Remembering Mitch Glicken - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/27/06

Remembering Mitch Glicken

WTOC lost a dear friend over the weekend. Our former executive producer and sports anchor Mitch Glicken died after a long illness.

Mitch was with WTOC for 19 years and had a hand in nearly everything the station did during that time. He died at home in his sleep Saturday night. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sandy, and son, Matthew, during this difficult time.

Mitch was many things; a solid family man, a man of deep faith, and a man given to unbridled enthusiasm for everything he did.

Mitch had matchless energy in delivering sports reports. He was widely known and loved for full-volume, high-energy reports from the sidelines of Georgia Southern Eagles football games.

How did he do that? Capturing the moment--in the moment--with genuine emotion, that fabulous voice and perfect execution. Well, that was just Mitch.

He readily admitted he wasn't the least bit objective about some sports stories, particularly those involving GSU. He was a Georgia Southern fan, period.

"The fun and the excitement and just the energy of all of it, he really captured," said Olympic weightlifting medalist Cheryl Haworth. "And I think he did that with just about everything he ever reported on."

Haworth was more than a story. Mitch just loved her and he genuinely embraced her dream. "One thing that comes to mind is my homecoming from Sydney, the first Olympics," Haworth said. "He was there the whole way. You know, I got to share my experience with Savannah because he loaned me a camera."

More than anything, Mitch really cared about the people. The high school athletes and everybody else that made for WTOC's Fabulous Football Friday telecast, Friday nights at 11:35pm, were top priorities for Mitch. He loved showcasing individual performances, tense rivalries and big games. But, he also encouraged photographers to include the cheerleaders, the bands and the fans.

The Heritage of Golf tournament on Hilton Head Island challenged Mitch to explore innovative ways to highlight the action. For years, he smashed a golf drive off the tee at Harbour Town timed precisely to coincide with the ceremonial cannon blast, marking the start of the spring tourney.

WTOC's feature coverage and special programming from Hilton Head would invariably find Mitch on someone's grand yacht, or perhaps strolling the greens with the greats in professional golf, many of whom knew Mitch very well personally, and seemed to take delight in joining him for brief moments of whimsy to break the tension of competition.

"He was a dear friend," said George Breed of Sea Pines. "He was a gentleman. He was a dedicated, loving father and husband. I remember many years, he would bring his son over to enjoy the tournament and watch what Dad did, and it was just a joy to watch and be a part of."

Our own operations director Craig Harney knows exactly what Breed was talking about. "Mitch and me and Doug and Jody and Francis Chalmers in traffic and a couple other staffers all has our babies at the same time when we were over on Abercorn," Harney said. "I think we've all turned out to be pretty good parents. I like to think we are anyway, but Mitch really excelled at being a parent. Matthew is really his pride and joy. Matthew would go along on shoots and Matthew would be a part of his TV production. Mitch's heart and soul were Sandy and Matthew, but Matthew especially. He was a great dad."

Mitch, the ample man with the full-blast voice shared the real thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, drawing on his most amazing attribute of all, that immensely loveable and loving heart. The meaning behind the games of sport, and life, how he got it, embraced it and shouted it with an honest unvarnished glee that could make you enjoy something you didn't even understand.

"The loss of Mitch Glicken is going to be felt for many, many years to come," said Breed.

"It hurts, but only good memories, only good memories," said Haworth. "He was a wonderful man, and I think, if not all, most of Savannah will certainly miss him."

Beyond sports, Mitch Glicken's imprint could be found on virtually anything under the WTOC banner for nearly two decades. His pride in WTOC was stated openly and without reservation. He was first to boast about the excellence viewers should expect from "The Big Red Eleven."

Mitch Glicken was 43 years old.

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