TSUSports.com: TSU Athletics To Honor 4 Houston Media Members For 30-Plus Years Of TSU Coverage Saturday Evening


Staff member
Football 9/1/2021 11:09:00 AM

The Texas Southern Department of Athletics will honor four Houston area media members at Saturday’s Labor Day Classic who’ve covered the program for 30-plus years.

TSU will honor FOX 26 Sports Director Mark Berman, KCOH 1230 AM and Texas Radio Hall of Famer Ralph Cooper, Houston Chronicle reporter Richard Dean and longtime newspaper editor/reporter Ellis Johnson.

“This is our way of showing appreciation to these four individuals who’ve worked tirelessly to provide consistent coverage of Texas Southern athletics for three decades or more,” said TSU Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Kevin Granger.” This is only the beginning as our goal as a department is to honor media members on a yearly basis who’ve helped shaped the TSU narrative.”

Berman has worked at FOX 26 for more than 30 years and is a constant fixture at TSU sporting events while being the first to report breaking news and providing in-depth coverage of TSU athletic events and its student-athletes/staff. His greatest TSU memory occurred in 2004 during a NCAA baseball regional.

“What comes to mind occurred in 2004 when Texas Southern’s baseball team upset Rice, who was the defending national champions in the NCAA regionals. TSU stunned them at their home park and that game was a big deal. It probably ranks as one of the biggest wins in TSU Athletics history.”

Berman was surprised when told he was going to be honored.

“When (VP of Athletics) Kevin Granger called me, I was stunned and actually shocked because you never expect to get honored for just doing your job,” he said. “I was thrilled that Texas Southern thought to do that, so I feel very privileged.”

Cooper has been associated with TSU for nearly 50 years as a radio commentor, radio show host and newspaper columnist for TSU athletics. The Houston native has interviewed and continues to interview countless TSU legends on a daily basis for his show Sportsrap on KCOH 1230 AM.

“This is where I started 50 years ago and I have memories of the great football games at the Astrodome played before 50 to 60,000 people and the battle of the bands between Grambling, Texas Southern and Southern. I also remember all the games at old Jeppesen Stadium and all of the great coaches and players who’ve represented Texas Southern.”

Known for his well-rounded knowledge of sports across all levels in Houston, Cooper took the modest route when told he was going to be honored.

“This is something I can’t describe except to say that it’s a feeling of great gratitude,” he said. “I didn’t cover TSU to be honored but it is great to be honored. The honor to me was to cover the great athletes and coaches for over 50 years. This is icing on the cake.”

Dean has covered TSU for nearly 30 years as a reporter for the Houston Chronicle. The Houston native can still be found covering TSU athletic events and has chronicled some of the top athletic moments in TSU history. Dean has had the opportunity to cover TSU during an era which has produced an NFL Hall of Famer, numerous NFL draft picks and a TSU basketball legend who has risen to the ranks of Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics in Kevin Granger.

“The most memorable event is actually the very first event I covered in 1992 which was the TSU/Alcorn State football game,” said Dean. “TSU had Michael Strahan and Alcorn State had Steve McNair. Steve McNair is one of the all-time great quarterbacks in NFL history and to see him against Michael Strahan, who is one of the all-time great defensive lineman in NFL history, was the most memorable. I also remember in the early 1990s when the TSU basketball team went to back-to-back NCAA tournaments as it was exciting. My first year covering TSU was when Kevin Granger first started playing as I covered him his entire career.”

Dean was elated when told he was going to be honored by TSU.

“I think it is really great and it makes me feel appreciated,” he said. “It makes me feel good to know that I have written things that people like to read and enjoy reading and this lets me know how they feel about it. I have always enjoyed covering TSU and enjoyed everyone who has worked in the athletic department. It’s a very high honor and I take it seriously. I am joyed to think that somebody thinks that highly of my work.”

Johnson is a TSU graduate and longtime sports editor/reporter for several publications in the Houston area. Johnson has witnessed and reported on nearly every important moment in TSU athletics’ history as a sports editor for the Houston Informer and a reporter for the Houston Chronicle since the 1950s.

A living encyclopedia, Johnson’s biggest TSU moment occurred in 1956 during TSU’s SWAC Co-Championship season in football.

“We played here in Houston at the old Jeppesen Stadium,” he said. “We were favored to win the game and we really put on a show before the game. That night they beat us 6-0 and we rocked the bus that night when they were leaving.”

Johnson was nearly at a loss for words when told he was going to be honored by TSU.

“I’ve been honored for a lot of things but to be honored by TSU after spending so many years there covering sports like all the others says a lot and I greatly appreciate it.”

Courtesy: TSUSports.com