BALTIMORE, MD– As a long-time lover of sports, Gary Williams is enjoying his maiden voyage as this year’s CIAA Tournament’s public address (PA) announcer.
When it was learned that the oldest HBCU hoops tourney was transferring back to the Charm City, Williams said it put a smile on his face, considering he’s been the PA announcer’s voice of Baltimore-based Coppin State University for the past 27 years. He cut his proverbial teeth in the industry during his 7-year stint while at his alma mater, Howard University.
At age 58, Williams is considered one of the HBCU’s veteran broadcasters, but still enjoys his gig, as if he were a newbie.”It’s hard to explain, but I still love doing what I do. I enjoy watching the transitioning of the players from year-to-year, watching them develop their skill sets as they mature. I’ve always wanted to be a PA announcer from the time I was in Jr. high school,” said Williams,who, at 6-4, was reared in the Northwest section of Washington, DC – and played hoops for Georgetown Day High School , an integrated private school in Northwest DC.
As broadcast influences, Williams names NBC legend Curt Gowdy, former WHUR sportscaster Ron Sutton and Warner Wolf, the DC TV sports announcer who who ultimately attained national network status.
Williams said he started announcing in high school and eventually did women’s basketball and men’s track and field. He’s also a devout boxing fan and has even announced a Formula One racing event.
Williams said he’s noticed a different style of basketball while working his first CIAA tourney. Coppin State is in the MEAC, and Williams said the CIAA guys tend to play more “above the rim” versus the MEAC fellows, who tend to shoot more three-pointers, he said.
Williams and his wife of 27 years, Evelyn Williams, are the parents of three adult children. His wife is a retired school teacher.