Baylor Mourns Loss of Frank Fallon, Legendary Baylor Broadcaster

  • News Photo 1916
    Frank Fallon
  • News Photo 1921
    Frank Fallon
May 1, 2004

by Lori Scott Fogleman

View "Inside Baylor Sports" 21-minute video tribute to Frank Fallon on and listen to a radio tribute and interview on KWBU-FM. You can also see photos from Fallon's career at A Photographic Tribute to Frank Fallon.

Frank Fallon, the venerable "Voice of the Baylor Bears" from 1953-95, died Friday, April 30, at his home in Waco. He wasa 73.

Known for his unmistakable voice, smooth delivery and immense knowledge of the games he announced, Fallon spent more than forty years describing the action of Baylor football and basketball games, 45 years broadcasting Texas high school football regular season and playoff games around the state, and two decades as the public address "Voice of the NCAA Final Four."

Fallon's career also included television play-by-play of Southwest Conference basketball games for NBC and ESPN, a 29-year stint as general manager of KWTX Radio in Waco and more than a decade as Baylor's coordinator of broadcast activities. In addition, Fallon mentored thousands of Baylor telecommunications students and future play-by-play announcers through courses he taught from 1984 until his retirement.

Fallon received numerous honors throughout his illustrious broadcasting career, including "Top 10 All-Time Radio Play-by-Play Announcers" by the Texas Sportswriters Association; five-time Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB) Sportscaster of the Year; seven-time Associated Press Best Radio Play-By-Play Announcer; member of the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame; inductee into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame; and honorary member of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association.

In 2001, Fallon received the Chris Schenkel Award, presented annually by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame to a college football broadcaster on the local level who has excelled in his field and contributed to his community. The Waco Chamber of Commerce also presents an award named in his honor - the Frank Fallon Sportsmanship Award - to a person who has made a significant contribution to basketball in Waco during its annual November Tip-Off Luncheon.

In August 2001, Fallon received a minute-long standing ovation from the media, his family and friends, when he was presented with the Baylor Communications Award during the annual President's Media Luncheon. The award, presented by Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr., honors individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of communications and in their communities.

As he presented the award, Sloan praised Fallon as a remarkable example of what it means to be an educator and a Christian servant.

"I suspect that perhaps the greatest tribute that you have received and continue to receive is from the lives of your students, the thousands that you have nurtured," Sloan told Fallon. "One of the most remarkable experiences that I have when I think of Baylor educators is to listen to a Baylor baseball game, hear the Baylor student and then hear Frank Fallon, the consummate professional, one of the greatest in the world, sitting there alongside the student, always nurturing, teaching and providing help to that student."

Fallon was born in El Paso and graduated from Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio. He is survived by his wife, June; four sons, Steve, Mark, Mike and Kyle; and five grandchildren.

Visitation was held Tuesday, May 4, at Connally-Compton Funeral Home. Services were held Wednesday, May 5, at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Waco. Burial was at Oakwood Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be sent to Central Texas Senior Ministry, P.O. Box 85, Waco, Texas 76703, or Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, 1624 Wooded Acres Drive, Waco, Texas 76710.

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