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Dick Calvert had just putted out on the 18th hole Wednesday morning when his cellphone rang asking about his decision after 52 years to retire as UNLV’s Hall of Fame public-address announcer.

Even at 86, Calvert still had to get in a round of golf before lunch, but he also knew he had reached the point in his life where this was the right time to step away. He will still be involved in UNLV athletics in other ways such as providing the voice-overs for radio ads.

Calvert was most known as the booming PA voice at Rebels men’s basketball, football and baseball games, but he also handled those responsibilities for USA Basketball, the Las Vegas Bowl and NBA Summer League.

And he was a play-by-play announcer at three World Cups — in 1986 in Mexico, 1990 in Italy and 1994 in the U.S.

The Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame inducted Calvert in 2010, and UNLV did the same in 2017.

“I thought I would be doing this when I’m 100 years old, I really did,” Calvert said. “It’s the normal thing that happens every year, I’d start another year, so I thought it would never end. Never really gave it much thought.”

Calvert, who experienced a serious case of COVID in December 2020, said he and his wife, Anne, had been discussing when he should retire from PA announcing. He also began to speak with UNLV athletic director Erick Harper and Andy Grossman, the senior associate AD for strategic communications, about that possibility.

They all met July 29, and that decision was made.

Though Calvert said Harper and Grossman “have been unbelievably generous,” the finality of that decision was “scary as hell.”

“After it was over with, I told Andy, ‘The retention of what we talked about is totally lost because I’m in shock,’” Calvert said, chuckling. “Hey, 52 years doing the same thing.”

Calvert said he didn’t initially intend to become a PA announcer.

His dream was to play at catcher in the major leagues, and though Calvert said he has the defensive ability to make it to the upper level, his hitting prevented him from getting past Class A.

Calvert’s baseball days weren’t done, however. He was a scout in the Dodgers’ organization and the manager for Pacific Coast League’s club in Spokane, Washington.

“Even though I was fascinated for years about announcers, I never thought I’d be one,” Calvert said.

He became one and then kept going.

For 52 years, his deep voice filling the Thomas & Mack Center or Sam Boyd Stadium.

“It really is time,” Calvert said, “for some young talent to come in.”

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

Article written by Mark Anderson #ReviewJournal

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