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Longtime ‘Voice of the Trojans’ Ralph Black dies, Troy University confirms

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ralph black(Troy University Athletics)
Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 9:41 AM CDT
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July 17, 2020 at 7:07 PM CDT - Updated July 17 at 7:11 PM

TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - The former longtime voice of Troy Trojans athletics has died, the university confirmed in a statement Friday afternoon.

Ralph Black, a university legend, spent 26 years as the voice of the Trojans.

Black, 79, was a Montgomery native, and called Troy football, basketball, and baseball games from 1976 until his retirement in 2002.

His signature phrase, “Holy Mackerel,” was instantly recognizable to many Troy fans of the 1980s. It came out of his mouth as time expired on the 1984 NCAA Division II National Championship Game, which Troy won thanks to a last second 50-yard field goal.

Reaction poured in from notable Troy University officials:

“Ralph Black provided the soundtrack for many of the most memorable moments in the history of Troy University Athletics. He loved Troy University and the Troy community. I enjoyed his friendship, and appreciated his unwavering support of our Trojans through the years. TROY Athletics has lost one of its biggest fans.”

Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr.

“Ralph Black had a front row seat to some of the greatest moments in Troy Athletics history, and through his God-given talents he painted a picture of those memories for generations of Troy fans. Our hearts go out to his wife, Cheryl, his family and friends as we mourn his passing. Even following his retirement from the radio booth, Ralph’s love for this University and this community was second to none.”

Troy University Director of Athletics Brent Jones

“Ralph Black – to me – was, is, and will always be, “The Voice of The Trojans” and I know Troy fans of all ages join me in sorrow at the news of his passing. Yet, Ralph also touched the life of the shut-in who listened for her birthday when Ralph would announce it on his morning show, or the young athlete who swelled with pride when he or she took the field and saw that Ralph himself was there to broadcast their game. That so many of you relished his stories, or appreciated his help in publicizing your group’s fundraiser, or listened to his music during your Sunday services speaks more fully of the type of Christian man Ralph Black was. It’s due to that Christian spirit that Ralph is now joyous in the presence of his Lord.”

Troy Director of Broadcasting Barry McKnight

Troy athletes battled on the gridiron or court while Black provided the play-by-play of their efforts during more than 1,000 games.

Black was also instrumental in building the Troy State Sports Network into one of the largest of its kind in Alabama, broadcasting on 18 stations at one point in his career.

Black was inducted into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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