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From The Northwest Florida Daily News

By TRAVIS MEWHIRTER | Daily News
Published: Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 08:39 AM.

OKALOOSA ISLAND — Jeremy Roueche was 18 years old when he went to the eighth grade dance that changed his life. His buddy had asked him to go and would he help assist him with the disc jockey duties that night. “After that first gig I knew deejaying was something I always wanted to do,” he said. “So yea, my career started at an eighth grade dance.”

Roueche, the man behind the music at the Fuds beach volleyball tournament, has made quite the ascent since spinning for junior high schoolers in northern Virginia. Just a few years later, as Roueche, then in his mid-twenties, was beginning to build some notoriety in the deejay world, a friend of a former co-worker reached out with a request.

Could Roueche help him out with some volleyball thing?

By that point, Roueche was living in Los Angeles, a mecca for beach volleyball, and the sport had taken a “special place in my heart.” Of course he would help out with that beach volleyball thing. Turns out, that volleyball thing was for the AVP Tour, which, for comparison’s sake, is basically the NBA or PGA Tour or NFL of beach volleyball.

That was 2003. Roueche has been the AVP’s man every year since save for the one hiccup when the tour went defunct and he picked up with the replacement Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series.

In 2004, the LA Clippers took note of Roueche and asked him to be their director of music. Shortly after that, UCLA called, asking him to deejay for Bruin basketball games.

“Deejaying sporting events was not something that was even on my radar,” he said. “I just wanted to play music.”

There was just something about the tanned, tattooed 30-something that Mike Minich liked. In the mid-2000s, Minich was at a volleyball tournament at the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Roueche was busy keeping the atmosphere live and the people rowdy.

Minich, being the director of no small volleyball tournament himself, the biannual Fuds tournament at the Boardwalk, introduced himself to Roueche. He wanted the AVP deejay to do Fuds.

Fuds hasn’t been the same since.

“He makes it a show,” Minich said. “It’s not just a volleyball game, it becomes a show, just like you would do for a professional basketball game or a professional volleyball tournament, it becomes a show in itself. And everybody here is used to him, everybody knows him, it wouldn’t be Fuds without him.

“He brings a lot to the whole experience and it’s not just the finals, it’s Friday night, it’s Saturday night, it’s all the parties. Part of the excitement of watching finals is him, and listening to his music.”

Beach volleyball is something of a specialty for Roueche. He wasn’t blessed with tremendous height, so his career as a player was not one of promising prospects. But it was his big break.

Landing the AVP job led to the Clippers, which led to UCLA, which led to water polo and rugby and clubs and bars. Basically, any place you can listen to music, Roueche has likely produced it at some point along the lines of his career.

Beach volleyball still tops it all, and despite the fact that Roueche has deejayed for the sport’s highest level, Fuds remains one of his favorite events.

“The people,” he said of why he keeps coming back to Fuds after five years and counting. “It’s a no-brainer. It’s an amazing group of people, not only the people that participate, but also the staff, everybody’s amazing.

“It’s a lot of fun and I get to come down again and be involved in the volleyball world outside of just the AVP. I know the crowd, I know the volleyball crowd. They want to have fun. My job is to not mess that up.”

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