Former K2 Radio Sports Broadcaster Tim Ray Inducted Into Hall of Fame
Living in Wyoming, especially Casper, there are some voices that are just synonymous with radio. These are voices that we've grown up with, voices that have just felt like they've always been there.
Voices like those of Bob Price, Brian Scott, Donovan Short and more seemed to have followed us throughout adolescence and into adulthood. They were the soundtracks of our lives.
And that's especially true with Tim Ray, a former K2 Radio broadcaster who was recently inducted into the Wyoming Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
In 1980, Ray began working as a play-by-play announcer for KWYO (AM) in Sheridan, Wyoming. And he would spend the next several decades as the voice of many a Wyoming sport.
"In 1987, Ray joined KTWO Radio/Wyoming Radio Network where he did various radio and television assignments for the station and the University of Wyoming, including sideline reporting, play-by-play and studio broadcasting," Radio World wrote. "He hosted a statewide radio talk show with 2005 WAB Hall of Famer George Kay on KTWO(AM) in Casper, Wyo., radio for nine seasons."
"Tim Ray, the 'Round Mound of Sound,'" began Bob Price, a friend and former colleague of Ray's. "Simply, there was nothing Tim couldn't do and he did everything so well. Live play-by-play for UW Football, UW Basketball, high school football, and basketball, rodeo, baseball, soccer; it made no difference if it was for radio or television, Tim knew it was his job to be better than just saying what's on peoples' television screen and he was totally aware of Curt Gowdy's edict."
That edict, according to Price, is that 'An announcer is only as good as yesterday's performance.'
That describes Tim Ray to a Tee.
Ray took his job, every job, seriously. And that doesn't mean he didn't have fun doing it, but he did demonstrate the utmost professionalism in every game he announced, every play he called.
Ray told Sheridan Media that he was "one of those kids who always went to bed with a ball game on and I was fascinated. Growing up in Central Indiana there in Indianapolis, during the evening, you were always very close to picking up other big stations like St. Louis or Cincinnati or Chicago, and those stations at the time were great for baseball and so I was always intrigued by a great radio announcer that painted a picture and made you feel like you were there.”
And that's what Tim Ray did for his listeners in Wyoming. He made you feel like you were at the game. He brought a certain level excitement to every game he called, whether it was UW Basketball, or the Oil Bowl battle of Kelly Walsh High School vs Natrona County High School.
His was a voice of yesteryear; the days when you could take a radio onto your porch along with a lawn chair and a cold drink and spend an afternoon listening to whatever game was on. Tim Ray made every game feel like the most important one. His enthusiasm was contagious.
"His radio skills went beyond play by play," Price stated. "Tim hosted the award winning long form sports program 'SportsTalk;' a program so successful it had its own exclusively produced theme music, which I personally produced. There is no one you would rather sit down with over a few drinks – we always felt the problem with the world was that everyone was a few drinks behind."
And that, perhaps, was the best thing about Tim Ray - he made everyone that he spoke to feel like he or she was the most important person in the world; like they were his best friend. Ray did that with his listeners, too, which is how he built a hall of fame career in the 4-plus decades he's been in this line of work.
Radio World reported that Ray was named Wyoming Sportscaster of the Year in 1986, 1988, and 2003 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He has interviewed absolute legends in the wide world of sports, like John Elway, Larry Bird, and more. Ray created the Peach Basket classic, a traditional basketball game between KWHS and NCHS that still takes place every year, to this day.
The indelible mark that Ray has left on Casper, on Sheridan, and on Wyoming as a whole cannot be overstated. Ray's work ethic, his enthusiasm, his commitment to excellence is unparalleled.
In 2007, Ray was hired as the Athletic Director for the Natrona County School District; a position he held for the next four years. He also served as the General Manager for The Casper Ghosts, a minor league baseball team that was eventually bought by the Colorado Rockies.
"He's a hall of fame broadcaster and a hall of fame guy," said Bruce Keith, the former Sheridan High School Athletic Director and Coach. "He's just one of those guys that it's an honor to be his friend, to be around him. He will inspire people to do things, as he's done, all his career."
And it's not just in his work that he's inspired people. Ray is an avid volunteer and has done tremendous things for whatever community of which he was a part.
He's one of the good guys, that's all. He's somebody that was always quick with a smile, or a laugh, or an encouraging word. He told stories. At that, he was one of the best. But his legacy won't be defined by the countless sports games he's called, or the hall of fame athletes that he's interviewed. His legacy will be defined by the way he treated people, on camera and off.
"In good times or bad you could count on Tim," Price stated. "He was a true friend."
To all of us.
Congratulations, Tim. You have earned this accolade and from all of us at K2 Radio - thank you for your contributions. Thank you for making us better. Thank you for being a friend.
"As George Kay would say: 'Big guy, Tim Ray...congratulations.'"
Tim Ray's WAB Hall of Fame Induction Video can be seen below, and it's chalk-full of familiar faces...and voices.