‘Voice of the Steelers’ Bill Hillgrove retiring

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‘Voice of the Steelers’ Bill Hillgrove retiring

“Voice of the Steelers” Bill Hillgrove is retiring from the Steelers Radio Network.

Hillgrove, who has handled play-by-play duties for the last 30 seasons, will continue his role as play-by-play announcer with the University of Pittsburgh’s football and basketball teams.

“When I took this job, I had the energy to do both and travel between. That energy is now as old as me,” Hillgrove told WPXI. “That combined with the fact that I have more time with the family, more time at our place at Conneaut Lake, it adds up to it’s time.”

Art Rooney II released the following statement:

“Bill Hillgrove’s contributions to both the Steelers Radio Network and the Steelers organization have spanned nearly three decades that included him serving as our play-by-play announcer for four Super Bowl appearances and countless other memorable games during his tenure. He has played a major role in broadcasting to our amazing fans on our radio network, but he also found time to be part of so many special events since he began working alongside the great Myron Cope on the airwaves in 1994. Bill will truly be missed by Steelers Nation, but we are excited for him and his family to enjoy his retirement.”

Hillgrove was hand-picked by Steelers owner Dan Rooney in 1994 to replace retiring Jack Fleming.

That phone call came to the surprise of Hillgrove who wasn’t even considering the job.

“He said, ‘Mr. Rooney keeps asking for your tape.’ I said, ‘I didn’t submit a tape.’ Then it dawned on me. Wait a minute, I’m a candidate for a job I didn’t apply for.”

He has been the lead man for over 460 regular-season games, 35 playoff games and four Super Bowls.

Though the Super Bowl broadcasts stick out, Hillgrove said the moments with friends and colleagues like late greats Myron Cope and Tunch Ilkin mean the most.

“You work a chemistry with somebody who’s doing the same thing you are,” he said. “I’ll miss that part of it, and I’ll miss also the times that we have off the air. Hanging together. Talking about the games and where they fell short or where they succeeded. That part I’ll miss.”

Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Hillgrove is a graduate of Central Catholic High School and Duquesne University.

He has spent his entire career in Pittsburgh.

“Pittsburgh is the biggest little town in North America. It’s the friendliest. It would have been almost impossible for me to say goodbye to Pittsburgh.”

Hillgrove was picked by Steelers owner Dan Rooney in 1994 to replace retiring Jack Fleming. He has been the lead man for over 460 regular-season games, 35 playoff games and four Super Bowls.

Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Hillgrove is a graduate of Central Catholic High School and Duquesne University.

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