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Tom Mees

Tom Mees was an American sportscaster who anchored ESPN's nightly highlights show, SportsCenter, from the time of the cable sports network's launch on September 7th, 1979, until 1993. Beginning in 1987, he did play-by-play for hockey games whenever ESPN had NHL broadcast rights. Mees continued to host SportsCenter in the off-season, and always returned full time to the show when the network lost broadcast rights to NHL games. Mees was also a familiar face on sister network ESPN2, and broadcast college football and basketball, as well as acting as host of the NHL draft.

Before he became one of ESPN's original sports anchors, Tom broadcast football games on the University of Delaware student-run station while still a student at UD. After graduating from the University of Delaware in 1972, Mees spent six years as sports director at WILM-AM in Wilmington. Working with the late Bob Kelley, Mees was the commentator on Delaware football and basketball games, covered professional baseball and basketball, hosted a weekly sports talk show and provided daily sports commentary. Tom then became sports director in 1978 at WECA-TV in Tallahassee, Florida, before joining ESPN the following year.

Mees, who couldn't swim, died saving his 4-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, from drowning after she fell into the deep end of a neighbor's swimming pool. Later, the police report was amended and the death termed a swimming accident, saying they could not confirm the rescue attempt. "We believe at this point there was no rescue attempt," police Captain Domenic Lombardo said.


Biographical fast facts

Date and place of birth: October 13, 1949, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Date, time, place and cause of death: August 14*, 1996, at 3:15 p.m., Bradley Memorial Hospital, Southington, Connecticut, U.S.A. (Accidental drowning)

Wife: Michelle Mees

Children: Lauren and Gabrielle (daughters)


Error correction or clarification

* "August 13" and "August 15" have erroneously been reported as his date of death.
Tom Mees had no pulse or respiration when he was brought to Bradley Memorial Hospital at 2:50 p.m., August 14, 1996 and efforts to revive him failed. He was pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m., Wednesday, August 14, 1996, according to Richard Corcoran, hospital vice president.


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