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The Voice
of Aggieland

Dave South remembers his origins after spending 50 years in broadcasting and 35 years delivering iconic play-by-play for Aggie athletics over the radio.

By Bailey Payne '19

Dave South has had some bad dreams recently, and not the usual ones about returning to high school or his teeth falling out. “I dream about not being prepared to announce a game,” he said. Fast asleep, he finds himself in the same Kyle Field press box where he spent every Aggie football home game for 35 years and discovers that all his extensive notes and roster sheets are missing. “And then, to make matters worse, I look up and realize they put me in a press box where I can’t see the field!”

In his peaceful waking life, however, South has not called a football game over the radio for Texas A&M University since 2017. Three years after he retired from the gridiron, COVID-19 abruptly ended his final season with Aggie baseball before he could receive a proper send-off. He holds no bitterness, though—retirement has treated him well.

Still living in College Station, South serves as a deacon at Central Church, drives deliveries for Meals on Wheels and travels with his wife, Leanne ’94, as often as he can. Wherever he goes in town, people recognize his voice. Some know it from highlight reels that blare from Kyle Field’s loudspeakers before each game; others from the endless memories he made over the airwaves.

Five of Dave's Most Exciting Calls

See full audio transcript


Running back Sirr Parker ’98 catches the ball, runs 26 yards and leaps into the corner of the endzone to shock the No. 1 Wildcats in double overtime and secure the Big 12 championship.

A week after the tragic Aggie Bonfire collapse, linebacker Brian Gamble ’02 recovers a Longhorn fumble to seal the emotional victory before falling to his knees in celebration.

In a near-upset against the No.1 Sooners, running back Ja'Mar Toombs plows through defenders on his way to the endzone, sending the 12th Man to its feet.

All-American defensive end and soon-to-be Super Bowl MVP Von Miller '11 stops Sooner running back DeMarco Murray in his tracks, capping off a pivotal goal line stand on the way to a memorable 33-19 home victory.

After a stunning performance from quarterback Johnny Manziel '15, Texas A&M draws a crucial offsides penalty to take down the Crimson Tide.


Gonna throw here to Parker. At the 20, at the 15, at the 10, at the 5, he got a touchdown! He got a touchdown! He got a touchdown! He got a touchdown! He got it in! He got it in! He got it in! Oh, doctor!


And they're coming up the middle. He's been stripped of the ball! Who's got it? Aggies got the ball! Aggies got the ball!


Handoff will go to Toombs- and he's got a first down and he's breaking a tackle! He's inside the 10! He's inside the 5! He's fighting for the endzone! He scored a touchdown! He scored a touchdown!


Ten on the huddle clock. Handoff, DeMarco Murray- he didn't get it! He did not get it! Von Miller just met him at the one-yard line! That was fourth and goal at the one! The Aggies just stopped him at the one!


That's offsides against Alabama! They moved! A&M caught 'em! And a first down for Texas A&M! They're gonna have to snap it one time and it's over with! Wow! The Aggies just caught lightning in a bottle!

Don't Touch That Dial

Long before he built a career on AM frequencies across the state, South grew up on local stations in Wichita Falls, Texas. Like many of his generation, he has fond memories of getting his news and entertainment from the radio. “I liked how it made me use my imagination,” he said. By age 10, South listened to Major League Baseball games, scored them on paper and delivered his own broadcast of each game looking over his backyard as if it were Dodger Stadium.

During his tween years, he saved enough money from working a local paper route to buy record players, tape recorders, a microphone and a mixer and built a makeshift radio station in his closet. He dubbed the station KDAV and invited boys from his neighborhood to appear as guests on his show. But KDAV shut down operations when South got his first job at a real radio station at 16. “When I finished the audition tape,” he recalled, “the station’s program director looked at me and asked, ‘Where have you worked before?’”

From there, the enterprising young broadcaster bounced from station to station, eventually working under the longtime “Voice of the Baylor Bears” Frank Fallon, who took South under his wing. “He answered every question I asked,” South remembered, “and he showed me how to meticulously prepare.” Years later, South would spend almost every weeknight leading up to each game organizing notes to help him bring the sights and sounds of Aggieland game days to stereos across the nation.

headphones/mic graphic Picture of Dave South as a kid

"He Got a Touchdown!"

Before he worked for Texas A&M, South was an announcer for the Southwest Conference Radio Network, where he called his first Aggie football games and other conference matches. There, he fell so in love with radio sales work that he walked away from sports broadcasting in 1984 to take it up full time.

