Name the sport and there’s a better than decent chance Dave Benz has called it or covered it! His 30-year-career in broadcasting has taken him all over the planet and had him in venues for every major sport. He has been behind the mic as a play-by-play announcer for the NBA, Major League Baseball and the Summer Olympics. He’s been a Live Events sideline reporter for the NFL, major college football and the NBA. And he’s been a pre-game / post-game show host for two different NFL teams, five different MLB teams, five different NBA teams and one NHL team.
While Dave is knowledgeable, informed and comfortable working all those sports and many more, his truest passion led him to the NBA. For the past ten years Dave had the great fortune of living his professional dream as the television voice of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He and broadcast partner consistently earned national accolades as one of the premiere broadcasting teams in the league regularly ranking the the top 5 in national polls. Along the way Dave racked up 5 regional Emmy awards for outstanding Play-by-Play on Fox Sports North and later Bally Sports North.
Dave's work in Minnesota started being groomed long before he even realized he wanted to make sportscasting his life’s work. From an early age Dave was surrounded by sports. Some of his earliest memories as a child involve attending minor league baseball games in Syracuse, NY with his father, Louis. In the really early days Dave was more concerned with locating the popcorn vendor or sno-cone guy than actually watching the games but he eventually came to appreciate and love the sport. As a pre-teen he even developed a friendly relationship with a Toronto Blue Jays prospect (and future NBA champion) named Danny Ainge!
His love for sports eventually extended to basketball, football and hockey. Yet, as passionate as he was about sports, it never dawned on Dave that he could make a career covering them. Despite a high school background that included writing about sports for the school paper and reading morning announcements over the PA system, Dave chose to attend college at Rochester Institute of Technology as an electrical engineering major. That experience didn’t last long. After just one year Dave knew engineering wasn’t for him. He transferred to Onondaga Community College where he took his first sportscasting class which created a spark that ignited an inferno. Dave knew what he wanted to do and made achieving his dream of working in sportscasting his life’s pursuit.
Dave’s road to calling NBA games was long and winding. During summer breaks from studying broadcasting at OCC, and later Oswego State University, he volunteered as an on-air personality for the student radio stations at Syracuse University. He also worked multiple internships at Syracuse area TV and radio outlets before earning his first paycheck in the media industry. Those checks came in jobs that included working as a morning show producer for a classic rock station, part-time crew person for the local cable station and eventually as a sports producer and fill-in sports anchor at WTVH-TV.
Dave’s first full-time job in broadcasting came in 1994 as the Sports Director at the ABC affiliate in Utica, NY. He then went on to work in local or regional TV in Green Bay, Miami, Dallas, Indianapolis, Denver, Washington (DC), and San Francisco before landing the Timberwolves job. During his career Dave has covered nearly every major event on the sports landscape including the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, NHL Playoffs, Olympics, Indy 500, Masters, US Open and All-Star Games.
While most of Dave’s work has been in TV he is no stranger to radio having held roles as both a play-by- play announcer and sports talk show host in many markets including Green Bay, Dallas, Denver and San Francisco.
Dave’s passion for basketball is obvious but he also loves many, many other sports. He cherishes opportunities to cover everything from big events like the Olympic Games to smaller scale ones like Pickleball’s PPA Tour (where he has been a primary Play-by-Play voice since 2016).
When he is not working Dave most enjoys spending time with his son Brendan as well keeping fit by working out regularly. Like most Dave also enjoys traveling, a glass of good wine and, you guessed it, watching sports on TV!