Rice Institute and University Sports Information Director and Broadcaster, Bill Whitmore
Black and white photograph of Rice Institute and Rice University Sports Information Director and Broadcaster Bill Whitmore, headlining his achievement of the Rice Athletic Honorary "R" Award. The Honorary "R" is given to a person who did not letter in Rice Athletics. This is not to say that Bill Whitmore did not participate in Rice Athletics. William Rogers Whitmore was born August 27, 1921 in St. Louis, Mo. He retired as sports information director for Rice University on July 1, 1984, then served as a consultant to the athletic director to July 1, 1986. He began his stint --- most years an SID in the Southwest Conference --- on June 1, 1950, so gave 30 years of service to Rice. Whitmore attended the University of Texas 1938-1942, gaining a Bachelor of Journalism degree before enlisting at Randolph Field in September, 1942, during World War II. He did sports Public Relations duty 1 1/2 years, then had 1 1/2 years in the Troop Carrier Command after Officer Candidate School. He married UT classmate Lucy Danklefs of Elgin, Texas in 1942 and the Whitmores have three offspring in Dan (42, Stobie (37) and Elsa (32), and seven grandchildren. After military service, Bill joined KRPC radio (NBC affiliate) in Houston in 1945, and became the city's first full-time radio newsman in 1946, under station manager Kern Tips and news director Pat Flaherty. He "moonlighted" as play-by-play announcer for Corpus Christi High games, and sports desk work for the Houston Post. In June 1950 he made a major career change on becoming the first full time sport news director of Rice Institute and athletic director / head coach Jess Neely,a position he would not relinquish for 34 years. His duties led to many friendships on national, state, and local levels with media, athletes and academics over that long span of time. He became known as "The Barber" of Rice as a charter member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) in 1955, and became national president of his peers when finishing his years as president on retiring in 1984. Earlier, he had received coSIDA's coveted Arch Ward Award and was named to its Hall of Fame. He was also given the Rice Spirit Award in 1984. "The Barber" broadcast Rice basketball games for 20 years, and a major career event was to be the SID when Dick Maegle of Rice was tackled from the bench in the Cotton Bowl game with Alabama January 1, 1954, an episode that brought considerable attention to Rice. As a radio newsman he vividly recalls covering the Texas City disaster of 1947 for KPRC, with reports to NBC. He was active in the Houston Press Club for many years, and won 7 "Oscars" for acting, singing, and writing in PC Gridiron SHows in the 1950s and 1960s. He was SID for the Owls at Cotton, Sugar and Bluebonnet Bowl games, and NCAA post-season cage play, and especially proud of association with U.S. Olympian and world record-holding Rice pole vaulters in Fred Hansen and Dave Roberts. Whitmore is proud of a close association with the Rice University and the University is proud to confer membership in its Hall of Fame to Bill Whitmore.
Rice Athletic Honorary "R" Award
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/64008
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