But months later, Texas A&M’s athletics department called seeking someone to assume play-by-play duties for a year while they searched for a permanent announcer. “Of course, that one year turned into 35,” South remarked. After the first season, he took up the mantle permanently, adding baseball and basketball duties soon after.

The longer he spent in College Station, the more he appreciated the university’s values and the 12th Man’s electrifying roar. He embraced the “homer” role, delivering sparse commentary during losses and thunderous celebrations during victories. “People told me they could tell how well the team was doing by the tone of my voice.” His most iconic call came during the heart-stopping 1998 Big 12 championship game, in which the Aggies took down title contender Kansas State University in double overtime. “At the 20, at the 15, at the 10, at the 5, he is almost—He got a touchdown! He got a touchdown! He got a touchdown!”

Aggies predominantly remember South for calling big moments in big games, but he always emphasized professionalism and making meaningful relationships throughout his career. Though radio’s preeminence waned during his tenure in the booth, he always felt the love from fans. Some told him that they turned down their TV volume to listen to his calls while watching the game instead.

When he retired, longtime listeners sent letters about the wave of nostalgia they felt upon hearing his voice. One former student wrote, “You brought more joy to more people than I think you know.” Looking back, South is nothing if not grateful. “God really blessed me,” he said. “I don’t have any regrets.”

Radio Transcripts

1998 Kansas State

Dave South: With no tight end, Jay Holder’s exposed here on this right side, put a man in motion. Now they snap it, going to throw here to Parker. At the 20, at the 15, at the 10, at the 5. He is almost–He got a touchdown! He got a touchdown! He got a touchdown! He got a touchdown! He got it in! He got it in! He got it in! Oh, Doctor!

1999 Texas

Dave South: Applewhite has the ball, steps up, throws, caught, first down across midfield. Two wides each side. And they're coming up the middle. (FUMBLE!) He's been stripped of the ball! Who got it?

Think Texas got it back. Texas may have gotten it back. Applewhite was stripped of the ball across the 50 back at the Texas 47. They stopped the clock. 23 seconds to go, 23 seconds to go. And still–Aggies got the ball! Aggies got the ball! 23 seconds to go and A&M got it!!

I don't know who got the fumble recovery. We'll check it on the replay. But the Aggies have the football! 23 seconds left in the ball game and they lead it 20 to 16. Two running back–

2000 Oklahoma #1

Dave South: Coming back to the field, after coming to the sideline while they measured. 13:50 remaining of the game, your Aggies are up 24-21. They have it on fourth down and a length of a football at the OU 20, just across the 27-yard line. The line of scrimmage, come the Aggies.

Dave Elmendorf: Got your big backs in there. Stacy Jones backed up by Ja'Mar Toombs at tailback.

Dave South: See what happens.Got two tights and a wide over to the left side. Hand off will go to Toombs and he's got a first down and he's breaking a tackle. He's inside the 10, he's inside the 5. He's fighting for the end zone. He's scored a touchdown! He's scored a touchdown!

Dave Elmendorf: Ja'Mar Toombs just would not be stopped. He goes 27 yards for the touchdown. Once he broke the plane, he just would not be stopped. They kept adding on Oklahoma tacklers and he just would not go down. We'll have flags all over the place for celebration, but the Aggies don't care at this point. They've taken the lead 30 to 21 on an amazing 27-yard touchdown run by Ja'Mar Toombs.

2010 Oklahoma #2

Dave South: Ten on the huddle clock. Handoff. Demarco Murray. He didn't get it! He did not get it! Von Miller just met him at the one-yard line, that was 4th and goal at the one, the Aggies just stopped him at the one!

2012 Alabama

Dave South: You know what, I think they moved.

Dave Elmendorf: Oh, that's a first down, Dave!

Dave South: That's offsides!

Dave Elmendorf: That's a first down!

Dave South: That's offsides against Alabama! They moved, A&M caught ‘em and a first down for Texas A&M. We're gonna have to snap it one time and it's over with. We'll snap it once, and it'll be over with. There's the snap, and the Ags have beaten No. 1 Alabama. They can't stop it, and now the last 33 seconds of this clock will tick off… what are they saying?

Dave Elmendorf: Well, our coaches are telling ‘em to go snap it again, get back behind the sidelines and then go snap it again. But I don't think we have to. I think we're just not wanting to.

Dave South: Well, I, you know, I don't think we have to snap it either. Manzel standing back there holding the ball by the referee. A&M did it! They just did it. You can look at the Aggie faithful over there, that far side of the field and that Aggie band. Lightning in a bottle in Tuscaloosa. It was 10 years ago, last night with Kevin Sumlin as the offensive coordinator for Texas A&M.

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