Mike Allegre

Mike Allegre came to the mid-Willamette Valley from central Oregon in July 1986 and quickly changed the broadcast landscape for local prep sports. Mike and longtime friend Mark Gilman teamed up to provide the first steady flow of high school broadcast coverage for football and basketball in nearly a decade, airing games on KYKN Radio (1430 AM) in Keizer. 

Allegre’s time in Bend prior to his arrival in Salem included sales and weekend DJ work at KICE Radio after spending 15 months at KTVZ-TV as field reporter, studio anchor, and sports director. When he was offered the job in Keizer he was ready to bring back prep sports broadcasts to Salem-Keizer listeners.

The enthusiastic Allegre (pronounced Al-uh-ger) also worked as a news reporter/anchor with Gilman (an Associated Press award winning news team), and as a DJ, at KYKN . He took his microphone to meet visiting professional and college players and coaches. From Los Angeles Dodger Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax to future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., he was able to meet many sports notables. He also broke a big story, one that became a national headline, when former Portland Trailblazer coach Jack Ramsey was hired by the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, after his Blazer world championship win.

Mike’s career in the early years expanded to include small college broadcast coverage at Willamette University - where he spent 29 seasons as the lead announcer for Bearcat football and 24 years covering men’s and women’s basketball. He was on the mic to capture the historic sports moment in October 1997 when WU's Liz Heaston became the first women to ever play and score in a college football game at any collegiate level. It was an exhausting schedule for Mike, who eventually earned a brief stint in the Portland broadcast market at “62 KGW”, after leaving KYKN in 1988. He also squeezed in broadcast duties covering three sports for the Oregon School Activities Association, covering OSAA state tournaments for boys and girls basketball, football, and later baseball - a job he continues to do even today. Additionally he led the broadcast team at three NAIA women's national basketball tournaments, four Little League Softball World Series at Alpenrose Park in Portland, and ten years broadcasting basketball for Western Baptist College (now Corban University). Seemingly, if there was a sporting event, Mike wanted to describe the action.

Allegre served his country for four years in the U.S. Air Force (1976-80). He also served in the Oregon Air National Guard from 1985-2007. He balanced broadcasting with his Guard duties, a regular job, and family. In fact, after nearly 90 straight football broadcasts for Willamette, it was Guard duty that forced him to step away one Saturday, breaking the string. 

A difficult balance at times, but it helped mold me and organize my life”, he recalls. Mike retired as a Major in 2007. 

Allegre returned to Salem radio in late-1989. He was a part time talent covering prep football with former WU QB Todde Greenough and, in 1997, he teamed up with Craig Spivey. They were a fixture at KCCS radio for a dozen years, covering prep football and, eventually, expanding to both WU football and basketball. The Mike and Craig team, together with the Gilman-Gilman (Jerry) team still at KYKN, helped ensure that prep sports in the S-K area were covered.

Both radio crews also provided the talent for the cable broadcasts of prep football aired on Capital Community Television - CCTV cable channel 22. During this time of busy sports broadcasting, Mike also held full-time jobs at the Oregon Military Department, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and, for eight years, at Western Baptist. At WBC he successfully established an FM radio station on the campus. Each of these positions gave him the flexibility to continue doing what he loved – broadcasting sports.

Mike was raised in the town of Odell, Oregon. He graduated from Hood River Valley High School in 1973, but his interest in sportscasting goes back to his time in junior high when he listened to sportscasters call high school and college games on radio. It was an old friend and classmate – Greg Walden - whose dad owned the only station in the county that introduced him to a radio studio. From that point forward, radio played a profound role in Allegre's life. His fellow Air Force cops encouraged him to do radio sports or become a DJ. After his honorable discharge, at age 25, Mike attended Central Washington University from which he graduated in 1983 with his communications degree. At CWU he spent three years as a part time sportscaster and DJ at the radio station in Ellensburg, primarily broadcasting high school football and basketball in the area. It was a proving ground for Allegre. He not only loved it, he also became convinced he should pursue it.

Today, Mike is back at KYKN, returning to the airwaves in 2021 to again give the Salem-Keizer area two prep football broadcast options. After a career of some 40 years in radio sportscasting, Allegre, at age 67, decided to reduce his time away from home and retired from broadcasting WU games, but will continue to do high school broadcasts for KYKN and the OSAA. He is realistic about how long he will continue in the press box. “When my ability to bring a quality game broadcast to listeners has diminished, I’ll unplug the headset...With good health, my wife’s approval and God’s grace, that’ll be a few years from now.”

Mike married wife Suzanne in 2002. He has adult children Casey, Matt, and Chris together with adult step-children Shawn and Shelby. As of 2024, Suzanne and Mike share nine grandchildren ages 1 to 16.

Mike Allegre has brought prep and small college sports to life for those unable to attend in person. For student-athletes he has made their efforts a bigger deal, a bit more “big time”, a lot more special. For those hearing his voice through our radios , TVs, and PCs, his descriptions have painted pictures that brought the action to life. Mike has created memories that will last a lifetime. He has made high school sports matter just a little bit more. For that Mike Allegre is a Beacon.

By Mark Gilman/Bryan Sutherland