Following 33 years as the “Voice of the Gators,” Mick Hubert will retire following this weekend’s baseball series against South Carolina, the University Athletic Association announced on Thursday. Hubert informed athletic director Scott Stricklin of his decision earlier this week.
“This wasn’t the end of a five-year plan,” Hubert said in the release. “I don’t know if I can explain how I knew, but I knew. I had been considering this for a little while. I just had to do some praying about it and enjoy every game.
“Five years ago, I’d probably told you I was going to do it until I was at least 80,” Hubert said. “That was five years ago. A couple of years ago, I started changing. I had a change of heart. Only God can change a person’s heart. I’m just being obedient right now.”
The 68-year-old Illinois native arrived at Florida in 1989, which happened to coincide with the Gators’ emergence as a national power in several sports. He’s called more than 2,500 UF athletic contests, and, in 2017, he became the first radio announcer to call a football national championship, a men’s basketball national championship and a baseball national championship at the same school.
He was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.
“I was not doing brain surgery,” he said. “I was in the toy department of life calling games. But I’m going to do it to the best of my ability that God gave me. I also liked the preparation Monday through Friday. By the time Saturday came, I was kind of like a fan ready for the game.”
Hubert is also beloved among Gator Nation for his energetic broadcasting style and his frequent use of his catchphrase “Oh my!” after big plays.
“As the years went on, his incredible passion for the Gators, you could feel it come through the broadcasts,” former athletic director Jeremy Foley said. “When the Gators won or something exciting happened, he could bring it to life. I used to love watching Gator highlights from TV that had his call on them. He’s incredibly talented.
“Mick Hubert, in multiple sports, was part of the fabric of following the Gators. He’s meant a lot to this program. He obviously rewarded our faith in him by becoming one of the all-time greats.”
Hubert and his wife, Judi, recently sold their home in Gainesville and will relocate to their home in Sarasota next week. Judi retired from her kindergarten teaching job at Oak Hall School last May, a job she had held for 32 years.
“No one is invincible,” Hubert said. “You can be replaced at any moment, and I understand that. But like I [told Stricklin], I think by doing it now that I’m going out at what I consider the top of my game. It’s just time. It’s just time for me to go. I can still do it, but my wife has sacrificed her whole career. We missed so many get-togethers and parties and meetings.”
The UAA will recognize Hubert during this weekend’s baseball series against South Carolina, and there are also plans to honor him at a football game this fall.
“Mick Hubert has shared his immense talents and represented the Gators incredibly well for the past 33 years,” Stricklin said. “All of Gator Nation will be eternally grateful for providing the soundtrack for so many special Gator athletic moments. It’s hard to imagine a UF football or basketball broadcast without his voice being a part of it. Mick is a true pro and one of the all-time greats. We wish him and Judi the very best in the next chapter of their lives.”
This is a time of great change for Gators sports. There will also be new head coaches in football, men’s basketball and soccer this season.
For more than three decades, coaches, players and administrators came and went, but Hubert was the one constant.
“I hope they heard the enthusiasm, and the credibility is important to me,” Hubert said. “You need to be factual and credible, but you need to be enthusiastic. That’s what I always felt. I always wanted to take my audience on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I also wanted to give them enough information so they could paint that picture in their mind.”
Hubert may be leaving, but the memories will never fade. Here’s one final “Oh my!” to a job well done.