Don Shields has spent nearly 30 years working on Maine’s radio airwaves as a disc jockey and sports broadcaster.
That includes a lengthy stint as a basketball broadcaster on the midcoast and with the Black Bear Sports Network.
The Rockport native was recognized recently as the recipient of the Maine Sportscaster of the Year award as presented by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association based in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Shields, 54, earned the nod by a vote of his Maine peers, joining sportswriter Mark Emmert of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram as the state winners for 2014.
Shields, who is known for his distinctive call of “bingo!” on a made 3-pointer, has been a fixture in Maine sports radio since 1985.
He started his career in Maine at WCME in Wiscasset in 1985, then he quickly made the move to WRKD/WMCM, where he spent 24 years. He has been calling high school basketball games ever since.
Shields, who since 2010 has worked at Islesboro-based WBYA (105.5 Frank FM), also previously broadcast Eastern Maine high school tournament games for WQDY in Calais and WABI in Bangor. One year, he called 36 of 42 games played at the Bangor Auditorium.
In 2007, Shields became a more recognizable voice to more Maine fans when he became the play-by-play announcer for UMaine women’s basketball team on the Black Bear Sports Network, a Division of Learfield Sports.
Shields, who estimates that he will call more than 55 basketball games this winter, has broadcast events for Bowdoin College in Brunswick and Colby College in Waterville.
He also has been a varsity baseball coach for six seasons, including three years at the former Georges Valley High School and three at Oceanside High of Rockland/Thomaston.
Shields is a 1978 graduate of Camden-Rockport High School and a graduate of the New England Broadcasting School in Boston. He got his on-air start in Western Pennsylvania, where he met his wife, Mary.
Shields explained that his call of “bingo” was born in February 1988 as he was working a Lincoln Academy-Lisbon boys high school basketball game. The term got two thumbs up from his broadcast partner, the late Dave Hollis, and he has been using it ever since.
Shields’ son Jon Shields is a radio personality with Blueberry Broadcasting in Bangor and also calls local games, including some UMaine hockey contests.
Emmert burst onto the Maine sports journalism scene in late 2013 and has filled a key role on the the Press Herald/Sunday Telegram sports staff. He has been the outlet’s primary beat reporter for University of Maine sports, focusing on football, men’s hockey and men’s and women’s basketball.
The Minnesota native came to the Portland Press Herald from the Des Moines Register in Iowa, where he was the deputy sports editor. He is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead.