Nate Rohr has been the Rohr of the crowd for Nebraska softball for over 15 years. Photo courtesy of Nate Rohr.
Nate Rohr getting ready to announce the Nebraska starting lineups. He has been the Rohr of the crowd for Nebraska softball for over 15 years. Photo courtesy of Nate Rohr.

Nate Rohr was a small-town Beatrice kid who dreamed of calling Nebraska games ever since he could watch them. Now he lives his dream every Saturday in the fall as the public address announcer at Memorial Stadium. 

From a young age, Rohr sat in front of the TV on Saturdays, pretending he was the Husker play-by-play announcer.

“I would tape record myself,” he recalled. “God knows how much play-by-play my friends had to sit through. I was one of those, that I did everything I could to try and get some practice.”

Rohr got his first chance to be a public address announcer during the 2001 Beatrice basketball season. After the regular PA announcer quit, one of Rohr’s friends who had had to sit through his play-by-play tapes, came up with the idea that his buddy should fill in for the basketball games that night. 

The Beatrice girls’ basketball coach at the time thought Rohr had the potential to announce, so he gave him the opportunity. He exceeded expectations and found his true calling. From that moment, he was determined that broadcasting was what he wanted to pursue. 

Rohr’s parents knew that wanting to be a broadcaster or a public address announcer was the right job for him. 

“I think they knew what passion I had for it. I think they knew how much I really did care about it,” Rohr said. “I was fortunate that I was able to prove I could do it on some level, but they have always been really encouraging.”  

The encouragement from his parents led to Rohr getting a job with the Nebraska Sports Information Office as a spotter and statistician for the Husker football and basketball programs while in college. 

Jeff Griesch, the senior associate communications director for the women’s basketball and golf teams, worked with Rohr in the Sports Information Office. He was one of the people who got Rohr the position and provided him with opportunities to gain experience. 

“Nate basically has been doing what he’s been doing since he was a kid,” Griesch said. “Nate was a good employee, a super hard-working guy that loved sports and loved talking about sports. He really grew up along the way.” 

Rohr said he was taking every opportunity and trying to do everything he could to get exposure in the sports world. 

“In the Sports Information Office, I was just there. I learned that your best ability is your availability,” Rohr said. “Being around the athletic departments, especially at Nebraska, being able to build their faith in me and expose them to what I could do for them.” 

His willingness and availability opened the door for Rohr to broadcast for the Nebraska softball team on the Husker Sports Network. He has been the voice of the team for over 15 years.

“There is just a trust between me and the fans of the program because I’m the guy going to every game, telling them what’s going on,” Rohr said. “Because we start our season on the road for five or six weeks. A lot of our fans don’t see a third of our season. I’m their only source in a lot of respects.”

Rhonda Revelle, head coach for the Nebraska softball team, has always loved Rohr’s passion for covering Husker sports and always being consistent with the fans.  

“I’ve watched Nate grow from an ambitious young announcer into a mature father of three,” Revelle said. “His absolute dedication to making him the best that he can be at his craft.”

This past season, Nebraska softball claimed its first Big Ten softball championship after beating Michigan in the finale. 

For Rohr, he said the past season was “a lot of fun” and that it was “really special” being able to call the last out of the 2022 Big Ten Tournament.

As mentioned, in addition to his softball duties, Rohr is also the public address announcer for football at Memorial Stadium.  It’s a job he got at the start of the 2016 season. He replaced Lane Grindle, who took a broadcasting job for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Taking each game day seriously is essential for Rohr. His preparation before kickoff is going through names to make sure the correct pronunciations are announced across the field. He also brings a lot of passion when he senses the fans and players need some energy. 

“There is an excitement. I knew I could do the job very well, there were some nerves, but I tried to channel it. It gives a little more excitement,” Rohr said. “That puts a little more power into the home team introductions or when the home team makes a big play.”

Rohr’s favorite moment inside Memorial Stadium was in 2018 when his grandparents were able to get tickets to the Nebraska and Minnesota matchup.

“The athletic department arranged for my grandparents to go to the game,” Rohr said. “Being able to get them up to Memorial Stadium to hear me announce was very special.”

Even though broadcasting has been a significant part of his life, being a husband and dad is something very important to Rohr.  With her husband always on the go, his wife Ellie understands how hard life can get. 

“It’s a challenge. It’s hard to make sure that there is enough time in the day for everything, but I think that’s true for a lot of people,” Ellie said. “It’s about prioritizing the time that we have when we are together to make sure that we are planning and making sure everything is organized.”

Ellie Rohr has been his main supporter, and he is forever grateful to have her by his side.

“She works so hard for our family. She has been encouraging me to continue to pursue this,” Rohr said. “She’s an amazing mother to our three kids.”

When Rohrs’ voice isn’t roaring across Memorial stadium or painting the picture of double plays being made in Bowlin Stadium, Rohr also does the public address for the Omaha Mavericks basketball team and the Omaha Storm Chaser baseball games. He also picked up a 9 to 5 job as a claim specialist agent at State Farm. 

 Rohr has one goal in mind for his future. Even with all the announcing he does already, he would still love to find additional opportunities.

“I would love to do more. I am hopeful at some point I can get into a full-time position where sports broadcasting is a significant portion of my life,” Rohr said. “I am grateful for all the people that listen to me and appreciate my work.”

 

Tyler Rinkol is a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying Sports Media and Communication. He loves sports and finding a story that no one wants to find. When he's not watching sports or editing a video or audio piece, you can find him playing video games or spending time with his family or friends.