Bill Roth (sportscaster)

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Bill Roth
Sports commentary career
Sports NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball

William B. Roth[1] is an American television and radio sportscaster. He is the former play-by-play voice of UCLA Bruins football and men's basketball,[2] completing the 2015-16 season before being replaced by Josh Lewin. From 1988 until April 2015, he was the play-by-play voice of Virginia Tech Hokies football and men's basketball. In 2016, Bill continued his broadcasting career calling games on national radio including the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on ESPN Radio. He also made his ESPN College Football Prime time television debut in 2016 as well.

Education and early career[edit]

Bill was born and raised in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. While in high school, he interned for radio station KDKA and later at the Duquesne University campus station. Bill graduated from Syracuse University in 1987. It was at Syracuse where Roth began his broadcasting career at campus station WAER where he was a radio sportscaster. He won the Robert Costas Scholarship at Syracuse in 1986. After graduating from Syracuse, he began broadcasting various sports for ESPN including field hockey, lacrosse, professional kick boxing, baseball, and other NCAA sports.

Virginia Tech[edit]

At the age of 22, Bill began working for Virginia Tech as the "Voice of the Hokies"[3] in 1988, where he broadcast Hokies football, basketball and baseball games. Bill also served as host of the Hokie Hotline, a weekly radio show featuring Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and basketball coaches Frankie Allen, Bill Foster, Bobby Hussey, Ricky Stokes, Seth Greenberg and James Johnson. Bill also hosts a weekly television show, Virginia Tech Sports Today, that is shown every Sunday morning on TV stations in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Maryland. Roth's tenure is longer than any other sportscaster in Virginia Tech history and he called more games than any other announcer in the school's history. Bill has called several NCAA men's basketball tournaments, and major bowl games: Orange Bowl (1996, 2008, 2009, 2011), Sugar Bowl (1995, 2000, 2004, 2012), Gator Bowl (1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2005.) Roth called games of Virginia Tech great Michael Vick including the school's 1999 undefeated regular season during Vick's time at the school. Bill opens every broadcast by saying "From the Blue Waters of the Chesapeake Bay to the Hills of Tennessee, the Virginia Tech Hokies are on the air."

Richmond Braves[edit]

From 1993-1996, Bill served as a play-by-play announcer with the Richmond Braves baseball team, the triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. The 1993 team won the International League championship led by Chipper Jones and manager Grady Little.


In April 2015, Roth was announced as the new play-by-play announcer for the UCLA Bruins,[2] replacing Chris Roberts, who retired after 23 years with the school.[4] After completing the 2015-16 seasons, UCLA announced Roth was being replaced by Josh Lewin .[5] According to a June 2, 2016 article by David Teel of the Daily Press, Roth will be returning to his East Coast roots, "remain[ing] on the air and with IMG College, developing new, nationally oriented programming from the company’s Winston-Salem, N.C., headquarters".[6] Roth also joined the faculty of the Virginia Tech Department of Communications as a professor of practice.[7]

Honors and awards[edit]

Virginia Sports Hall of Fame[edit]

In April 2013, Roth was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Portsmouth, Virginia. Bill was inducted into the Commonwealth's Hall of Fame on the same night as Tech all-America defensive end and Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion Cornell Brown. The two joined Bruce Smith, Antonio Freeman, Dell Curry, Allan Bristow, Johnny Oates, Carroll Dale and other Virginia Tech stars in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. As of July, 2013, there are 23 Virginia Tech Hokies who have been inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

WAER-Syracuse Hall of Fame[edit]

In August 2014, Roth was inducted into the WAER Hall of Fame in Syracuse, NY. Bill was inducted by Mike Tirico who was a classmate at Syracuse with Bill.


1995: "Jim Druckenmiller has pulled off the greatest comeback I've ever seen! TOUCHDOWN TECH! I've never enjoyed saying that more!" Virginia Tech's come-from behind victory at UVA gives the Hokies a bid to the 1995 Sugar Bowl vs. Texas.

2004: "Give it to me Roscoe, Give it to me!" Roth's call of DeAngelo Hall stripping Miami's Roscoe Parrish during Tech's 31-7 win over No.2 Miami at Lane Stadium.

2009: "And the ACC's Giant Killers have done it again. Tonight, Virginia Tech takes down Number One Wake Forest" at the conclusion of Tech's upset of undefeated No. 1 Wake Forest in men's basketball.

2009: "It's a miracle in Blacksburg! Tyrod did it Mikey! Tyrod did it!" Virginia Tech's last-second win over Nebraska in 2009. Roth refers to Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor and long-time analyst Mike Burnop.

2013: ""That ball was in the air longer than a non-stop flight to Tel Aviv!"" After quarterback Logan Thomas threw a long touchdown pass during Virginia Tech's 2013 season.


  1. ^ "Virginia Tech | Search - People". Retrieved 2017-10-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Hall-of-Fame Broadcaster Bill Roth Hired as New Play-by-Play Announcer". UCLA Athletics. April 22, 2015. 
  3. ^ Colston, Chris (2003-09-01). Tales from the Virginia Tech Sidelines. Sports Publishing LLC. pp. 139–. ISBN 978-1-58261-728-2. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Bitter, Andy (April 22, 2015). "Hall of Fame Hokies broadcaster Bill Roth leaving for UCLA". The Roanoke Times. 
  5. ^ "Lewin Replaces Roth as Voice of Bruins". Bruin Athletics. June 2, 2016. 
  6. ^ Teel, David (June 2, 2015). "Former Hokies voice Bill Roth returning to eastern roots after one year at UCLA". Daily Press. 
  7. ^ "Former Voice of the Hokies Bill Roth returns to Virginia Tech to teach". Virginia Tech. August 18, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2017. 

External links[edit]