Finkelman to Serve as Announcer This Saturday at CU Football Game
Athens, W.Va. - Harry Finkelman, who served as public address announcer for 51 years at Concord College football games, will once again take the microphone on Saturday afternoon to announce Concord University’s final home game of 2006.
Game time is 1 p.m. at Callaghan Stadium-June O. Shott Field on the Athens campus, with Concord (3-5, 3-3 in conference play) hosting the Pioneers of Glenville State. The day will include a pregame ceremony honoring the seniors on the Concord squad.
When Finkelman, now in his early 80s, was first asked to announce the games in 1948, the field was located in the back yard of the college’s administration building (Marsh Hall). He ran up and down the sidelines trailing a long microphone cord to call the play. At that time, he was a young accounting professor recently arrived from New York City.
He was the subject of a feature in the national publication The Sporting News 10 years ago (October 27, 1997), in which writer Joe Hoppel noted, "For fans of the Concord Mountain Lions, there couldn’t possibly be a more authoritative or entertaining voice than that emanating from the larynx of Finkelman."
Finkelman also got in hot water with referees more than once for his tone of voice in relaying penalties that hurt the Concord cause. He told Hoppel, "We had a fellow named (Chris) Hairston, and he made four consecutive long runs, all called back by penalties.
Then he ran even farther, and I said, ‘That’s a 68-yard run by Hairston and there is NO flag!’" The officials threatened a 15-yard penalty if that kind of comment was repeated.
Finkelman retired from the faculty in 1981 and was honored with a scholarship bearing his name, funded by donations from his friends, family and former students. He continued to call the football home games until 1999.
His 50-year announcing career spanned the terms of six Concord presidents, at least eight head football coaches at Concord, and 10 presidents of the United States.
The university's director of alumni relations, Kati Whittaker, said, "Mr. Finkelman has been an important part of Concord for almost 60 years. He has touched the lives of alumni and students now for three generations. We are grateful for his outstanding involvement."
CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679, extension 6086 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.
This release was written by Tom Bone III, former director of public information at Concord.