NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — If people didn’t know his face, they knew his voice.
Steve Adams, the longtime public address announcer for sporting events at Illinois State University, died Friday after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 73.
Adams’ voice and trademark style were synonymous with Redbird basketball games, as he has volunteered as the public address announcer for ISU men’s basketball for 40 seasons. He worked over 600 basketball games behind the microphone at Horton Field House and Redbird Arena.
Adams also served as the PA announcer for over 200 ISU football games at Hancock Stadium.
“Redbird Athletics is saddened to learn of Steve’s passing. To generations of fans who attended games at Horton Field House, Hancock Stadium and Redbird Arena, his voice was one of the first things they heard when entering the facility and the last voice heard before they left,” Illinois State Director of Athletics Larry Lyons said. “The word iconic is not quite enough to describe Steve. To many, he was larger than life and was a proud Redbird. He represented not only Athletics, but the entire University with his professionalism and dignity. He mentored so many young people on this campus, not to mention several administrators including myself. His signature ‘This Is Redbird Basketball’ call to start a game will echo in our collective memories. Our hearts go out to Sandi and his family at this difficult time. He will be missed.”