Philadelphia sports fans know many things. If it is one thing we know, we have been blessed with great announcers over the years. The Phillies have had By Saam, Harry Kalas, and Tom McCarthy. Eagles fans have Merrill Reese and Sixers fans have Marc Zumof.
For Flyers fans we were blessed for ages with Gene Hart; a high school teacher who would teach by day and call the games by night and return to class the next day. Jim Jackson’s legendary excitable voice has helped make Flyers games so much fun to hear. However, working with both Hart and Jackson was Steve Coates. And after 43 years of broadcasting, he’s announcing his retirement.
Coates played just five games in the NHL as a member of the Detroit Red Wings in 1976-77, scoring one goal. He spent most of his professional hockey career in the minor leagues, including a stint on the old Philadelphia Firebirds.
After retiring from hockey, he became an announcer in 1980. He began his career as a radio color commentator before switching over to television in 1999. For the next 14 seasons, he was the Flyers television color commentator and the between-the-benches reporter for Comcast Sportsnet. In fact, he was the first reporter to be between the benches; something that other networks have since picked up. He returned to the radio during the start of the 2014-15 season, where he has remained ever since.
While on tv, he also had an in between segment called “Coatesy’s Corner”. During these segments, he would break down plays, interview players, and sometimes do silly skits with members of the Flyers. These include the following videos:
Fun coverage like this have helped Coates to win two Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for Best Live Sports Coverage Series in 2000 and in 2004.
In a statement that was quoted on NHL.com, Coatsey said of his time on the Flyers as:
"“The Philadelphia Flyers organization is unlike any other in professional sports and it has truly been my honor to have been a part of it for so many years. This organization has given me a home and a family. It has led me to forge lifelong relationships and the very best of friendships with everyone I’ve had the privilege to work with along the way. I have too many people to thank over the years for their support and guidance, but none of this would have been possible without the incredible community of Flyers fans that I’ve met, and continue to meet, every single day. Serving as the voice of the team for all my years, the one thing that is undeniable is that the Flyers logo means something special to all of us. For me, it represents a community whose passion for their team is unequalled year after year. You are the heartbeat of this team and I thank you for welcoming me into your lives.”"
The Flyers will honor Coates on Saturday, April 1 in a pregame ceremony. It is the last weekend home game the Flyers will have this season and their third to final home game of the season. Specific details of the ceremony will be released closer to the date.
From everyone here at Broadstreet Buzz, we wish Coatesy a happy retirement and we thank him for all the memories! Best of luck to ya!