Up here in the northwest corner, it is big news that last Saturday, February 1, 2020, Pacific Northwest sportscaster and play-by-play announcer Dick Stark was inducted into the Bellingham High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Dick graduated from BHS in 1952, and he excelled as a basketball player. However, Dick earned his spot in the Hall of Fame for his 56 years of providing play-by-play broadcasts and promoting local sports at KPUG radio. Dick covered high school, college and university games and championships.
In 2016, I asked Dick if he had any recordings that he considered to be among the biggest highlights of his career. Of course he did. I decided to share two of those tracks. In the first one, Dick captures the final minutes of the 1997 football state championship between Lynden Christian and Colfax High Schools. The second cut is from a state championship basketball game. Dick describes a controversial call against Luke Ridnour, a star on the Blaine Borderites and a future NBA player. Ridnour and the Borderites won back to back state championships in ’99 and 2000. As you will hear, Dick is a master at communicating to the radio listener his personal enthusiasm for a sporting event.
Cut 1 (Football) Lynden Christian defeats Colfax; Cut 2 (Basketball) Controversy as Luke Ridnour fouls out during the state tournament – 2:13 run time
Next is a photo from Dick’s BHS induction ceremony. That is Keith Shipman (former KPUG jock, group owner of radio stations, and President of the Washington State Association of Broadcasters) verbally tickling Dick’s funny bone — which isn’t so hard to do. Dick is a friendly and jovial guy.
Other inductees into the BHS Athletic Hall of Fame this year included: Bryan “Busher” Lewis 1927 – 1953 (Coach/ Teacher Baseball); Hal Arnason 1945 (Football, Basketball, Baseball); Don Sunitsch 1953 (Basketball, Track); Greg Gowens 1971 (Wrestling, Football); Gareth Pooleon 1986 (Track, Basketball); Shannon O’Neill 1988 (Track); Paula Weihe 1990 (Golf, Volleyball); Kaylee Gardner 2003 (Soccer, Track); Darcie Gardner 2005 (Soccer, Basketball, Track).
So that honor is the latest news on the many accomplishment of Dick Stark. But let’s not forget about Dick’s storied past. This video captures Dick behind the KPUG mic clear back in 1962 — that is 58 years ago if you are counting!
Click on the names below to read about these broadcasters who were popular in Bellingham and Whatcom County, including nearby Canadian legend Red Robinson:
Danny Holiday (KPUG)
Dick Stark (KENY & KPUG)
Kirk Wilde (KPUG)
Gary Shannon (KPUG)
Mike Forney (KPUG)
Jay Hamilton (KPUG & KBFW)
Bob O’Neil & Marc Taylor (KPUG)
John Christopher Kowsky (KPUG)
Haines Faye & Rogan Jones (KVOS & KGMI)
Tom Haveman (KENY & KVOS)
Red Robinson (Vancouver B.C.)