Gradkowski, who wore the Midnight Blue and Gold for the Rockets from 2001-05, played 11 seasons in the NFL for Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Oakland, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. He led the Rockets to the 2004 MAC Championship and two bowl appearances. He earned first-team All-MAC honors as a senior in 2005, finishing his career with a 45-13 triumph over UTEP in the GMAC Bowl.
“It’s exciting to officially be a part of the Rocket family again,” said Gradkowski. “This is where it all started for me and laid the foundation for an 11-year NFL career. I can’t thank (UT Athletic Director) Mike O’Brien and (UT President) Dr. Gaber enough for all the support they have given me and my family over the years. Also, thanks to Head Coach Jason Candle for continuing to reach out to the alumni to keep them involved, and for the great job he has been doing. To the City of Toledo, thank you. That’s why we call this place home! Let’s Go Rockets!”
Also new to the Rocket Football Radio Network this year will be Mike Robinson, who will handle sideline coverage. Robinson is a former head coach at Bowsher High School in Toledo, and also served as an assistant coach at Central Catholic High School in Toledo when the Fighting Irish won two state championships. More recently, Robinson has served as a color analyst for high school football games on BCSN.
Gradkowski and Robinson will be joining play-by-play announcer Brent Balbinot, who is in his second season as the voice of the Rockets.
“We are very pleased to have Bruce and Mike join our radio team,” said Mary-Bec Gwyn, general manager of Rocket Sports Properties, the rights holder for Rocket sports. “Bruce is one of the all-time Rocket greats, as well as a long-time NFL quarterback, so he will add tremendous insight into our broadcasts. Mike is a talented young announcer who knows our team well. We think fans will be thrilled with the radio coverage of the Rockets this season.”
The Rocket Football Radio Network consists of six stations throughout northern Ohio. The flagship station is WSPD (AM 1370) in Toledo, which will be carrying Rocket Football for the 51st season this fall. The network also includes WMTR (FM 96.1) in Archbold; WOHF (FM 92.1) in Bellevue; WJMO (AM 1300) in Cleveland; WBVI (FM 96.7) in Fostoria; and WFGA (FM 106.7) in Hicksville. The games are also streamed online at UTRockets.com, the official website of Rocket Athletics.
Rocket Sports Properties (a property of Learfield) secured UTMC as the naming sponsor beginning in 2009. The partnership provides UTMC rights to the radio network for football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and coaches shows.