“The PA announcer in the 1950s was Curly Collins. I remember he was feeling sick one game so he asked if I would fill in. He handed me the roster, and I sat down and started announcing the game,” Mr. Griffin said. “I was nervous at first, but I’ve improved through the years. I always remind myself that everything that comes through the speakers represents the school district.”
Over the past 50 years, Mr. Griffin has missed only one varsity football game. He has sat in six different press boxes at Memorial Stadium, and he has seen 11 head football coaches on the Tiger’s sideline. Surprisingly, one of his favorite memories is also one of his most recent.
“It was amazing to see Coach Mike Shields and Athletic Director Buster Leaf turn our program around in such a short amount of time. I knew the talent our players possessed, and I was proud to see order restored in our athletic programs,” Mr. Griffin explained. “I’ll never forget winning the District Championship last year. That was a proud moment.”
However, not every moment in Mr. Griffin's history book is a fond memory.
“A while back, we had this old amplifier I had to lug to and from the stadium. It got so old that I had to put my foot on top of it while I was announcing so the audio wouldn’t cut out,” Mr. Griffin laughed. “That thing got really hot, and it made my shoe hot too. All the folks in the press box would laugh at me for having my foot up there, but at the time I didn’t think it was all that funny.”
Mr. Griffin also described a time when he was announcing a playoff game for two visiting teams. Right before the pre-game announcements, he realized neither team brought their band. Rather than forego the National Anthem, Mr. Griffin turned on his microphone and belted out the lyrics from the press box.
“The superintendent at the time, Dr. Bruce Wood, got a good laugh out of that one,” Mr. Griffin remembered.
Through the wins, losses, good times, and good laughs, Mr. Griffin has always been committed to forming strong relationships with both the Terrell coaches, and the visiting coaches. Before every game, he reaches out to both head coaches to get copies of their updated roster as well as the starting lineup.
“I’ve worked hard to maintain a strong reputation among coaches, and it’s important to me to announce the names correctly,” Mr. Griffin said. “I remember after a game against West, their coaches came across the field and up into the press box to personally thank me for properly pronouncing all of their players’ names. That meant a lot to me.”
At the Terrell vs. Crandall homecoming football game, Mr. Griffin was asked to come out from behind his microphone and down to the field during halftime. He had no idea he was about to be recognized, before a crowd of thousands, for his many years of service.
“It’s hard to surprise me, but that was a surprise! After I was presented the plaque, several people came up to me and told me that they never knew I was the announcer,” Mr. Griffin said. “At that moment, I knew I had done something right.”
In addition to being the voice of the Terrell Tigers, Mr. Griffin has served as a Terrell ISD School Board Member for 18 years, as well at the President of the Booster Club. He also announced basketball games for 35 years, and baseball games for 36 years. Bill and his wife Linda live in Terrell and own a local business, Cherokee Printing. They have one son, John, and two precious grandchildren, Sophie and Gray.