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Long-time Steelers play-by-play announcer Bill Hillgrove retires

When it comes to sports, people associate teams in a lot of ways. Some are by logos/uniforms, and other times it’s by the people whose voices have become the soundtracks to the fan voyage. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, the voice of the modern generation is none other than Bill Hillgrove.

Hillgrove has been the play-by-play announcer for the black-and-gold for the last 30 years, and as of Thursday morning announced his retirement.

Throughout the years Hillgrove has called some iconic moments in Steelers history, and it had to be difficult to narrow them down into a 5 minute compilation. Nonetheless, the Steelers official Twitter/X account did just that, and you can watch the video below:

Hillgrove took over for long-time announcer Jack Fleming in 1994, and his career has placed him with many different personalities who have joined him on the call. Hillgrove called games with Myron Cope, Tunch Ilkin, Merril Hoge, Craig Wolfley and people like Missi Matthews and Max Starks on the sideline.

Team President Art Rooney II released this statement on Hillgrove’s retirement:

“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,” said President Art Rooney II. “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.”

While being the voice of the Steelers, Hillgrove also was the announcer for the University of Pittsburgh in both football and basketball. Jobs he will continue to hold moving forward.

“As to the next chapter of my life, I’ll do Pitt football, and I’ll do Pitt basketball because my brother is the engineer, and we room together on the road,” said Hillgrove. “Like we did as kids growing up in Garfield, we’re sharing the same bedroom, only this one’s bigger. I have all of July almost all of August to myself now. Every once in a while if the Steelers aren’t playing on Sunday, I can get on a boat and enjoy the fall foliage at Conneaut Lake, which I was never able to do before. So it’s all very positive in that way. And frankly, my wife, Rosette, is battling depression, and she probably needs me at home more now than she ever did. So there are a lot of various forces at play here.”

The Pittsburgh sports scene has seen a lot of change over in the past few seasons. Long-time Pittsburgh Penguins announcer Mike Lange retired, and now Hillgrove has put an end to his legendary career behind the microphone. Who will take over in 2024? Only time will tell, but Hillgrove’s voice will forever be synonymous with the Steelers and the city of Pittsburgh.


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