The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Voice of the Panthers

Steve Gill, City College’s sports information director, says he announces every home game of almost all the school’s sports teams for the love of it. Tony Wallin | [email protected]

A booming voice announces that the Sacramento City Panthers scored a touchdown. When the crowd cheered to drown out the volume, the man in the booth excitedly proclaimed their team just took the lead. They didn’t think about who that man was.

Sports Information Director Steve Gill, 35, says he announces home games for almost every City College sports team just because he wants to.

“[My coworkers and I]do it for the love of the game,” he says.

After attending Christian Brothers High School, the Sacramento native went to City College in 1996 to play baseball. That year he was a redshirt, meaning he could practice with the team, but not play in games, thus extending his eligibility another year. That was also the year he first spoke into a microphone as an announcer.

“One of the assistant coaches at that time brought me and the other kid up to the press box and gave us a microphone and said ‘OK, go ahead and talk,’” Gill says explaining his start as an announcer.

It was customary for the redshirts to help out the team in some way, he explains, and he says the assistant coach found the proper avenue for Gill’s contribution immediately.

“I got on the microphone and started talking and [the assistant coach] goes ‘OK’…” he says. “He looks at the other kid and says ‘You’re working the snack bar.”

After playing on the baseball team for two years, he went back to the announcing booth for baseball games. Since then, Gill has diversified; he also announces home games for baseball, soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball, in addition to football.

“I pretty much do whatever I can to help out, with being the ‘Voice of the Panthers’ so to speak,” he says.

Speaking into a microphone is not his primary means of income, either; he’s worked for the last 11 years as a manager at Hewlett-Packard.

“That’s the money-maker and this [announcing] is the fun job,” he says.

But, he says, he likes his day job, too.

“I love them both. I wouldn’t do them if I didn’t love them,” says Gill.

Part of his love for announcing, he adds, comes from being able to feel the energy of a game and get a crowd into it.

“I love being able to incite the crowd on a big play,” he says.

Gill says his energy and flow depends on the individual game, and that he adjusts his tone according to the pace of the game. When the game amps up, he says he does too.

“Me as an announcer, there’s a time when I feel the adrenaline,” says Gill.
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Dean and Athletic Director Mitch Campbell praises Gill’s ability to balance that adrenaline with a sense of restraint and professionalism.

“He knows when to speak up and be emotional and he knows when not [to],” says Campbell.

City College football fan Dan Wooten, 65, and father of defensive tackle coach John Wooten, says he goes to every home game, and has for the past six years. He gave brief but kind words about the man whose voice he has heard echoing over the loudspeakers countless times.

“He’s good,” he says.

In addition to announcing games, Gill also works on the City College Athletics website,

Campbell doesn’t just like his passion and skill at announcing, but also his knowledge of sports.

“He knows athletics. He knows the games,” says Campbell, who has known Gill for about five years.

Gill is for aiding the student-athletes and their families.

“Our job is to help and promote the kids,” he explains.

And he does talk personally with some of the student-athletes. Regarding football, he says he primarily interacts with the coaches, but that isn’t the case with some other sports.

“Being a baseball guy, I have a lot more interaction with the baseball team,” he says. “Basketball is a little bit more close proximity.

The preparation for announcing a game is extensive. He isn’t the only one running things behind the scenes. He credits the numerous people he works with for the smooth sailing. He even says he hasn’t had a technological malfunction. The whole operation, regarding not just his job but the jobs around him, is complicated.

“It really is a production,” he says. “It’s kind of like a TV show.”

At a football game, for example, Gill works alongside a statistician, a play clock operator and a scoreboard operator.

“So there’s a lot that goes on not just with the on-field action, but also afterward and getting stuff online,” says Gill.

With all of this, Gill says it’s about an eight-hour workday, but he says being at the games elates him.

“Coming here [City College] lifts your spirits and makes you feel that much better,” he says.

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