Mike Lange

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Mike Lange
Mike Lange 1 2011-12-03.JPG
Mike Lange during a Q&A session with fans at RBC Center in Raleigh, December 2011.
Born (1948-03-03) March 3, 1948 (age 71)
EducationSacramento State University
Occupationsports announcer

Mike Lange (born March 3, 1948, in Sacramento, California) is an American sportscaster, best known as the radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 2001, he received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his outstanding work as an NHL broadcaster.


In 1969, while attended Sacramento State University, Lange was encouraged by his friend to attend a hockey game. At the time, Lange had never attended a hockey game before.[1]

From there, Lange worked in the penalty box at local arenas, coordinating the penalty time with the PA announcer. He eventually replaced the PA announcer after he asked for a raise and his play-by-play was broadcast over the college radio station.[1]

Lange joined the Penguins as a radio announcer in 1974 after spending time as a commentator for the San Diego Gulls and Phoenix Roadrunners of the Western Hockey League.[2] He left the Penguins after just one season, because the team was in bankruptcy and he had no guarantee of a job. Lange called Washington Diplomats soccer games, then returned to the Penguins for the 1976–77 season, where he became the central figure of the team's broadcast presence.[1][3]

From 1976 until 2006, Lange served as the lead play-by-play announcer for the Penguins' radio and television network, never missing a broadcast. [4] In 2001, Lange was the recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his outstanding work as an NHL broadcaster.[2] On June 29, 2006, citing a desire to go in a new direction, Fox Sports Pittsburgh (now AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh) did not exercise the option year on Lange's contract. He was replaced by his longtime radio partner, Paul Steigerwald, in a move that was extremely unpopular with fans.[4] On taking Lange's spot Steigerwald said, "I'm not going to try to replace him. I think he's irreplaceable."[5]

On August 4, 2006, Lange signed a contract to work on Penguins' radio broadcasts.[6] On October 8, 2019, prior to a game against the Winnipeg Jets, Lange was presented with an autographed personalized jersey to commemorate his 45th year.[7]

During the mid-1980s, Lange also broadcast several NHL games for ESPN. In 1986 and 1987, he also called Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games on cable television.[1]

Lange and then-colleague Steigerwald appeared together as themselves in the 1995 movie Sudden Death, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. In the film, Lange used many of his trademark expressions in his play-by-play commentary.


Like fellow Pittsburgh sports announcers, the late Steelers announcer Myron Cope and the late Pirates announcer Bob Prince, Lange uses a repertoire of distinctive colorful expressions, sometimes called "Lange-isms" by his fans. While some are familiar phrases from pop culture, most are cryptic expressions of Lange's making.

KDKA-AM radio talk show host Fred Honsberger used to play a personalized clip of Lange saying, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Honz has just left the building!" at the end of his radio show.


  1. ^ a b c d Kasan, Susan (October 7, 2019). ""You never know"". nhl.com. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Kovacevic, Dejan (May 29, 2001). "Lange makes call into Hall of Fame". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  3. ^ "Broadcaster Mike Lange to talk hockey at Penn State Behrend". psu.edu. October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-07. Retrieved 2010-03-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Ladies and gentlemen, Mike Lange has left the building (Hasch, M. & Price, K., posted June 30, 2006 and accessed March 20, 2010)
  5. ^ "FSN Pittsburgh Doesn't Renew Announcer Lange's Contract Archived 2007-02-17 at the Wayback Machine", ThePittsburghChannel.com, posted June 29, 2006, accessed June 29, 2006.
  6. ^ "PENS HIRE MIKE LANGE TO ANNOUNCE RADIO PLAY-BY-PLAY". nhl.com. August 3, 2006. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  7. ^ Mackey, Jason (October 8, 2019). "Penguins honor Mike Lange with pregame ceremony". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 8, 2019.

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