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Bridger police chief moonlighting as high school announcer

Buechler pbp.jpg
Posted at 7:27 PM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-24 12:41:51-04

Most people in and around Bridger know Mike Buechler for his day job, and it's a very important one, as the town's police chief.

But what most people don't know that on Friday nights, he lives a double life.

Buechler has been in law enforcement for nearly 20 years, but he's been in broadcasting for twice as long.

He does play-by-play on the radio of high school games. MTN News caught up with him last week as Glendive faced off against Laurel.

It all started in 1980 on a moment he never saw coming when his broadcast partner handed him the mic.

"He got up at halftime and left," said Buechler. "And said, 'here you go. It's all yours.' That's the way it started. Yeah, it was sink or swim."

Buechler went to broadcast school at the Brown Institute in Minneapolis. And in some ways, he drew on inspiration from legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell.

"When they asked me, why do you want to be a broadcaster, I said I want to go for sports," Buechler said. "If Howard Cosell can do it, I could do it."

The chief has announced games for Pioneer League baseball and Carroll College football during his 40 years in radio. And he talks about one of his co-workers at KMBY where he says he was spinning the hits

"Russ Riesinger, (Q2 News) anchorman, I kind of got him started on the path," Buechler said. "So he can either be mad at me or blame me for that. But yeah, Russ started out at KMBY too."

Buechler has recently been filling in for Mark Miller handling the Laurel games. Even while on the call, the chief gives hints of his day job.

"Call 911, he was robbed," Buechler said about his calls. "Call the fire department, and he's on fire. Those kinds of things, you know, any of that. Whatever comes in your head, you know. Sometimes I say things I shouldn't, but I've been in trouble more than once."

He started as a dispatcher about 20 years ago, went into the reserve class for the county and eventually became the Bridger police chief.

"You help people," he said. "Most of the time, you see people on their worst days, but when you can go back and deal with those people, it's pretty good job."