Jim Brandstatter, youngest of four boys, came from a highly athletic achieving family. Jim’s father Art was an All-American fullback at Michigan State. Art, the Brigadier General, was appointed to the Michigan State staff to run the School of Criminal Justice by the President of the University John Hannah. Jim also was expected to fill the shoes of older brother Art Jr. This older brother was a first stringer on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball for the Spartans. John, another brother, was an All-Tournament basketball player and Brother Bill was a big game hunter and fisherman. Mike another brother was a star on the state champion high school football team. The Brandstatter’s were high achievers, attained high standards and were elite athletes. That athletic model was clear and ingrained on, young Jim.
Jim experienced a lot of pressure to succeed, and was expected to be like all the other Brandstatters. As a young boy, he remembered fondly being around older brother Art when he brought his fellow Spartan teammates to the family home. As a sophomore, Jim, on the Junior varsity, was quickly promoted to his high school varsity team, and lettered. This high achieving athlete received honors and lettered in baseball as an all-city first baseman one year and an all-city catcher the following year. He even lettered in basketball and was a co-captain in the last game of his high school’s postseason basketball tourney.
Although Jim was expected to attend and play football for Michigan State like his father and older brother, he was still recruited by Coach Bump Elliott from the University Michigan and MSU’s arch rival, no less. He caused quite the stir in the community and family when he elected to play football in Ann Arbor. Playing for the University of Michigan, he received all Big Ten honors in his senior year.
While in school, Jim gave up the dream of becoming an architect and instead fell in love with all the radio and TV classes. In fact his first position after graduating from Michigan was for WEYI -TV in the Saginaw, Bay City and Flint area. Initially, he was a one-man show, and worked himself up the ranks. In doing so, Jim mastered the art of TV and radio, and quickly made it to the big time with Channel 4 in Detroit as their sports producer.
One accomplishment led to another as this industrious TV and radio star, created a half-hour talk show called Michigan Replay with Coach Schembechler. Since that initial show, Jim has interviewed all the Michigan head coaches, such as Gary Moeller, Lloyd Carr, Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke that followed, the legend Schembechler. Last year, Mike Keller and I were on the Brady Hoke-Jim Brandstatter radio show. This year, Mike and I will be featured on the Jim Harbaugh-Jim Brandstatter radio show. Incidentally, Jim also does play-by-play, on the radio with former Michigan teammate Dan Dierdorf. Oh by the way, Jim is also the voice of the Detroit Lions. Masterful Jim has been elected President of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association twice; Sportscaster of the year in Michigan; has written two best-selling books; and was recently inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. This man still achieves at the highest levels.
More to follow regarding Jim Brandstatter