Meet the New Voice of the Carolina Thunderbirds

Lost in all the excitement of the expansion rumors in this Federal Hockey League offseason, was the league’s most-talked about team’s hunt for a new Vice President of Communications.

Today, the Carolina Thunderbirds officially announced they’ve got their guy. The new broadcaster for the T-Birds is Zak DeBeaussaert.

DeBeaussaert, a 2015 Graduate of Grand Valley State University (MI), was the voice of GVSU Women’s Hockey (ACHA) during his collegiate career, and most recently called games for the Chippewa Hockey Network of Central Michigan University, the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament, and worked in the Lansing (MI) area for Townsquare Media.

During his years since college, DeBeaussaert has called a variety of sports, as well as been a radio Traffic reporter, but has always aspired a career as a professional hockey broadcaster. After applying with the Thunderbirds last year, he applied again as soon as the position became available, leading ultimately to an interview and job offer from GM Scott Brand.

“Being hired by Carolina…is an incredible feeling. It’s the end spoils after what’s been something of a journey trying to break into professional play-by-play,” said DeBeaussaert “Through college, and my time in Lansing, I had plenty of opportunities for play-by-play gigs on a sort of game by game basis, but for somebody or a team to say ‘we love how you do that so much we’ll make it your primary responsibility and you’re the bonafide #1 guy’, that’s the best feeling for me right now.”

As the Thunderbirds’ broadcast network looks to follow Brand’s expansion plan, and break into the local television market, DeBeaussaert himself brings big ideas to table for Carolina.

“I have plans to grow the social side of the team. At any level of sports, but especially lower levels, it’s important to get the players faces out there so people know exactly who they’re coming to see and they can feel like they have a connection to them in some way,” DeBeaussaert said “Whether you’re in a town of a million or a thousand, when people feel like they know the players, they’ll be more likely to come and support the team. Support will often times equal success.”

DeBeaussaert will be in charge of all media, as well as handling corporate partnerships. Brand has plans to grow the broadcast network, and his new broadcaster will be heading down in early July to get started on this exact plan. While a large amount of change will come to the already impressive and unprecedented FHL media network, DeBeaussaert wants to assure fans that the broadcasts themselves are going to be indulging.

“I’m extremely passionate about hockey, and that will absolutely show in the broadcasts I put on. I’m also very knowledgeable, being a referee,” said DeBeaussaert “Whether I’m by myself or with partners on air, I’ll be sure to keep fans in the moment on everything from the big picture to the subtle hidden storylines that will arise throughout the game and the season.”

There’s well-reason for the flock to get excited about their new voice. DeBeaussaert is a hard-working, dedicated, and passionate broadcaster, and you can tell from the attached broadcasts. Outside of his professional work, DeBeaussaert is a Detroit Red Wings fan, and a bigger fan of a southern style barbecue. He’s a perfect fit in Winston-Salem, and the flock have a great fit for their team.


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