Greg Heister Has Gone To The Dogs

  It’s a Dog’s Life

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Spokane sportscaster Greg Heister has gone to the dogs and it has contributed to him and his production company winning a number of regional Emmy Awards. Northwest sports fans will recognize Heister as the television play-by-play announcer for the Bulldogs of Spokane’s Gonzaga University. He is also the co-host of “The Mark Few Show,” featuring the popular Zags coach who is an obvious future inductee into the College Basketball Hall of Fame. In all likelihood most sports fans (especially West of the Cascades) would be surprised to learn of Heister’s connection with those other dogs. The ones who literally run their tails off over 975 to 998 miles of rugged Alaskan terrain in the most famous of all dog sled races, The Iditarod.

Zag’s Coach Mark Few and Sportscaster Greg Heister.
Heister, is executive producer of the television feature “The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race” since 2006. Greg has led an expedition to cover the race providing hourly video updates for Iditarod fans around the world, culminating into a 2 hour documentary of each year’s race.
Scenes from Alaska’s famed Iditarod race.
If you’re of the opinion that our premise of Heister going to the dogs is a little fishy, allow me to take you on this additional Heister fact-finding fishing trip. Beginning in 2005 Greg began producing and hosting an adventure show for NBCSN ~ Outdoors. The show, “Seasons On The Fly,” became an award winning documentary series featuring fly fishing enthusiasts and their adventures on rivers in Alaska, the continental US and beyond.  Heister is owner of Green Highlander Productions, Inc. a full service video production company specializing in documentaries and the winner of 15 regional Emmy Awards.
Greg found himself at KHQ-TV in Spokane in 1997 following a stint with KIMO-TV Anchorage, Alaska as their Sports Director beginning in 1991 … eventually evolving into him becoming engaged in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race in 1992. Before moving to Anchorage he had been with WJW-TV in Cleveland as a sports writer/editor/producer and was a graduate of Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.
In due time, after arriving in Spokane, Heister became the voice of Gonzaga University basketball in the fall of 2001. At the time, he was the 4:30pm co-anchor and former Sports Director at KHQ-TV. Gonzaga and Heister entered into an agreement to broadcast Zags basketball on 50,000 watt KGA-AM with simulcasts on KHQ-TV. Eventually the radio portion of Zags basketball broadcasts was taken over by Tom Hudson with Gonzaga legend Adam Morrison joining Tom in 2017 to do color commentary (The Puget Sound area Zags radio affiliate is KIXI- AM).
Tom Hudson with Zags radio play-by-play. • Bulldog legend & radio color commentator, Adam Morrison.   
Once Hudson joined the Zags broadcast team, Heister was able to focus, each basketball season, solely on the TV broadcast and co-hosting the popular weekly “Mark Few Show,” featuring the legendary coach who (as of the 2020-21 NCAA season) has amassed over 600 wins and is set to take the Bulldogs to their 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and another WWC (West Coast Conference) championship. The popular coach’s show is seen on KHQ-TV in Spokane and rebroadcast on Root Sports for Zags fans to enjoy throughout the state. Root Sports also broadcasts all Gonzaga/WCC games not carried by ESPN and other major networks.
Gonzaga’s Coach Few TV show
Coach Mark Few  •  Sportscaster Greg Heister
Heister’s keenness to be part of Gonzaga University sports is easily apparent. His knowledge of the school, the basketball coach and the players is overtly obvious. His play-by-play style is enthusiastic but never annoyingly so. Unlike many other play-by-play announcers he never strays far from the action of the game presently being played. Seldom do Heister and his color commentary partners, Dan Dickau and Richard Fox, wander into chatter involving everything except the current action on the court. Which, exasperatingly, is often the case with too many sportscasters. Greg, Dan and Richard managed to interject priceless insight and Gonzaga sports history without losing focus on who just made that three-pointer or slam dunk. In recent years, with the Zags becoming a national collegiate basketball powerhouse with more of their games being coveted and broadcast by ESPN and other national sports networks, Heister has also joined the Pac-12 sports Network, frequently doing Washington State Cougar Basketball with Dan Dickau as his color commentator.
Greg Heister, Dan Dickau & Richard Fox • Heister doing the pre-game show. 
In the case of “The Mark Few Show,” Heister’s easy style lends itself to insightful interviews with  the young collegiate players. His genuinely thoughtful technique seems to solicit meaningful responses beyond traditional “sports speak” from Bulldog athletes. His friendly banter with Coach Mark Few reveals they are obviously friends. Few, who is a world-class enthusiast when it comes to fly fishing, has also been featured on the Heister’s NBC Sports~Outdoors Channel’s fishing program.
Fly fishing buddies, Mark and Greg
It may seem there’s something a little fishy about our original premise, with Greg Heister going to the dogs, but be assured no animals were harmed during the process of creating this piece and a lifelong dues paying member of the local Humane Society was present at all times.
Here’s a look at the multi-talented Mr. Heister, along with amazing scenery and some mighty big fish.

