TERRELL, Texas — Bill Griffin,75 of Terrell passed away over the weekend after a short illness. The legendary announcer deemed the “official voice of the Terrell Tigers” had provided play-by-play coverage in Terrell for over five decades.
Since 1966, when longtime Terrell Tiger game announcer Curly Collins retired from the press box, Terrell ISD school officials were at a loss at how to replace him. Griffin volunteered to fill the iconic role. Only a few years removed from the playing field himself, Griffin’s voice filled Memorial Stadium as he welcomed fans and gave each play by play of every game for the next 53 years.
In 2016, Griffin was recognized in an on-field ceremony for his 50 years of service as the voice of the Terrell Tigers. In 2017, the Press Box at Memorial Stadium was renamed and dedicated in his honor as the Bill Griffin Press Box where he worked through this past season.
“Bill Griffin’s service to this community and the students of Terrell ISD will not be forgotten,” said Terrell ISD Superintendent Michael French on Monday.
“He has impacted the lives of many student athletes and coaches throughout the decades. He is a true Tiger in every sense of the word,” he said.
In addition to the voice of the Terrell Tigers, Griffin served on the Terrell ISD School Board for 18 years and was the President of the Booster Club. Griffin also served on the City of Terrell Planning and Zoning Board for 15 years, as well as the Chairman of the Annual Boles Brothers Memorial Golf Classic for over 20 years, an event benefitting graduating senior athletes of Terrell High School. He also announced basketball games for 35 years, and baseball games for 36 years.
“Being the voice of the Terrell Tigers was a job Bill took seriously and enjoyed performing,” former longtime Terrell ISD superintendent Bruce Wood tells inForney.com. “He grew to love many of the student athletes whose name he called on Friday night football games as well as hundreds of basketball and baseball games over the years.”
Wood says he has known Griffin since the 1960’s when they both played for legendary Terrell High School coach Leon Vineyard.
“He was the consummate Tiger fan through thick and thin. He will be greatly missed on Friday nights, especially when his booming voice will no longer fill Memorial Stadium.”
Griffin was a graduate of the Terrell High School class of 1964. During his career as a Terrell Tiger, Griffin was a member of the Terrell Tiger varsity football team as a wide receiver and tight end and played guard and forward on the basketball team. Griffin also competed in the high jump, hurdles, 400-meter relay, and ran the mile on the track team, and earned the position of first and third baseman for the baseball team. After many years of intense competition on the field, court, and track, Griffin suffered a knee injury that unfortunately ended his playing days. Following graduation, Griffin attended Texas Western College.
A celebration of Griffin’s life will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, March 29 at the First Baptist Church of Terrell. Services are under the direction of Max Slayton Funeral Homes & Cremations of Terrell, where the family will receive friends from 4-7 PM on Thursday, March 28.