The Voice of the Northview Wildcats—Bob Wambold

by Mary Helen Darah

The Sylvanian You Need to Know
The Voice of the Northview Wildcats—Bob Wambold

Bob Wambold
Bob Wambold

Many people are more familiar with the voice of Sylvanian Bob Wambold than his face. For more than three decades he has been on the sidelines announcing the play-by-play action to sport fans. Wambold has a ‘day job’ as VP of corporate purchasing for Automation and Control Technologies, but his true passion is serving as PA in various roles throughout our community. “Back in 1979, a very good friend of mine, Bill Sanford, was the athletic director for the Catholic Club. He asked if I wanted to MC at some Toy Bowl football games,” recalled Wambold. “We announced six or seven games. It was a great time. Then Bill (Sanford) got married to Mary Kay Sanford, who had taken a job at the University of Toledo. It was her job to find a PA guy. She reached out to me. In 1982, women’s basketball was in its infancy. The only people in the stands were parents. For the next 23 seasons I announced at the UT Women’s Basketball games. I was then asked to PA for the men’s basketball team that I ended up doing for 15 seasons from 1990 – 2005. I only missed a few home games. I also was the PA at volleyball games and did a few football games for UT.”

A family affair
Women’s basketball took off and kept pace with the enthusiasm of the Wambold family for the UT Rockets. “My family had season tickets,” stated Wambold. “We would take the family to Savage Arena and most of the time the Rocket women won. My Dad became a season ticket holder as well. It was great spending time with my Dad who would accompany me to the away games. It truly became a family event.”

Rockets to Wildcats
In 2006 the University of Toledo and their announcer parted ways. “The University wanted to hire someone with radio and television training,” stated Wambold. “My daughter Katie is a Northview graduate. While she was a student at Northview in 2005, Chris Irwin, the athletic director for the school, somehow got my name and asked if I would PA at boys’ basketball games. It was close to home and Katie could go to games with me. Then I started doing boys and girls’ soccer, women’s basketball and the occasional wrestling match. I am busy spring, fall and winter with Northview High School sports. High school sports are pure and the student athletes still listen to their coaches. The high school work is the best. It’s also loud—obnoxiously loud.”

Memorable moments
Wambold has had many memory making moments during his career. “One of the highlights was when Savage Arena hosted a basketball tournament. I got to see LeBron James when was playing for St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio. I got fairly close to LeBron when he was a junior. The event brought the biggest crowds I ever witnessed to Savage,” recalled Wambold. “Another great game was when Ohio State University Men’s Basketball Team came to Savage Arena.”

A shout out for pink
For the past 10 years Wambold has been cheering runners and walkers across the finish line at the Susan G Komen Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure. “It is such a special event,” he stated. “When Komen first asked me to participate, I did not know the extent of what I was getting into. Everyone knows someone who survived or has lost someone to breast cancer. One year I turned around and saw an old friend who I didn’t know battled the disease. It is more announcing survivorship than who comes in first. It gives me chills to see the women who have battled breast cancer come across the finish line. The majority of them want me to tell people how long they have survived and as loud as possible. It’s just a great day and I look forward to once again announcing at the Race this year on Sept. 25.

Listen up
If you hear a familiar enthusiastic voice, it may be our local Sylvania PA professional. Wambold continues to keep busy announcing races, boxing, and at the Sylvania Fall Festival. He has even gotten people up and dancing while serving as DJ at a family friend’s bar mitzvah. “I have been blessed to do this,” he stated. “I love being involved at Northview. I am a big fan of Sylvania Schools. I will be at Northview as long as they will have me which I hope is a very, very long time.”