“The voice of Texas State” Bill Culhane celebrates 25 years as broadcaster

Bill+Culhane%2C+image+courtesy+of+Texas+State+Athletics

Bill Culhane, image courtesy of Texas State Athletics

Sean Anchondo, Sports Reporter

Twenty-five years ago, Bill Culhane called his first game as a broadcaster for Texas State University. With countless unforgettable calls, ranging from the playoff football teams in the early 2000s to the game-winning shots from Nijal Pearson, Culhane has become an unforgettable icon to the university.

Troy University’s radio play-by-play Barry McKnight said production of Culhane’s 25-year tribute came from hearts around the Sun Belt Conference.

“Whenever they organized the tribute to him for 25 years at Strahan Coliseum, I was part of that video tribute,” McKnight said. “It was a labor of love from all of us, and we were very proud to just be associated with that night for Bill. There is no one in the Sun Belt more highly regarded by all of us than Bill.”

With his on-air presence and outgoing personality, broadcasters around the SunBelt hold him in high regard, including Brant Freeman, who has worked alongside Culhane since 2003.

“For the early part of his career, if you wanted to follow Bobcat athletics, you had to listen to Bill,” Freeman said. ”Bill is the connection to the fans and athletics. He has always promoted the Bobcats is such a positive light. He is a Bobcat through and through.”

Throughout the 16 years that Freeman has worked with Culhane, he has gained not only a valued coworker but also a friend. Freeman said he got his start as a student at Texas State and worked for KTSW 89.9, the student-run radio station.

“He is very genuine. Bill and I are great friends. I think of him as a brother,” Freeman said. “For many years of my career he was my mentor and I still think of him that way. I still look up to him. He is so easy to get along with. You can talk to him about sports, life, really anything because he has a great sense of humor. He knows when to relax and when to have fun.”

Georgia Southern’s play-by-play broadcaster Danny Reed said what separates Culhane from his contemporaries is not only what he does when calling games, but what he does behind the scenes. Culhane is heavily involved in developing talent and mentoring students at the University.

“Bill is one of the best broadcasters I know, but it doesn’t compare to how good of a person he is,” Reed said. “Texas State has been so lucky to have him for so long, and I know that Bobcat fans greatly appreciate him as a dedicated ambassador.”

KTSW’s sports director Riley Chestnut took a path similar to Freeman as he was mentored to be a broadcaster under Culhane’s tutelage. Chestnut said that Culhane puts nervous students at ease in the booth with his easy going personality.

“He is very professional, yet very open and very casual,” Chestnut said. ”He knows that students are very nervous when they first start, so he is more natural when leading his color (commentary analysis). He will joke around with you and makes you feel comfortable and gives you a lot of laughs.”

To close out the last regular season home game against the Louisiana Rajun Cajuns, a video produced in part by Freeman, general manager of Learfield IMG. Bucky Lamb and the marketing team at Texas State was played during halftime honoring Culhane.

Included in this video were many broadcasters and friends of Culhane from around the country, including Bill Schoening from the San Antonio Spurs. A ceremony and a golden mic were presented to him and Culhane was greeted by a standing ovation by the thousands of fans in attendance.

Taken aback with emotion, Culhane took the mic, thanked fans, friends and family, then said:

“Beat those Cajuns!”


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