KDKA radio host Larry Richert—once known as the voice of Pine-Richland Rams football—has a new gig in a bigger stadium.
Richert made his debut Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers' new public address announcer for home games at Heinz Field. He already serves as the voice of NFL Films/Steelers Highlights.
For years the Pine Township resident was the public address announcer at Pine-Richland High School football games, giving play-by-play action and quick-witted comments.
When Steelers' Marketing Director Tony Quatrini called with the Heinz Field offer, Richert said he was surprised and honored.
He accepted after talking to his wife, Cindi—she thought it was a great idea and opportunity, Richert said.
Steelers President Art Rooney II announced Richert's new role during the team’s 2011 highlight film premier in the spring.
"My goal is to do a professional job and not get in the way," he said. "I hope people just accept me as the voice of Heinz Field."
He praises his predecessor, Randy Cosgrove, as doing "a phenomenal job." Cosgrove resigned in April after holding the position for 15 years.
Cosgrove also resigned his 13-year position as the athletic director of the Ambridge Area School District and as president of the Cornell School Board. He previously served as the athletic director of North Hills School District and the director of sports information at Robert Morris University, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Richert said he realizes he cannot be the person he is replacing.
"It's important to just be yourself."
Announcing for the Steelers and abiding by NFL rules in the process will be a far cry from the Pine-Richland High School games where Richert would announce everything from play-by-play action to the winner of the 50/50 raffle.
In addition to his PRHS experience, Richert also announced at Little Rams' football games and did play-by-play for three years at Clarion University.
Pine-Richland Athletic Director Claire Altemus approached Richert about announcing the PR games.
That led to seven years of announcing PRHS games—before and after his son Zach played for the Rams. Zach was a key player on the Rams football team through his senior season in 2007.
Although a proud dad could easily be tempted to brag about his son's plays from the press box when he has a microphone in front of him and a captive audience below him, Richert never did.
"If anything, I probably sold him short when he made good tackles," Richert said.
"For his sake, for everybody's sake, I tried to maintain a professional decorum."
Of course, most teens hope parents simply don't embarass them, but Larry tells stories on himself of faux pas.
There was the time he announced the license plate of an illegally parked car in the stadium parking lot and said the plate included the letter Z "as in xylophone".
On Senior Night, when players and their parents have a moment of recognition on the football field, he got the name of a mother wrong—Mary instead of Marty—even though he had known the couple for years. The husband looked up from the playing field to the press box.
"I think he could see how red my face was," Richert said.
But Richert has a way of talking his way through anything.
"Larry Richert is Pittsburgh’s master Master of Ceremonies and an ambassador for Pittsburgh," according to KDKA's website. He has been the host of the KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert since 2001.
Born in Millvale and raised in McCandless Township, Richert graduated from North Allegheny High School and Clarion University. He and Cindi have three children who graduated from Pine-Richland High School.
See More on Patch
- Patch Playoff Hockey Hub: Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa
- Leetsdale Resident, Duquesne Professor Gets Recognition as Outstanding Educator
- QV Boys Soccer Team with Perfect Record to be Inducted into WPIAL Hall of Fame
- St. James School Heads to JV Boys Basketball Finals
- VIEW: McKechnie Field Renovations Aim to Lure Pirates' Fans from Western PA
Most Popular articles
- 2013 Primary Results: Newcomers Win School Board Nominations
- Parents File Lawsuit Against Pittsburgh Zoo Over Mauling Death of Son
- Primary Election Results 2013: Quaker Valley School Board
- Just Listed: New Homes For Sale in Sewickley Area
- Sobriety Checkpoints and Roving DUI Patrols Set For This Weekend