Even if you’ve never met him and you’re a Louisiana Tech fan, you know Dave Nitz by his signature call of “You gotta love it!”
And you’d agree that to be the Voice of the Bulldogs for nearly half a century, Nitz has to love broadcasting ballgames.
The passion he has for play-by-play is most evident during broadcasts of baseball, “my first love,” he said earlier this spring before announcing that he’d stick solely with baseball play-by-play and retire from Tech football and men’s basketball broadcasts; he’s called each for 47 seasons and for eight seasons called Lady Techster Basketball.
Now he’s in his 48th season calling Tech baseball games. No one has called college baseball play-by-play for one team longer than Nitz; his first Tech broadcast was Spring 1974 in old Arlington Stadium as Pat “Gravy” Patterson and the Bulldogs fell one game short of advancing to the College World Series.
He’s broadcast more than 4,000 Tech games.
“He has spent countless hours on the road, in airports, and in hotels around the country as he’s vividly communicated the play-by-play and behind-the-scenes stories to the Tech faithful,” said University President Dr. Les Guice. “We have been blessed to have someone of his stature and dedication.”
During a broadcasting career of 60 years, the 78-year-old Nitz also spent 36 summers broadcasting professional baseball. So add another 4,000 broadcasts or so to his total at Tech, where the home radio broadcast booths in both Joe Aillet Stadium and J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park are named in his honor.
“I want to do this as long as they’ll have me,” he said – and this was a dozen years ago. “I tell people I’d like to do what Harry Caray always said. Drag me out of the press box feet first. That would be the best way to go – broadcasting a game.”
He feels the same way today. Before an early-April road trip with the Bulldogs this spring, one of hundreds he’s made since 1974, he said one reason for his eager anticipation of getting to another baseball game is that “you never know what you might see at the ballpark, but usually you’ll see something you’ve never seen before.”
Except Dave. Fans always expect to see – or at least hear – him.
A native of Milton, W.V., Nitz is a member of the LA Tech Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2010 and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019.