"From the blue waters of the Chesapeake Bay to the hills of Tennessee, the Virginia Tech Hokies are on the air!"
That familiar refrain, delivered by Bill Roth, the "Voice of the Hokies," begins every Tech sports radio broadcast. It reflects the network's goal of reaching Virginia Tech fans in every corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and beyond. So, whether they are sailing off Virginia's Eastern shore, hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, or sitting in Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Tech fans know they're always within range of a Virginia Tech IMG Sports Network Radio affiliate.
Now in his 27th season as the lead play-by-play broadcaster for Virginia Tech’s football and basketball teams, Roth also hosts Virginia Tech Sports Today, the Sunday morning television magazine show that airs on television stations and cable networks throughout the mid-Atlantic and southeast.
From Sugar Bowls, to Orange Bowls, to NCAA tournaments, Roth has described some of the greatest moments in Virginia Tech athletics history. He has been honored as Virginia's Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association 11 times.
In April of 2013, Bill joined some of the greatest athletes, coaches, and broadcasters in the Commonwealth’s history when he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Roth's cries of "TOUCHDOWN TECH!" have become a favorite of Hokie fans of all ages and his accurate and exciting descriptions of Tech football and basketball have made him one of the most popular figures on the Tech athletic scene.
"If football coach Frank Beamer is the leader of the Hokie Nation, and assistant coach Bud Foster is the Minister of Defense, then some might call Roth Tech's Secretary of State." wrote The Roanoke Times.
"He's very much a part of what we're all about here," Beamer said. "When you hear his voice, you immediately think Virginia Tech football."
Roth is a frequent speaker at Virginia Tech functions, Hokie Club fund-raising events and other charitable organizations throughout the region.
Among the annual highlights is "Bill Roth's United Way Kid's Day," where disadvantaged youngsters from throughout the Commonwealth are invited to a men's basketball game where they get VIP treatment with tickets to the game, T-shirts, dinner, milkshakes, gift-bags, and a post-game autograph session with players.
Roth and Hoda Kotb of NBC News served as co-hosts of the black tie gala which kicked off the ongoing one-billion dollar fundraising Campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future. The campaign, the most ambitious in school history, marked the beginning of a new era in private fundraising at Tech.
Bill also worked in concert with Virginia Tech Police to develop unique emergency training modules for Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and visitors. The modules promote campus safety, awareness, and self-preparedness.
In addition to his television and radio duties at Virginia Tech, Roth writes a column, TheKroger Roth Report, which appears on hokiesports.com, and in Tech's official monthly sports magazine, Inside Hokie Sports.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Roth graduated from Syracuse University in 1987 with a degree in broadcast journalism. While at Syracuse, Roth was awarded the distinguished Robert Costas Scholarship in 1986.
Mike Tirico, the play-by-play voice of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, was a classmate of Roth’s at Syracuse. “It’s great to see, almost 30 years later, that an entire generation of Hokie faithful has been raised with Bill’s voice as the soundtrack of great Virginia Tech sports moments,” Tirico said. “I’m sure a bunch of kids run around the state dreaming that one day their name will be said right before Bill says, ‘Touchdown Tech!’ ”
“Bill was born to be in the booth calling a game,” Tirico says, “and few do it better.”