COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As fans take their seats inside Ohio Stadium this season, they’ve noticed something different. A familiar voice is no longer booming around the Horseshoe.
Bob Kennedy served as the stadium’s public address announcer for the past 20 years. His cadence and catch phrases, such as “Heads up, fans!” and “Brutus is on the loose!” had become staples of a Buckeyes gameday.
Kennedy died earlier this year, leaving a lasting legacy on OSU athletics.
“I just thought that, you know, he would continue to do this forever,” said Tom Snyder, a fellow announcer and long-time friend and apprentice to Kennedy.
Snyder and Kennedy met at Otterbein, where Snyder often filled in for Kennedy when he had scheduling conflicts with Ohio State football, basketball or baseball games.
Before this season, Ohio State staged an audition to replace Kennedy in the role, and Snyder came away with a job he’s been dreaming about for years.
“It doesn’t seem real. It still doesn’t.” he said. “As a lifelong Buckeye fan, to think that I have just a small impact or a part of this gameday experience, it’s a dream come true to be honest with you.”
Snyder will announce his biggest game to date Saturday when Ohio State hosts Penn State at noon. Tom will sit behind the mic inside the PA booth in the stadium, which has now been dedicated to Kennedy.
“The fact that I get a chance to follow in his footsteps, considering our friendship and being a colleague as well, you know, it’s humbling to have this opportunity.” he says. “I just hope that I can do a fraction of the job that he did when he was doing this for so long.”