Connect with us

Steelers News

Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Voice Bill Hillgrove Retires



Steelers Play By Play Broadcaster Bill Hillgrove
Bill Hillgrove calls a Pitt basketball game. -- David Hague / Pittsburgh Sports Now

Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers radio broadcaster Bill Hillgrove has retired after 30 years as the voice of the team, the club announced on Thursday.

Hillgrove, 83, has been the Steelers’ play-by-play broadcaster since 1994, when he replaced the retiring Jack Fleming. Hillgrove has most recently been paired with color broadcaster Craig Wolfley and sideline reporter Max Starks for Steelers radio calls on WDVE-FM 102.5 and the Steelers Radio Network.

Hillgrove served as the play-by-play voice for the Steelers’ Super Bowl XL and XLIII victories, along with other numerous significant regular season and postseason moments in his 30 years with the team.

Throughout his entire tenure as Steelers radio broadcaster, Hillgrove has also served as the primary play-by-play voice of Pitt football and basketball. He said in an interview with WDVE on Thursday that he will continue in those roles, but is looking forward to a reduced workload beginning this fall.

“I had a meeting with Art Rooney II last week and I said, Art you recall 30 years ago when you hired me, the last question you asked me in the interview process was, ‘Do you think you have the energy to do both?’ 

“And I said, ‘I was born with an abundance of energy.’ Well, that was energy from 30 years ago. And now, the energy is a little bit different. I harken to Chuck Noll, who said if you’re thinking about it, maybe it’s time. And so, it’s time. It’s time for me to move on to another chapter in my life.”

Rooney released a statement on Thursday thanking Hillgrove for his long service to the team:

“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 he missed by Steelers Nation, but we are excited for him and his family to enjoy his retirement.”

A 1958 graduate of Central Catholic High School, Hillgrove attended Duquesne University and also worked for WTAE-TV and WQED-TV, as well as several radio stations in the city. He began broadcasting Pitt basketball games in 1968 and started broadcasting Pitt football games in 1970.

Hillgrove won the Chris Schneckel Award, given by the National Football Foundation, in 2007. He was inducted into the Central Catholic Hall of Fame in 2020.