Thursday, July 17, 2008

Good Night And Good Luck

It is with great sadness that I am announcing that I will be leaving Delaware both the state and the University. It has been an honor and a privilege to be associated with the University of Delaware for the past sixteen years, and it has truly been a dream come true for me.

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved sports. And it became quite obvious early on that if I was to make sports a part of my life, it would involve something other than playing, hence: broadcasting. I can remember watching the NBC Game of the Week on Saturdays with the volume turned down pretending to be both Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek. Most people do not get to realize their childhood dreams, and for this I am deeply humbled, forever grateful, and extremely fortunate.

My affiliation with my hometown University started back in the early 1990s when Jim Hayes asked me to sit in for him on a men's-women's basketball doubleheader against Drexel from the Bob that was being broadcast on the old Channel 2 in New Castle County.

While working at WSTW-WDEL, I was lucky enough to be the "back-up" guy calling basketball games on the radio when the football team's season was extended for the playoffs. Like in 1996 while the football was unfortunately getting thumped by Marshall in a I-AA Playoff game, I was in sunny Puerto Rico spending Thanksgiving with the Mike Brey and the basketball team who won two out of three games in that year's San Juan Shootout with wins over what would prove to be a very good Tennessee-Chattanooga team, and an 88-78 win over the University of Florida and their first year head coach Billy Donovan.

The next year while the football team was taking care of Hofstra on Thanksgiving weekend in the first round of the playoffs, I was in Bermuda with the basketball team calling Delaware's 66-56 win over American University in the first ever NCAA sanctioned event on the island memorable for having to use an office phone with a long cord because my equipment was not compatible with the facilities phone line.

I was the PA announcer for both Men's and Women's basketball for four years starting in 1996: the golden years of Delaware Men's basketball! While behind the mike on the PA there was nothing more thrilling than calling a Kestutis Marciulionis THREEEEEEEE!!!

Before the 1999 season the radio contract switched to the new FM station and the University asked me to team up with Mike Corey to call the games on 94.7. I'll never forget the butterflies in my stomach that first Thursday Night of the 1999 season under the temporary lights at Delaware Stadium as Mike and I called our first game together. It was a thrilling double overtime win over William and Mary, and in my mind I can still clearly see Butter Pressey slicing around the left end and cutting upfield for the game winning touchdown run.

There were so many great games over the years including national championships, improbable upsets, dramatic comebacks, and wonderful rivalries. But what I will cherish the most are the relationships and bonds formed with some truly amazing people, and what I will remember most are the funny moments of life on the road. Like the time an overly enthusiastic Corey tried to get his movie choice played on the team bus prior to embarking on an eight hour overnight ride home from the University of New Hampshire while Mike Brey looked back at me with that look of his telling me to reign in my man at the same time reminding us that, "Voltz (the previous radio guy) never complained about the movie".

Or the time when the team bus was stuck in the snow outside the Hofstra Arena during a blizzard long enough for Coach Henderson to watch the tape of his team getting pummelled by the Pride that afternoon finally exploding in anger and making everyone get off the bus and dig it out of two feet of snow on their knees with their hands. I looked over at Asst. SID Mike Hirschman to see if Henderson meant us too, and all Hirsch could do is shrug his shoulders and whisper, "I don't know?"

Football trips were always the most fun for the radio crew whether we were driving home from Northeastern in a borrowed SUV or trying to fly home (unsuccessfully) from Northern Iowa.

My approach to broadcasting the games has always been the same: be prepared; be honest; and (hopefully) be entertaining.

So many people helped and supported me along the way. To them I say a very big Thank You! The following are just a small sample. From the University: Edgar Johnson, KC Keeler, Tubby Raymond, Dave Cohen, Kirk Ciarrocca, Greg Perry, Frank Law, Jerry Oravitz, Monte Ross, David Henderson, Tyrone Perry, Sean Kearney, Scott Selheimer, Kevin Tritt, and Curt Krouse. I would especially like to thank Mike Brey who was instrumental in me getting the job in the first place.

Also, all my colleagues and friends at Clear Channel Radio including: Bob Walton, Matt Berman, Dan Clark, Tom Byrne, Glen Frazer, Paul Schmidt, Matt Ryan, Matt Janus, and Mike Miller.

Also big thanks to Kevin Tresolini, Scott Graham, and Joe Farley who hired me right out of college to call high school games at the old WAMS.

To my broadcast partner Mike Corey: We have sat next to each other for hundreds of games and countless hours on the road. We struck an instant chemistry that first night back in 1999 that has grown into something very special over the years. When people meet us they often compare us to an old married couple. I guess in broadcasting that is a good thing. Thank you my friend.

Finally to the fans. Thank you for listening. And thank you for accepting me into the Delaware family.

I am off to Portland, Oregon to start the next phase of my life with the woman that I love. See you in the bleachers in a couple of years when Delaware travels to South Dakota State!

Bill Komissaroff

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bill youll me missed my man. It just wont be the same without you. Delaware sports (especially football) is loosing an icon.