, Smatresk said he is excited about what else Dunham can do.

“If George is willing to be an ambassador for us, maybe show up at some alumni events, some tailgates and even student recruiting events where alumni are in attendance, I think it would really move the needle for the University of North Texas,” Smatresk said.

Dunham made it clear he will continue to be a big part of the university after this weekend. He said he still feels like he has more to give.

“It always has been a special place and it always will be a special place,” Dunham said.

Featured Image: Former voice of the Mean Green George Dunham sits down with 1310 The Ticket before the game on Feb. 26 to talk about his career at UNT. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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