Bradley public address announcer calls it a career after 45 years - WEEK

PEORIA (25 NEWS) - Capping off a legendary career that spanned more than four decades, a longtime Bradley University men’s basketball public address announcer called his final game Saturday.

Paul Herzog was a student at Bradley back in 1970. He got his first public announcer job when he noticed there was a vacant position for the Braves’ freshman games.

Along the way, Herzog was mentored by longtime PA announcer Frank Bussone, and eventually claimed the top job when Bussone took a position in television play-by-play.

After 45 years and 660 games, Herzog is hanging up the mic and retiring to Florida with his wife.

“I think there’s a lot of icons and long-serving volunteers in this community. I’m just one that happens to enjoy Bradley basketball and the front-row seat that I got for all those years,” Herzog said.

Herzog decided to cap things off with the I-74 rivalry game between Bradley and Illinois State University.

He said 660 games is significant, as it is the same number of home runs hall of famer Willy Mays hit during his career.

Herzog said he will miss the action around the Bradley games, but plans to host watch parties at his home in Florida.

“We’ll see the games - we’ll just be seeing it from a distance that’s warmer,” Herzog said. “Still following the team in every way, it just won’t be the same for me because I’m so used to sitting at center court. But I’ll get over it.”

For now, former WEEK sports director Lee Hall will assume the PA duties, as he has done whenever Herzog couldn’t make it to a game.

Herzog’s final message to Bradley and its fans - “thank you for letting me be apart of a game that love, and a school that I love.”

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