The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Photo by FILE

Texas A&M radio broadcaster Dave South will retire after the 2017-18 football and men’s basketball seasons after 47 years.

Texas A&M’s iconic play-by-play radio announcer, Dave South, announced Thursday morning that he will retire from his duties following the 2017-18 football and men’s basketball seasons.

“After discussions that started last August with Texas A&M Ventures and my wife Leanne, I have decided that the 2017 Texas A&M football season and the 2017-18 men’s basketball season will be my last with both teams. I will continue doing play-by-play for the Aggie baseball team on a year-by-year basis,” South said in a release from A&M.

South has been the voice of the Aggies since 1985 and has had many memorable calls over the years.

“For most Aggie fans, Dave South is simply the Voice of Aggie Athletics,” Texas A&M Director of Athletics Scott Woodward said. “To us in the athletic department, he is much more than the radio play-by-play man. He is a part of our Aggie team and an outstanding Aggie ambassador. We appreciate all that he has done for Aggie athletics and wish he and Leanne all the best.”

While South will retain his baseball duties, one coach compared him to one of the greatest baseball announcers of all-time.

“Simply put, Dave South is the Vin Scully of Aggie baseball,” A&M head baseball coach Rob Childress said. “His knowledge and love of the game of baseball is only matched by the passion and dedication he has for all Aggie baseball players and staff. I am blessed to call him my friend. As a baseball program, we are blessed that he will continue to call the action for Aggie baseball and it is my personal hope that he carries on for many, many years.”

With football being the staple of South’s tenure, he has not only been recognized for his work in the booth, but the relationships he formed with people.

“Dave is not only one of the best broadcasters in the business, but he is a true friend to Aggie football,” Sumlin said. “His loyalty is unquestioned, his commitment unmatched and he continues to have a passion for the coaches and players that he covers.”

Former Battalion sports writer Sean Lester wrote a feature on South in 2013 and admitted he was a little nervous before interviewing the iconic voice of Aggieland.

“I had interviewed players and things, but he’s a legendary voice. There’s so many great calls that he’s been on,” Lester told The Battalion. “Obviously if you’re leaving a game, listening to a game, you can with the national broadcast, it reaches out to Dallas and different cities now.”

Lester, however, was amazed at the pure kindness South showed him.

“For him to take a 20, 21-year-old kid and talk to me, hear me out and let me be probably all over the place interviewing him, that’s impressive,” Lester said. “That’s really cool when someone takes the time to allow that when there were certainly instances when I didn’t get that chance with other interviews.”

What stuck with Lester was how prepared South was for games.

“I remember him showing me different big sheets of paper he had of how he sort of planned out rosters and if you’ve ever seen any kind of broadcaster, they essentially have call cards on, okay this guy did something, here’s the information on it about them,” Lester said. “His level of preparation was just very high overall on how he prepared for anything.”

Dave Elmendorf, South’s color commentator since 1990, had kind words for his broadcast partner.

“We have all been blessed to have Dave South as the voice of Aggie athletics, but especially me as his broadcast partner for football all these years,” Elmendorf said. “His broadcasting talents are obvious, but, what makes Dave so special to me is he’s a great Christian, he bleeds maroon and he’s a great friend. He will be missed!”

South, a devout Christian, said that his curtain call became certain after recently reading a section of a book.

“I read recently ‘God assigns certain jobs for certain times. While it’s important to respond obediently, it’s also vital we understand when an assignment is finished. Diligence and job completion honor the Lord, but resistance to change and refusal to let go can hinder His plan.’ (Journey, June 15, 2017, page 23),” South said. “Knowing God has a plan for every day of our lives, Leanne and I look forward to the future.”

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