American Football Database
Jim Brandstatter
File:Tom Slade, Jim Brandstatter and Fritz Seyferth.png
Brandstatter (No. 76) in middle with Tom Slade (r) and Fritz Seyferth (l), 1971
BornJames Brandstatter
East Lansing, Michigan
Other names"Brandy"
EducationUniversity of Michigan (1972)
OccupationAmerican football radio color commentator and host
TV college football talk show host
nonfiction author
Notable credit(s)Radio: Detroit Lions Radio Network (1987-present)
The Brady Hoke Radio Show (syndicated)
Michigan Wolverines Football Radio Network (mid-1980s-present)
TV: Michigan Replay/Inside Michigan Football (1980-present) syndicated on cable
Author of Tales from Michigan Stadium (2002) and Tales from Michigan Stadium: Volume II (2007)
Spouse(s)Robbie Timmons (of WXYZ-TV) [1]

Jim Brandstatter is an award-winning American sportscaster based in Southeastern Michigan. He is currently the radio color commentator for the Detroit Lions and Michigan Wolverines football teams. Brandstatter is also a sports television show host and radio show host; both shows are about Michigan football. He played college football for the Wolverines, where he was a standout offensive tackle. Brandstatter has written two non-fiction books about his experiences as a player, both of which were best-sellers in the sports category. His other positions include the two-time president of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.

Early life

Childhood and family

Brandstatter was born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan, the home of Michigan State University. He was one of 5 boys.[2] His father Art Brandstatter, Sr. was named an All-American fullback for the Spartans football team in 1936.[2][3] His father went on to become a Detroit Police officer and later a chairman of the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice.[2] [3] His older brother, Art Brandstatter, Jr., played defensive end for the Spartans from 1959-1961.[3] Despite the family's legacy at MSU, Brandstatter opted to attend the school's in-state rival the University of Michigan (the teams play annually for the coveted Paul Bunyan Trophy). When asked about his early life and family in a November 2007 Detroit Free Press interview, Brandstatter responded: "My brother Art played at Michigan State, and he was my hero. ... I went to all the games. I got to know all the players, the team. I was just a 10-year-old kid. That was great, but when I got into high school and was playing, Michigan recruited me and I fell in love with the place. ... So I went against the grain, went to Michigan and never regretted it."[3]

Sports career

Jim Brandstatter
Michigan WolverinesNo. 76
Offensive tackle 1972
Major: Speech-TV and radio
Date of birth:
Place of birth: East Lansing, Michigan
Career history
High school: East Lansing, Michigan
Career highlights and awards

He was an offensive tackle on the Michigan Wolverines football team from 1969-1971 during Coach Bo Schembechler's first three seasons.[3] Brandstatter later noted one of his favorite memories as a player came in a 1971 victory against Michigan State. Brandstatter recalled, "That was as good as it gets." He added: "Bo (Schembechler) used to say and (offensive line coach) Jerry Hanlon might say, I may have played my best game ever as a collegian in that game." Hanlon said about Brandstatter: "He got so fired up, he took over every defender that came his way." He added "It was one of the best games a tackle played for me. That particular game, he was an All-American."[3]

Brandstatter made the All Big Ten team in 1971 and played in 2 Rose Bowls, during his time with Michigan (1970 and 1972).[4]

Broadcasting career


After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1972, Brandstatter was hired as the sports director of WEYI-TV in the Flint / Tri-Cities area.[1] In 1975, Brandstatter got a job at WILX-TV in the Lansing / Jackson area.[1] After two-and-a-half years, Brandstatter moved to Detroit and became a sports producer for WDIV.[1]

In 1980, while working at WDIV, Brandstatter became the host of Michigan Replay, a weekly half hour discussion, interview, and highlights program about Michigan Wolverines football. It originally featured his former head coach Bo Schembechler (until 1989). It later included former head coaches Gary Moeller (1990–1994), Lloyd Carr (1995–2007), and Rich Rodriguez (2008–2010). It currently includes head coach Brady Hoke (2011–present). In 2008, its name was changed to Inside Michigan Football (in honor of the retirement of coach Lloyd Carr).[5] After 30 years, Brandstatter remains the original host and the show has grown from being seen only in Southeastern Michigan to available nationwide on cable and satellite.[5]


Former show

Brandstatter formerly hosted a weekly college football radio show, called Brandy and Bo with Coach Bo Schembechler. Brandy and Bo talked with coaches previewing upcoming games and discussed issues facing collegiate football. The show ended after Schembechler's death in 2006.