Author: Jay Hamilton

Jay Hamilton is a veteran disc jockey, program director, music director and radio programming consultant. In the Pacific Northwest, he is best remembered for his time at KMPS AM/FM during the '70s and '80s. Jay is now retired and lives on the Olympic Peninsula. Music, of nearly every genre, has always been an important aspect of his life and he frequently contributes opinions, articles and "Collectibles" to Puget Sound Media.

12 thoughts on “Greg Heister Has Gone To The Dogs

      1. Darren McGavin’s parents divorced when he was 11 years old, and custody was given to his father, who was employed as a traveling salesman for a chemical company. When he, (William Lyle Richardson), was an adolescent, his father boarded him with a family at their farm on Puget Sound near Tacoma while he traveled for work. McGavin eventually ran away from the farm, and lived with a Native American family along the Nisqually River. His father was soon notified that he had fled, and McGavin temporarily dodged police and welfare workers before his father enrolled him in a Catholic boarding school…blah, blah from Wikipedia.
        So, now I live near the Nisqually. Does that count as a brush with fame?

      2. Ooooh! Darren McGavin!!
        But don’t forget … also born in Spokane: Craig T. Nelson of TV’s “Coach” & “Parenthood” •• John McIntire of “Wagon Train” & “The Virginian” •• Academy Award-winning Director Chuck Jones of Warner Bros. Cartoons, Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies •• One of my favorite authors, Sherman Alexie •• Michael Clarke drummer for The Byrds •• Bing’s brother Bob Crosby, Swing Era bandleader & singer •• Dan Hamilton, lead vocalist of Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds – “Don’t Pull Your Love” (#4~’71) “Fallin’ In Love” (#1~’75) •• Singer-songwriter, Danny O’Keefe ~ “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” •• 49th Speaker Of The US House of Representatives, Tom Foley •• Former King County Executive, Ron Sims •• Tom Sniva, winner of the ’83 Indianapolis 500 & member of The Motorsports Hall of Fame •• Ryne Sandberg member of The Baseball Hall of Fame •• John Stockton, NBA Hall of Famer & 10 time NBA All-Star •• Steve Emtman 1992 number one NFL draft pick, unanimous 1991 All American, Outland Trophy & Lombardi Award winner while a UW Husky •• … and last but not least, the fictional character The Reverend Jim “Iggy” Ignatowski, played by Christopher Lloyd on the 1970s TV series “Taxi” … who claimed to have been born in Spokane, but his often-unreliable memory made this information open to question!

          1. Let’s hear it for Harry Skarbo, who became Harry Stewart and world famous as Yogi Yorgesson. He was born in Tacoma in 1908 and died in an auto accident in 1947 while driving home to Los Angeles from an appearance in Ely, Nevada.

            In 1962, Harry’s widow, Gretchen Stewart, married a widower named Jim Jordan. Jim and his late wife, Marian, were famous for creating and becoming radio’s “Fibber McGee and Molly”, which ran on NBC’s Blue and Red Networks from 1935 to 1959.

            The newlyweds were together for twenty-six years, until Jim passed away.

        1. Well, if we’re discussing actresses from Tacoma, my vote goes to Eleanor Donahue who played Betty, the eldest daughter on TV’s “Father Knows Best”, and Ellie Walker, pharmacist and love interest of Sheriff Andy Taylor, on the first season of The Andy Griffith Show. She also played Luther Van Dam’s (Jerry Van Dyke) girlfriend on the Craig T. Nelson series “Coach”.
          Here’s Eleanor and Andy with a Christmas song:
          https://youtu.be/nsg7R4bKao0

    1. Zags are picked to win the March Madness championship in a tournament bracket filled out by super collegiate basketball fan, former President Barack Obama! He’s picked Gonzaga to meet Illinois in the Championship Game. • The Zags play their first tournament game against Norfolk St. on Saturday at 6pm on TBS.
      GO ZAGS 🏀‼️.

      1. The Zags won their 1st two NCAA Basketball Tournament games, winning over Norfolk St. 98-55 & Oklahoma 87-71. The undefeated Bulldogs (28-0) will play Creighton (Big-East Conf.), who crushed Ohio 72 to 58 on Monday (3/23). That game will be Sunday, March 28th at 11am (2 o’clock Eastern) on CBS. This is the 6th consecutive tourney where the Zags have reached the Sweet 16. Go Zags 🏀!

  1. Steven ~ Besides my interest in music and media, I’m also somewhat of a sports fan, especially when it comes to Zag’s basketball, Seattle Sounder’s soccer and Seahawk football … more or less in that order. Having attended WSU, I have an interest in Cougs sports, but will still root for the Huskies when they’re not playing Wazoo.
    My older brother, who now lives in the Midwest, is a Gonzaga alumnus. We watch Zags games “together” on TV through the magic of texting each other with comments during their games. So, through that connection I’ve become a Zag’s fan and a huge fan of Greg Heister’s sportscasting style. Like the Hawks Steve Raible, he is able to keep the game exciting without being annoying. For my personal taste, he’s just an excellent communicator and obviously loves what he does.

    1. Boy, that Greg Heister is one busy man. Right at this very moment (3:48 Dec. 23) he’s calling a replay of the Gonzaga game from last night on Roots TV and on Pac-12 TV he’s calling the current Washington State cougar game. Busy man!

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