Steve Duemig, better known to his longtime Tampa area radio listeners as “The Big Dog,” has passed away following a battle with brain cancer. He was 64.

The Florida native spent 13 years as a professional golfer with the PGA before turning that into a full-time business. Eventually, he parlayed that into a radio career, becoming a staple of the Tampa Bay area for almost three decades. He broke into the business with AM 910 WFNS where he worked from 1991 to 1996 before moving over to 95.3 WDAE where he would become a fixture of the sports talk scene until his final show in February 2018. He also was the Tampa Bay Lightning’s color analyst for two seasons, hosted a weekly call-in show on Fox Sports Radio, and also co-hosted a Grey Goose 19th Hole on The Golf Channel.

Duemig was known for his big personality, honest opinions, and willingness to debate guests and callers bluntly. He became a standard listen for Tampa Area sports fans on their afternoon commute whether the topic was the Buccaneers, Rays, Lightning, or the national story of the day.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, tributes started pouring in right away from all kinds of local and national folks.

WDAE made the announcement about his death at the start of its Thursday 3 p.m. drive show. On-air tributes poured in, with co-host Ian Beckles and producer Jay Recher fielding calls from sports personalities as well as listeners. Recher said the courage Duemig displayed in his final days, “will live with me for the rest of my life.”

Salutes also came in from Hall of Fame linebacker and Bucs great Derrick Brooks and Cubs and former Rays manager Joe Maddon. Bucs co-owner Bryan Glazer also issued a statement, calling Duemig an “iconic figure in the Tampa Bay sports-radio landscape.”

One of Duemig’s former producers, Jerry Petuck, described him as a mentor, brother and father figure.

“I wish people had gotten to know him as Steve and not just as the Big Dog,” Petuck said. “They were one in the same, but there was a different side.”

The tributes continued on social media as well.

[WDAE/Tampa Bay Times]

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.