Former Indiana wide receiver and NFL Network broadcaster Rhett Lewis has been named the Hoosiers new football radio analyst, IU Athletics and IU Sports Properties announced on Monday afternoon.
Lewis will replace Buck Suhr, who announced his retirement following the 2021 season.
Lewis played for Indiana from 2001-05. He graduated with a B.S. in sports broadcasting in 2005 and a M.S. in sports administration in 2006.
“You don’t stop being a Hoosier when you take the helmet off for the last time,” Lewis said in a release from IU Athletics.
“The passion ‘For the Glory of old IU’ always remains. I’m so thankful to Scott Dolson, Coach Allen, Mark Deal, and Jeff Keag for allowing me to connect with IU Football these last few years in a way that was so accessible and welcoming.
“That connection made me want to get even closer to the program in any way I could. When Buck Suhr retired after a fantastic 17-year run in this role the fit was too good to be true. Most importantly, to get to work side-by-side with the legendary Don Fischer, the best voice in the business, is an absolute dream come true.”
Fischer, who will enter his 50th season as the ‘Voice of the Hoosiers’ in 2022, is excited to team up with Lewis.
“I’m really looking forward to Rhett joining our broadcast team this fall,” Fischer said in the release. “Rhett has been a broadcaster ever since he graduated from IU, and his excellence is proven through his eight years with the NFL Network and on SiriusXM. He will be a great addition to our team.”
Lewis is a host across several NFL Network programs, including NFL Now, NFL Total Access, and Path to the Draft. He also is a host on various SiriusXM shows, including regular appearances on SiriusXM Big Ten Radio.
In 2014, Lewis spent five years as an anchor and reporter at WHDH in Boston, where he began using his middle name of Lewis as his last name professionally. He covered all four major pro championships (Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, Stanley Cup Finals), and five championships in total.
Before joining WHDH in May of 2009, Lewis spent eight months at WVUE, the Fox affiliate in his hometown of New Orleans, and he spent two years as the sports director at the CBS affiliate (KLBK) in Lubbock, Texas.
Lewis uses his middle name as his last name now. He played at IU as Rhett Kleinschmidt. He was a kick holder and a reserve receiver for the Hoosiers from 2001 to 2005 while earning a sports communication degree. One of his best games came against Michigan, when he set career-highs for catches (two) and yards (28).
Lewis’ father, Dean Kleinschmidt, served as Indiana’s head football trainer from 2004-06. Dean was a head trainer in the NFL for 41 seasons – 31 with the New Orleans Saints, two with the Washington Redskins, and eight with the Detroit Lions. Dean also was a student trainer during IU’s 1967 Big Ten-title winning season that culminated in the 1968 Rose Bowl.
A 1970 IU graduate, Dean is in the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame and the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
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