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Pitt Keeping Legendary Radio Voice Bill Hillgrove

The Pitt Panthers will hang on to a rich part of their football and men's basketball history.

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh sports world was rocked early this morning by the news that long-time Steelers and Pitt Panthers play-by-play voice, Bill Hillgrove, would retire from his job calling games for the city's NFL franchise. 

But the good news for Pitt fans is that while Hillgrove is calling one part of his legendary career over, he will continue to call football and men's basketball games for the Panthers, continuing a 55-year tradition for this athletic program. 

Hillgrove, a Central Catholic High School alumnus and Western Pennsylvania native, attended Duquense University before taking jobs with various radio stations around the city during the 1960s and 70s.

He became Pitt's basketball announcer in 1969 and took on the role of color commentator on Panthers football broadcasts the following year. Hillgrove has remained a fixture of those broadcasts ever since.

Hillgrove has helped call a number of great moments in Pitt history, like the 1976 national championship, Tony Dorrsett's Heisman Trophy season, Dan Marino's entire career in Pittsburgh, landmark wins over Notre Dame, Penn State, West Virginia, Clemson and Miami in football and the heyday of Pitt basketball in the Big East. Most recently, he provided the soundtrack to Pitt's 2021 ACC Championship season and the Panthers' return to the NCAA Tournament in 2023. 

He was handpicked by Steelers owner Dan Rooney to replace Jack Flemming as "The Voice of the Steelers" in 1994 and has called 460 total games, 35 playoff games and four Super Bowls for the Steelers, including wins in Super Bowls XLIII and Super Bowl XL. And after 30 years on the job, he's taking one of the three teams he works for off his plate. 

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