Steve Adams is retiring after 37 years as public address announcer for Illinois State athletics. (Photo courtesy GoRedbirds.com)
By Eric Stock
NORMAL – Illinois State University has gone through eight basketball coaches, six football coaches and five university presidents since Steve Adams took over as public address announcer for Redbird athletics.
Adams is retiring after 37 seasons behind the mike.
"I had done some announcing when I was much younger in baseball. So it was a way for me to keep associated with sports. It has worked out to be two careers," Adams said.
Adams was ISU's Vice President of Student Affairs until he retired in 2011.
"It's been exciting. It's really difficult for me to imagine not preparing and not going to the games with that intent, but it's really something I'm looking forward to," Adams said.
Steve Adams is ready to close out his career at the Redbirds senior night game against Missouri State.
Adams recalls replacing formal Normal mayor Dick Godfrey behind the mike in 1976 without much fanfare.
"Dick said 'I don't want to do this anymore. The job is yours. And so, there was not audition, there was no tryout. I just took over," Adams said.
Adams said he's witnessed great ISU teams every decade and looks forward to more successful teams in the future.
"We need to get back into the NCAA (Men's Basketball) Tournament and we also need to get beyond the second round of the football playoffs. But I guarantee it's going to happen and that's what makes it fun for fans and that's what makes for the memories," Adams said.
Adams was inducted into the Percy Family Illinois State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992 as the Campbell "Stretch" Miller Award winner and is a member of the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling for his work at Illinois State.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.