Farewell Mike: Modrick reflects on 33 years at KOTA as Chief Meteorologist
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - For 33 years, Modrick has worked as chief meteorologist for KOTA Territory News, and today marks the end of an era as he signs off for the last time from the Black Hills.
Modrick’s three-decade run in Rapid City began in 1987 and helped KOTA Territory News maintain its dominance as the weather leader.
“What I’ll miss the most in the people of The Black Hills. It’s a special area here, people are very giving and generous,” Modrick said.
He’s been a mainstay in the community for KOTA Territory while other anchors and reporters came and went.
“He has been a valuable mentor and friend to me,” Vic Quick, KOTA Territory Sports Director said. Quick has worked with Modrick for 13 years.
“He is also a valuable member of the community,” he said. “In fact, the pastor at my wedding even gave him a shoutout saying ‘This must be a big deal, even Mike Modrick is here.’”
Modrick helped lead KOTA’s participation in the annual Care and Share Food Drive, which culminates every November with the Bagel In The Street event, raising thousands of dollars for food insecurity.
Modrick made a significant impact on the community and with colleagues at KOTA Territory. Many of the last two decades he worked alongside evening anchors.
“I remember the first time I saw Mike Modrick,” Alicia Garcia said. “I had just come to town and was eating at a restaurant and he walked in. I immediately thought ‘Oh wow! There’s Mike Modrick, the guy from TV.’ I was lucky enough to begin working with him shortly afterward.”
Garcia and Modrick worked together for 24 years, she said.
“He and his beautiful wife Lisa have celebrated my kids' graduations, they’ve come to my many game night parties, they’ve comforted me when I’ve struggled with loss, they’ve encouraged me when I’m trying new things and they are always a source of support,” she said. “Together, Mike and I have worked through the changes at the station and seen many young reporters/anchors come and go.”
Modrick served as a mentor to countless weather anchors who’ve gone on to various markets.
David Stradling was one of them, who returned to Rapid City last year to work alongside Modrick as the Chief Meteorologist for KEVN.
“I started my career in Rapid City and learned a lot from Mike. He was a great mentor and a lot of what I know today is because of him,” Stradling said. “He will be greatly missed in the office, but I know he is going to do great work.”
Modrick and wife, Lisa are looking forward to the sunshine in Sarasota, Florida, where Modrick will work on Gray Television’s WWSB station, but said they’ll miss the Black Hills.
“When it’s time for a change, and you get a chance to stay with a great company like Gray TV, then it’s time to go,” he said.
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