Voice of the Beavers speaks up

Mike Parker, the “Voice of the Beavers,” at Reser Stadium on Nov. 13.
Mike Parker, the “Voice of the Beavers,” at Reser Stadium on Nov. 13.
Jason May

Mike Parker has been the “voice of the Beavers” for 25 years. He dreamt of calling play-by-play on the radio since he was 7 years old and has been attending rivalry series games for the past 50 years going on 51.

“Oregon State gave me the opportunity in 1999 to do what I’ve wanted to do most of my life, which was call play-by-play of football, basketball, and baseball games at a high level and Oregon State is an extremely high level,” said Parker. 

Though Parker went to the University of Oregon, he has been “all in” for the Beavers since he got hired as their main man years ago. 

“There’s never been a conflict in my own heart with respect to my place as the voice of the Beavers…When I got my dream job, the immediate transformation of my own heart, soul, and mind too was all in on the Beavers. It was immediate,” said Parker.

To the sports listeners of Oregon State, Parker is a legend. For some, he has paved the way for young children’s love for the Beavers. 

He has seen highs and he has seen lows, but reflects mostly on the football years of Jonathan Smith in action in his many witnessed rivalry-series games. 

“Jonathan Smith himself is one of the best because I got to call his games as a quarterback and now get to call his games as a coach,” said Parker.

Smith is notorious for his year on the Beavers in 2000, known by some as the greatest season in the history of the Beavers. It was also the year Parker called his favorite rivalry series game.

“My first Civil War game at Reser in Corvallis was that game and the Beavers won 21-13…It was the most memorable Civil War game I’ve ever called,” said Parker.

“But the best Civil War game and maybe even the best college football game I’ve ever been around was two years earlier at Parker Stadium when the Beavers won in double overtime 44-41 to beat Oregon,” Parker added.

Parker can be considered somewhat of an expert on rivalry games because of how many he has experienced as a fan and has called countless games on the radio. 

“The games have always been incredibly intense, bitter, and hostile,” said Parker.

To Beaver fans, Parker adds a light on the radio. His spirit, kindness, and words have brought him a long way, and is constantly admired by many throughout Beavers Nation. 

Going into his 25th year as calling play-by-play on the radio, this year Parker calls this game a classic “civil war story” with DJ and Matayo Uiagalelei, brother vs brother on opposite sides. 

Parker is more than a radio sportscaster. He lives and breathes the essence of Oregon State and embodies the spirit of Beaver Nation. 

“I would miss that annual rivalry game, which has been a part of all of my adult life since I was 14 that game has meant something to me,” said Parker.

“I love the Beavers, I love the university and the community…to get to do all sports has been a true joy in my life,” said Parker.


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