Adams To Retire As Redbird Public Address Announcer
Feb. 25, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - For three generations of Redbird football and basketball fans, Steve Adams has been the "Voice of the Redbirds" over the public address systems at Horton Field House, Redbird Arena and Hancock Stadium. Unfortunately for those fans, this season will be his last, as Adams has announced his retirement from his post after 37 years calling ISU games.
"This decision was made with very mixed emotions," Adams said. "My life as a public address announcer for the ISU Redbirds has been truly a labor of love. I stepped into that seat the very first month I came to the University, I was in it until the day that I left as the vice president and two more years beyond that. I have lived and died with every game and I have done all I can to be professional for ISU athletics and the university in the most appropriate way possible. My hope is that there has been as much received by those listening, as I have received from doing it all these years. It's truly been an experience of a lifetime."
A lifelong Bloomington, Ill., resident, Adams' voice, delivery and knowledge of football and basketball has added to the enjoyment of thousands of Redbird and visiting team's fans. His ties with the campus started in the late 1950's and early 1960's, when he attended campus lab schools. Adams later earned a business degree from Illinois Wesleyan and served in Korea as a U.S. serviceman, and worked for a decade as a Pantagraph sportswriter.
In 1976, he was named assistant admissions director at ISU, which began a 35-year academic career in which he spent the last five as Vice President for Student Affairs. Adams announced his retirement in December of 2010 and officially stepped away from his post on June 1, 2011. Despite his retirement from the University, Adams stayed on two more seasons as the public address announcer for Redbird football and men's basketball.
"For decades, Steve Adams has been part of the fabric of Redbird football and basketball," Illinois State University President Dr. Al Bowman said. "Steve is, and always will be, the `Voice of the Redbirds', and I look forward to seeing him on the other side of the microphone for many years to come."
During Adams' Student Affairs tenure, the division led the construction of the new Student Fitness Center, renovated residence halls and dining centers, enhanced the Bone Student Center and paved the way for the University's first-ever public and private student housing initiative. The division also implemented an emergency texting system and added a security force to augment campus police patrols. Adams also served as assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and Academic Services, Director of Admissions and interim director of Financial Aid among other leadership positions. During his 11 years as director of Admissions, Adams helped raise the new student academic profile to record levels.
In his role with ISU athletics, he has been a constant in the midst of consistent change on campus and has become a friend to hundreds of coaches, administrators, conference staff members, game officials and sports information directors. He's been the voice of several Missouri Valley Conference tournaments held at Horton Field House and Redbird Arena, and even when he's not working, he can be seen in the stands rooting for the Redbirds.
"On behalf of our entire athletics program, we are so grateful to Steve Adams for 37 years of service as the public address `Voice of the Redbirds,'" Director of Athletics Gary Friedman stated. "The number of Redbird events that Steve has been behind the microphone for is staggering and the thousands of fans that were welcomed to ISU sporting events by Steve is truly amazing. He will be truly missed behind the mic and we wish him, his wife Sandi, and the entire Adams family all the best."
Adams was inducted into the Percy Family Illinois State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992 as the Campbell "Stretch" Miller Award winner and is a member of the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling for his work at Illinois State.
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