Friday Jan 09 2009
KAHI broadcasting voice is a veteran Hillman
By: Michael Kirby
You’ve probably heard his voice, but you might not know what he looks like. At the recent Placer High School Kendall Arnett Basketball Tournament he did the play-by-play broadcasting of the games for yet another year. And as this year’s Placer High football season came to a historic end, he was one of the voices on the radio broadcasting the games and explaining the complex situation the Hillmen found themselves in. Pete Dufour has spent most of his life involved with radio broadcasting and it’s a job that Dufour discovered at an early age was his calling. Dufour, a Placer High 1972 grad, was always involved in sports. He played neighborhood pick-up football games, Little League baseball, youth basketball and four years of high school football, as well as a couple of years running track for the Hillmen. “When I was at Placer we had the number-one basketball team in the area, a great wrestling team, and our baseball team was the Sierra Foothill League champions,” Dufour said. “I just loved being around the game, so I became the P.A. announcer for basketball coach Tom Barry.” In his junior year Dufour was on the yearbook staff with Bob Rose, a recent Auburn Sports Hall of Fame inductee, and he taught Dufour everything he knew about announcing. “Bob was just a year older but he was like a student mentor to me,” Dufour said. Dufour became very interested in broadcast announcing. As a student at Sacramento State Dufour was able to convince the college to hire him as the sports information director. “I finagled my way in and held the position for three years,” Dufour said. As the sports information director Dufour ran the press box at football and basketball games and put out a weekly sports press release for the college to the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union. “I made a ton of contacts in a very short time, and worked for the Sacramento Bee as a sports writer for a time,” said Dufour. At Sac State Dufour also spent time on air working at the campus radio station. “Once I figured out that I wasn’t going to play center field for the Giants, I thought maybe I could be around the game like my childhood heroes Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons, who were famous Giants announcers,” Dufour said. Upon graduation from college in 1977 Dufour had figured out his calling and it was sports journalism. In 1979 Dufour came home and took a job with KAHI radio doing sports in his hometown and eventually became the news director. Dufour held a series of positions at top Sacramento radio stations, ending his professional broadcasting career in 1989 by taking a job with the State of California. He is now employed in administrative services management with the Sierra Nevada Conservatory in Auburn. Dufour is still involved in local sports. “I love sports and being involved in the community, whether it’s being the P.A. announcer, or play-by play on the radio, it’s a way for me to still be a part of the game and the community,” he said. “It’s nice to be contributing and giving back, and in a small way I’m able to do that. It certainly is a lot of fun to get caught up in the energy of a ball game and to get caught up in the energy of the story of the Placer Hillmen football team this year. It was very rewarding to be able to tell the story, explaining almost daily what was going on.” Dufour announces the Hillmen football and basketball games for KAHI radio and occasionally for Touchdown Productions, an area cable television sports production company. He also does a call-in sports football program on Monday and Friday mornings during the season with KAHI. “It always very satisfying when players sometimes will comment to me on how cool it is to hear an old broadcast tape of one of their games,” said Dufour.