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‘True icon’ calling final Bulldog seasons

Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 6:00 am

By Ken Jackson
Staff Writer
The distinct public address voice of St. Cloud High athletics will be moving indoors in the next month or so, from the football stadium to the basketball gymnasium. Then in the spring, it will go back out to the softball diamond.
Starting next season, the games will have a new voice.
George Garber, the man behind the microphone for the Bulldogs’

Submitted Photo
St. Cloud PA voice George Garber announcing the tee times at Monday’s District 3A-16 boys golf championship at Royal St. Cloud Golf Club. He’s stepping away from the classroom and microphone at the end of the school year after a 41-year teaching career.

football, girls basketball and softball teams for nearly a decade, is retiring at the end of the school year, wrapping up a 41-year career in education that began in Lima, Ohio.
In addition to those three sports, he’s announced at Bulldogs swim meets, and added golf to his résumé on Monday as he announced the players at their tee times at the District 16 boys golf tournament Monday at Royal St. Cloud Golf Club, at the request of St. Cloud Golf Coach Jeff Johnson, who teaches career education at the school with him.
“We are honored to have him announcing tee times. As a true friend, there is nothing this guy won’t do for you,” Johnson said before the golf tournament. “I have had the honor of knowing him and teaching with him for his 11-year tenure here in Osceola County. Kids know his distinctive voice and coaches stand in line to ask him to emcee their sports events, something to which he can never say no. George Garber is a true icon here in our community.”
Downplaying that, Garber said announcing all those games is a way to share in his students’ successes in athletics.
“I like watching our kids succeed, especially the ones I have in my classes,” Garber said. “It’s not about me. People don’t come to see me, they come to see their kids and their family and friends. There are people who want to be like, ‘I’m the voice of the Bulldogs,’ but that’s never been me.”
Eric Godfrey, St. Cloud’s athletic director, said that since Garber is the consummate professional behind the microphone, he’ll be difficult to replace.
“He’s a voice that stays in the middle, he’s not a ‘homer’ trying to get the crowd to pull for our team. They’re going to do that anyway,” Godfrey said. “Now we just have to find a new voice who can do that. I’d like to but I need to be down on the field.”
Based on his wife’s job and health, Garber, 66, said the time is right to retire from both the classroom and the PA booth. The plan is to move to northern Florida and get to work on their bucket list, such as driving the length of the Eastern Seaboard and reaching Acadia National Park in Maine.
“I’d teach until I was 70, but this is time I’d rather spend with my wife,” he said.