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Ken Hirsch Wore Many Hats

January 28, 2008, 4:03 PM by Katie Janssen

Ken Hirsch Wore Many Hats
A former KELOLAND weatherman died Sunday night. 

Ken Hirsch was known for his work on Sioux Falls television stations and his self-titled travel agency. But some best remember him for his work with O'Gorman High School football, as the "Voice of the Dakota Bowl."

For 20 years, Ken Hirsch announced the Dakota Bowl games. O'Gorman football coach Steve Kueter remembers one year, shortly before retirement, when Hirsch entered the field in a slightly different way. 

"He actually did a sky jump,” Kueter said. “He jumped out of a plane strapped to a jumper on Dakota Bowl, landed on the field. I'll never forget that. I think it was the most frightened I've ever seen him!" 

Besides being a television weatherman, a sports announcer, and eventually an entrepreneur, Hirsch was also a pilot. Kueter says he's the one who turned the bowl game into local attraction, with skydivers and flyovers. 

"Showed his love for aviation, his love for the spectacle and all the things associated with Dakota Bowl,” he said. “He made it happen." 

But Kueter says more than anything, he'll remember Hirsch as a friend, and the man who made the Dakota Bowl into the show it is today. 

"It's just sad when these pioneers pass on. That's what I feel about Ken,” said Kueter. “He was a pioneer in his field, whether it be broadcasting or weather or what we're talking about here with the Dakota Bowl."
Hirsch was 69 years old. 

This year is the 30th anniversary of Dakota Bowl, and Kueter says O'Gorman is planning a tribute to Hirsch for the game.

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