New Castle News


October 26, 2012

Union PA announcer Don Bromley signs off from the press box

NEW CASTLE — Something will sound different next year at Socs Roussos Stadium.

Actually, a piece of Union High athletics will be gone for good.

The Scotties’ one constant for nearly the past half century, Don “Doc” Bromley, retired from his last “official” role at Union as the football public address announcer following last week’s home game.

A total of 49 years. A lot of games. And a whole lot of laughs.

“It’s been great. I always tell people I have the best seat in the house,” he said. “There have been a lot of great teams and athletes at Union over the years.”

He’s had a pretty good view of them, too. When he first started announcing at football games in the fall of 1963, the same year he was hired to teach science and health at Union, the pressbox consisted of some scaffolding and tarp near one of the corners of an end zone. It moved to what is now the visitor’s sideline before a newer pressbox was installed on the present-day Scotties’ sideline in the past couple decades.

“There were some adventures up there on occasion,” Bromley said. “Whenever we were on the visitors’ side, if I mispronounced a name or missed a tackle, the fans would let me know about it.”

Bromley, 72, taught at Union for 30 years before retiring about 20 years ago. However, he stayed on to coach the high school golf team. He retired from that position last fall after 39 years.

“That wasn’t work. It was fun,” he said. “I’d much rather be there than anywhere else. It was a great job for me.”

In addition, he spent 30 years as a junior high and junior varsity basketball coach and was a baseball assistant, too.

“I won four junior high championships and winning those are really some of the highlights of my life,” he said. “It’s nice because you get to know the kids more on a personal level when you coach. Hopefully, you can make positive influences, too. That is what made teaching a lot of fun.”

Union athletic director Bob Natale Sr. is sad to see Bromley retire.

“What people don’t understand is that he did so many other things for the programs. If I needed a scorekeeper for something, I could ask him and he’d be there. He never said no,” he said. “Just some of the other things he did. In the summer, he’d give Union kids lessons for golf. He has done so many good things and you didn’t have to pay him to do something. He’d do whatever. I have been at Union (as AD) for nine years and he never turned me down.

“You’ll never find another person who did what he did. Even the announcing, he just knew what to do. It was one less headache that goes along with hosting a Friday night football game. He was good. I know I will miss him and I am sure others will, too. He was a Union guy for 49 years.”

Natale had only one “complaint.”

“He failed at one thing — he never made me the golfer I wanted to be,” he said with a laugh. “It wasn’t the teacher, though, it was the pupil.”

In addition, Bromley’s wife, Barb, retired this fall after helping out Union’s athletic programs by selling tickets for football and basketball games. She, too, was a longtime Union teacher.

“She sold tickets and would help out however we needed,” Natale said. “They are a good pair that did a lot of good things for Union.”

Bromley took his announcing job seriously, but never passed up the opportunity to lighten the mood in the pressbox.

“We had a lot of fun up there — Mark Manifrang and Jim Cox and some of the other guys who were up there a long time,” he said. “There were always a lot of jokes flying. Athletics and jokes seem to go together.”

Often, Bromley didn’t have to provide the humor. It just happened.

“The one year, when the pressbox was on the (what is now the) visitors’ side, we had big, heavy windows and they came down once (unexpectedly) and hit Connie Palumbo in the head. I was standing right beside him. Thank God he is taller than me because it knocked him down,” he said. “The one time, we were playing a game and one of the managers started running across the field to the locker room or somewhere and his pants fell down.

“One year, I think Union was playing Mohawk, and Ricky Quinn threw a pass and the stadium lights went out. The play went for about 30 yards. I said that was the ‘Midnight Special.’”

Bromley thought about retiring for a while, but wanted to wait until after this season to watch the Scotties’ first football playoff team since 2003.

“One of the reasons I retired this year is because that’s a good group the football team has. There are a lot of outstanding students and athletes,” he said. “I thought about retiring before, but I wanted to stick around and watch these kids play. I wanted to go out with them; it’s nice to go out on a winning note with them. They have such a great attitude.”

He’ll be around next year when he’s not spending time at his winter home in Florida, although just as a spectator.

“I’m a big Union fan. I’ll still come to some games,” he said. “I am a New Castle alumnus, so I’d like to go see some of those games. I’ll get out, though, and see some of the better games around. Absolutely.”

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