Troy reacts to Passing of HOF Radio Voice, Ralph Black

Ralph Black

TROY, Ala. – Troy Hall of Fame radio broadcaster Ralph Black passed away Friday, July 17; he was 79 years old.

Black was responsible for many historic calls during his 26 years as the play-by-play broadcaster for Troy football, basketball and baseball. His famous “Holy Mackerel” call came after Ted Clem booted a 50-yard field goal as time expired to win the 1984 NCAA Division II National Championship Game. Remarkably, that was just one of four national championships that Black called during his career, as his voice also painted the picture for the 1987 football national title, in addition to the 1986 and 1987 baseball national championships. Black was also part of the 1993 men’s basketball run to the national championship game.  A native of Montgomery, Ala., Black called more than 1,000 Troy sporting events from 1976 to 2002 and helped build the Troy State Sports Network into one of the largest of its kind in Alabama, at one point comprising 18 stations. He called 122 straight Troy football games, including Troy’s first season as a Division I member. Following his retirement as “Voice of the Trojans”, Black was still a prominent figure in the Troy community. He was an on-air personality at WTBF and could be heard as the public address voice for Charles Henderson High School football in addition to several local high school radio broadcasts.

Troy Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr.

Ralph Black provided the soundtrack for many of the most memorable moments in the history of Troy University Athletics. He loved Troy University and the Troy community. I enjoyed his friendship, and appreciated his unwavering support of our Trojans through the years. TROY Athletics has lost one of its biggest fans.

Troy Director of Athletics Brent Jones

Ralph Black had a front row seat to some of the greatest moments in Troy Athletics history, and through his God-given talents he painted a picture of those memories for generations of Troy fans. Our hearts go out to his wife, Cheryl, his family and friends as we mourn his passing. Even following his retirement from the radio booth, Ralph’s love for this University and this community was second to none.

Troy Director of Broadcasting Barry McKnight

Ralph Black – to me – was, is, and will always be, “The Voice of The Trojans” and I know Troy fans of all ages join me in sorrow at the news of his passing. Yet, Ralph also touched the life of the shut-in who listened for her birthday when Ralph would announce it on his morning show, or the young athlete who swelled with pride when he or she took the field and saw that Ralph himself was there to broadcast their game. That so many of you relished his stories, or appreciated his help in publicizing your group’s fundraiser, or listened to his music during your Sunday services speaks more fully of the type of Christian man Ralph Black was. It’s due to that Christian spirit that Ralph is now joyous in the presence of his Lord.

In 2016, I was the emcee of the ceremony that inducted Ralph Black into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame and it was the most difficult time I had ever had in announcing the name of any inductee, because I choked up and had to work to hold back the tears. I knew how much Ralph had given to Troy, how much it meant to him to be honored, how many miles he had driven and sleep he had lost and challenges the job entailed. But mostly I knew – as much as anyone can know – just how much Ralph Black loved Troy University, and Troy people, and, in that spirit, as we mourn his passing, I can speak for the entire Troy Nation in saying that, Ralph, the feeling was mutual.

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