Each and every football Saturday for a quarter of a century — in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, and as both color analyst and play-by-play announcer — John Morris, BA ’80, has been at the microphone, painting the verbal picture of several distinct eras of Baylor football on what is now the Baylor IMG Sports Network.
This Saturday at Oklahoma State, “The Voice of the Bears” will call his 300th straight football game, continuing a streak that began when he worked as the No. 2 announcer alongside his hero and mentor, the legendary Frank Fallon, ’53. Morris served as a color analyst on three games in 1987 on the old Southwest Conference Radio Network, but his current streak began in 1988 when he became a full-time member of the Baylor Radio Network.
“I had to get over hero worship the first game I ever did,” remembers Morris. “I called him Mr. Fallon on the air. He leaned over and said, ‘You can call me Frank.’ Those eight years I worked with him were the best learning experience I ever had.”
When Fallon retired after the 1994 season, Morris moved into the play-by-play chair, where he described a number of lean seasons before Art Briles came along, elevating the program and giving Morris the chance to call some of the most memorable games in Baylor history.
“Doing play by play is a great job, and doing it for your alma mater is the best,” John said. “But then doing it for your alma mater when they’re winning? It’s above the best. I don’t know what that next level is, but we’re there.”
Morris’ Baylor roots go far beyond the broadcast booth. He followed his parents, Sid (BA ’58) and Brenda (who worked as a dorm director in addition to attending Baylor), to campus, then met his wife, Terri (BSEd ’85), at Baylor. Their daughters, Meagan (BA ’11, MSEd ’12) and Maddie (a junior) are continuing the legacy.
Sic ’em, John!