When Al Roseboro began announcing football and basketball contests for Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), Richard Nixon was president, a gallon of gas was $.39, and one of the top songs of the year was Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” The year was 1973.
In his 40th year as a college sports announcer, Roseboro will mark more than 1,000 games called. While he no longer announces for Winston-Salem State, his undergraduate alma mater, he continues to work games for Shaw University and the CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association), which includes WSSU and 11 other institutions. His prolific record first has earned him the title of “The Voice of the Rams.” Today, he is “The Voice of the CIAA.” In addition, his work has been acknowledged with his enshrinement in the WSSU and CIAA Halls of Fame.
“I am so grateful to a long list of people who have helped and supported me in my broadcast career,” Roseboro said. “That list includes CIAA co-founders Clarence “Big House” Gaines and John McLendon; fellow broadcasters Charlie Neal, a national network personality, sports announcing pioneer Jackie Bowen, Stan Lewter of Urban Sports and ESPN, Mike Rochelle who is the color commentator at Shaw, George Croom, formerly of ESPN radio, and the late Bill Franklin of WSNC; current CIAA commissioner, Jacqie Carpenter; and my sister, Marilyn Roseboro.”
Roseboro took over for legendary basketball coach and long-time Athletic Director Clarence “Big House” Gaines, serving as AD for six years. He also served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs before retiring in 2004.
Roseboro’s connection to the CIAA goes way back, even further than his days as a football player at WSSU. A star athlete at West Charlotte High, Roseboro was coached in high school by Jack Martin, an official for the CIAA. While driving with Martin to WSSU for football games, Roseboro met Gaines. Gaines became his mentor and a critical part of his life.
Roseboro will be behind the mic when the CIAA stages its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte Feb. 26 – March 2.