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In Sports

In Sports

In Sports

In Sports

Milwaukee Talks: Steve "The Homer" True


"The World's Greatest Sports Talk Show" found a new home last week, and 50-year-old Steve "The Homer" True, a 15-year Milwaukee radio veteran, is feeling all the normal feelings anyone would when starting a new job. He's getting used to the surroundings, the new computers, new people and a new time slot.

True left Clear Channel's WISN-AM after the station shuffled its line-up in favor of more national political programming at night and less local sports talk like Homer's 6 p.m. show. Now at ESPN Radio 1510, Homer says he's excited to continue his show and work for "the kid" -- station owner Craig Karmazin.

One of the best talkers in the business of sports radio, Homer continues as the voice of Marquette men's basketball but now entertains on an all-sports station that has been waiting for a star like him.

Born in South Bend, Ind., his father was a professor at Notre Dame, and he has seven brothers and sisters. He played tennis as a kid, because, he says, "I wasn't good enough at any other sport."

Tennis led him to UW-Madison where he walked on and lettered in the sport as a freshman. True decided to leave UW and pursue tennis for what he calls "reasons still unknown."

After about a year playing tennis, he decided to come back to Wisconsin and his coach at UW obliged with a scholarship. He assumed he'd play his last two years at UW, but came down with rheumatoid arthritis, which ended his playing career.

He ultimately graduated from Indiana University in South Bend after returning home to finish school. To this day, he claims he's the only person to graduate from a college and not know the school's nickname.

He's a homer, "but not idiot," as he puts it, and Steve True is the subject of the latest installment of OnMilwaukee.com Milwaukee Talks.

OMC: So, what was your school's nickname?

Steve True: They were the IUSB Titans, which I discovered reading a book by Homer Drew, who was the coach at IUSB for one year, now the coach at Valparaiso. He's also the source of the greatest trivia question ever. Homer Drew coached at two colleges in the South Bend area, neither was Notre Dame, what were they? He coached at Bethel College, a Bible college and he coached at IUSD. The Schwab wouldn't even know that!

OMC: What did you major in, and how did you get into radio?

ST: I graduated with a major in accounting, which of course I didn't use. Again, reasons unknown. I had given tennis lessons to someone who knew the top radio guy in South Bend, John Thompson, and I thought I could do that as well as he does. So, I enrolled in a broadcast school in Chicago called Midwestern Broadcast, famous graduates Don Cornelius and Lauren Brown. Did that for about three to four months and then sent out tapes and was hired in 1980 by WIXK radio in New Richmond. I was there about two years and got fired when they found out I was looking for a new job.

Then I went to Alliance, Neb., which is the end of the world. I was there two years, then to Appleton, then to Madison's WIBA, where I was part of the famous "black Friday firings" where five of us got fired, including current Sen. John Erpenbach. Next I was hired by Mark Belling at WTDY. Then, about six months after Belling came to WISN, I was hired there to replace Bob Dolan. And, I was at WISN for 15 years.

OMC: What did you think you'd do when you were in college?

ST: I was a finalist for the men's tennis head coach job in Indiana. Didn't get it, but got some great Bobby Knight stories. So, that's really what I thought I'd always do. I have great respect for high school coaches; you have such an impact on kids. You remember the good coaches and teachers and they often times move you in a certain direction.

OMC: Talk a little about high school sports.

ST: I've had Joel Claassen, the girl's basketball coach at Pius XI who won 14 state championships, on my radio show. He said to me once that not one of the girls on his teams have ever been divorced. I thought that was incredible. It speaks to him, to the kind of girls on his teams. I wish I could do more on those people high school coaches, but you can't do it in Milwaukee. High school sports get lost. There's a quarterback at Wauwatosa East who is the best throwing quarterback I have ever seen in high school. I want people to comment and know this. The average Packers fan would call in and say "who the hell cares?" But, you see a level of dominance in high school sports that you don't see in college.

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Talkbacks

Sportsnutgurl | Dec. 13, 2011 at 11:16 a.m. (report)

Pretty disgusting that the legal and moral process we are all guaranteed Does not seem to apply to Braun. The blowhard haters should shut their pie holes until the accused has an opportunity to complete the process. Steve, your comment " guilty until proven innocent " is bad form at best.

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OMCreader | April 22, 2006 at 9:04 p.m. (report)

JONLARSEN4 said: hi steve this is jon larsen i use to live in carroll iowa across the street from your mother in law

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OMCreader | Oct. 10, 2005 at 5:22 p.m. (report)

Myke the Dancin Machine said: They must have paid a big pile of $$$ for Homer,is my guess just because there are more ads then talk on his new show.

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OMCreader | Oct. 5, 2005 at 9:54 p.m. (report)

Rick said: Way to go Hometeam. Super talent for the Milwaukee airwaves.

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OMCreader | Oct. 4, 2005 at 10:37 p.m. (report)

steve p said: I really missed listening to the "Homer" on WISN in the 600PM thru 900PM time slot.He was really entertaining as well as funny.If thier was someone who truely knew about the Packers,Brewers and Bucks,it was the "Homer".Good luck Steve the "Homer" True on your next venture.

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