Everyone who’s been around or covered North Carolina athletics has a Dave Lohse story.
Mine came on Feb. 18, 2017, when I covered a UNC men’s lacrosse home game against Elon for The Daily Tar Heel. Excited, yet blissfully unaware of press box etiquette as a rookie sportswriter, I watched the first quarter play out while eagerly chatting up my DTH colleague at an increasingly loud volume.
After the first 15 minutes were up, Dave beckoned me over and gave a half-smile, half-grimace.
“Umm, your voice is coming over the live feed,” he said.
Then, he nodded toward the two ESPN3 broadcasters sitting directly next to me, who’d been too polite to speak up as an 18-year-old’s deep-voiced blabbering interrupted their play-by-play.
Almost three years later, it’s a mistake I haven’t made again. And I’ve always appreciated how Dave handled it: subtly, rather than out loud to the whole Fetzer Field press box, because he knew I’d probably be embarrassed. (If you haven’t deduced this by now, I was.)
After 42 years of work, Tuesday is Dave’s last day as UNC’s associate director of athletic communications. His retirement will become official at midnight.
And on behalf of four decades of DTH sports reporters — many of whom, I’m sure, also had their hides saved by Dave at some point — I’d like to say thank you.
A team’s sports information director, or SID, serves as the main point of contact for any media request. Need to interview a player or a coach? Arrange credentials for a game? Track down a random statistic? You start with the SID.
Dave has done all those tasks — and often more — for basically every varsity sport on this campus. He’s best known for his work with the UNC women’s soccer, men’s lacrosse and swim and dive teams. This summer, he was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame.
He’s also a colorful personality: someone who knows theater and show tunes as well as he does sports; rattles off specific times, dates, anecdotes and facts with ease; and is always good for a well-timed joke or two in the press box, often with a diet soda in hand. Much more on Dave's life and times in this DTH profile from May.
For reasons like this, everyone has a Dave story. So here are a few more.
Logan Ulrich, class of 2017: “Hey Dave! Congratulations on a long career and a well-deserved retirement. You were a big help during my time at UNC, starting from my first-ever assignment at the DTH when I was assigned to cover the swim team’s Blue vs White scrimmage. You were off, but you still took a call on your cell to help me get the interviews I needed. Every other time I had the opportunity to work with you, you were equally as helpful and the joy you had for your job was apparent. I wish you good health and a retirement that’s equally fulfilling — and more — than the past 42 years have been.”
Chris Hilburn-Trenkle, class of 2019: “I always enjoyed working with Dave Lohse. He was consistently quick to respond to requests and treated me and all other members of our DTH staff with the upmost respect. Congratulations on your retirement and a memorable career!”
Alex Zietlow, class of 2019: “UNC women's soccer head coach Anson Dorrance's 800th win feels like a century ago. It happened on Oct. 9, 2016, in Chapel Hill. One of my best friends to this day, James Tatter, and I were in the Fetzer Field press box, covering the occasion for The Daily Tar Heel. We didn't really know each other then. (In fact, I — a lowly sophomore who'd only written one other story for The DTH at that point — didn't know much of anything.) But we knew one thing: We were in Dave Lohse's press box, and it was a tight ship. I ended up writing my story that night (on deadline, please be kind) about how Dorrance “runs his team like clockwork.” In the next two years of working with him, I’d learn that his SID, Dave, became a legend the same way.”
Parth Upadhyaya, class of 2020: “Dave, while at first I thought you weren’t very fond of me, I came to realize that sarcastic humor was just a staple of your personality. And admittedly, it kind of grew on me. Over the past three years, I’ve seen firsthand why you’ve been considered such a vital part of UNC Athletic Communications for more than four decades. Whether it be with setting up interviews after games or for feature stories, I appreciate you always being helpful. I’m glad you’re going to finally get some time to yourself. Congratulations on a decorated career, and best wishes for your retirement!”
Ryan Wilcox, class of 2021: "Mr. Lohse, your story is an inspiring one and your career is one worthy of the utmost celebration. I remember when I spoke with Dorrance on the occasion of the christening of Dorrance Field, and you helped me get in contact with him outside of conventional work hours to get just what I needed. It's little things like that that made you so special to us at The DTH. Enjoy retirement; you've earned it!"
They said it best, but I'll say it again on behalf of many: thanks for everything, Dave!
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.