Current roles and programs

He can be heard analyzing his alma mater's football games on on the Michigan Wolverines Football Radio Network, a role he has served in since the mid-1980s. On the broadcasts he teams with play-by-play man Frank Beckmann and sideline reporter Doug Karsch.[5]

Since 1987, Brandstatter has been analyzing National Football League games on the Detroit Lions Radio Network, currently teaming with play-by-play man Dan Miller and sideline reporter Tony Ortiz.[6]

Brandstatter also hosts the syndicated weekly Brady Hoke Radio Show, along with Doug Karsch and varying assistant coaches and players, during the college football season.[5] It is similar to Inside Michigan Football except it is broadcast live.

He also appears on special football related radio programs such as Detroit radio station WXYT-FM's NFL Draft Day Special as a football analyst.


Besides football, he has broadcast golf on the Michigan Open Golf Championship radio and television network, and was an associate producer on the 'Ameritech Showdown', the Emmy Award winning telecast of the state's PGA Skins game tournament.[1]

Awards and honors

Brandstatter has twice served as the president of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.[1] In 2004 and 2008, Brandstatter was named “Sportscaster of the Year in Michigan” by the National Sportscasters/Sportswriters Association. In 2006, Brandstatter was named by the DSBA as the Ty Tyson Award winner for Excellence in Sports Broadcasting in Michigan. Brandy and Bo twice won Michigan Association of Broadcasters ‘Best in Category’ honors. Michigan Replay/Inside Michigan Football has been nominated for Michigan Emmy Awards.

Free-lance work

During the off-season, Brandstatter runs Jim Brandstatter, Inc., a freelance company in which he can be hired for public speaking engagements, event hosting, voice-overs and local commercials.[7]


Brandstatter has written two nonfiction books about Michigan Wolverines football: Tales from Michigan Stadium (published in 2002) and Tales from Michigan Stadium: Volume II (published in 2007). Both books became bestsellers in the sports category.

Personal life

Brandstatter's wife Robbie Timmons has also been in broadcasting; she recently retired as the weekday news anchor on WXYZ-TV in Detroit, and was the first woman to anchor the evening news in America when she began her career in 1972 at WILX-TV in Lansing.[1][8] They met in the mid-1970s while working together at WILX-TV. Timmons graduated from Ohio State University, Michigan's fierce arch-rival.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "DSBA Member Roster Jim Brandstatter". Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Arthur F. Brandstatter". Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Snyder, Mark (November 1, 2007). "Jim Brandstatter: 'The best decision I ever made'". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Heroes of the Gridon: Michigan Victors Profiles, Part II". Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "2009 Michigan Football Broadcast Information". University of Michigan Athletic Department. October 7, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  6. "Lions Radio Network". Detroit Lions. June 15, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  7. Jim Brandstatter, Inc. Official Site
  8. "Veteran News Anchor Robbie Timmons Announces Her Retirement From WXYZ-TV". Earth Times. September 28, 2010.,1479888.html. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
  9. Brandstatter, Jim (2002). Tales from Michigan Stadium (illustrated ed.). Sports Publishing LLC. pp. 200. ISBN 1-59670-015-7, 9781596700154.
  10. Brandstatter, Jim (2005). Tales from Michigan Stadium Volume II (illustrated ed.). Sports Publishing LLC. pp. 200. ISBN 1-58261-888-7, 9781582618883.